With the New Year to it’s start, I’ve been thinking about my eating habits. I do pretty well, but I know there are a few areas that I could improve on and breakfast is one of them. I love sweets for breakfast and I think it’s pretty evident here on the blog (see: Breakfast and Brunch recipes).
I don’t eat like that every day, but I want to incorporate some every day make ahead breakfast recipes, things like muffins and waffles, that are healthy enough to eat on a regular basis. The first recipe that came to mind was our family’s favorite waffle recipe. I knew I could give them a recipe makeover and still maintain the delicious flavor and texture.
3 Tips to “Healthify” a Breakfast Baked Goodie
1. Decrease the Sugar
- In this waffle recipe I was able to cut the sugar down to almost a third of the original amount.
- To add a little extra flavor to compensate for the sugar loss, I added some orange and cinnamon as well as substituting brown sugar for the original granulated sugar.
2. Swap at least half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour.
- This is probably the simplest step you can take to make a recipe a bit healthier.
- I have a NutriMill Grain Mill to grind my own fresh, whole wheat flour. I grind several cups at once and store it in gallon sized Ziploc bags in the freezer to maintain freshness. See my Nutrimill Review for more info.
3. Decrease the fat (i.e. butter).
- There are many ways you can do this, ultimately you’ll have to figure out what works best for you. In the waffle recipe, I simply cut out much of the butter completely without replacing it with anything else.
- In recipes like muffins where you will miss the moisture and tenderness that butter or oil provides, you can substitute part of the fat for lighter ingredients that will provide moisture: yogurt, applesauce, Homemade Pearsauce, pumpkin puree, or other fruit puree.
- If a recipe calls for butter, consider substituting for a healthier olive oil or canola oil instead.
These waffles are not difficult to make. We often make a triple batch so we can have leftover throughout the next week or two. Leftover waffles store easily in the freezer for a quick weekday breakfast. Now that the recipe is healthier for the body, I certainly won’t feel too guilty eating waffles for breakfast on a more regular basis. Paired with some fruit and yogurt – what a meal!
To freeze the waffles, we cool them completely on a wire cookie cooling rack and then place them in gallon sized Ziploc bags to freeze. When you are craving waffles for breakfast, just pop the frozen waffles in the toaster to thaw and reheat.
With half the butter, whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, added flax, and almost a third of the sugar, these waffles are every bit as yummy and much healthier. Cinnamon, orange juice, and zest add a little extra flavor so you don’t even miss all that sugar.
For something extra fun and seasonal, I made cranberry orange maple syrup to top these waffles with, but if you’re concerned about the added natural sugar of the syrup try topping the waffles yogurt and fruit for a lighter option. Or, if you need a protein kick, smear some almond butter on the waffles and top them with sliced banana.
Recipe Makeover: Whole Wheat Flax Waffles with Cranberry Orange Maple Syrup
adapted from Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup and Pecans
For the Waffles
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons cold milled flax
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
3 eggs, separated
juice of one orange
zest of half an orange
For the Cranberry Maple Syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the Waffles
Preheat waffle iron.
Sift brown sugar, flour, flax, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add egg yolks and milk to dry ingredients and beat together thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Stir 1/2 of the egg whites into the waffle batter, and then fold in the remaining egg whites and stir (do not beat) until mixed. Add butter, orange juice and zest, and mix until smooth.
Grease the waffle iron, if necessary. Pour scant 1/3 c of batter on the heated waffle mold. Makes about 10-16 waffles, depending on the size of your waffle iron.
For the Cranberry Maple Syrup
Combine the cranberries, maple syrup, and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat to bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the cornstarch into the water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the syrup and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes more, or until the cranberries are tender.
If the syrup is not thick enough for your liking, add a teaspoon or two more of cornstarch while the syrup is cooking until the desired thickness is reached.
Serve alongside waffles. Syrup will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.