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How To Make Gluten-Free Waffles: A Beginner's Guide Recipe
by Iris Higgins

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How To Make Gluten-Free Waffles: A Beginner's Guide

I looked at the calendar today and saw a note I'd written months ago on today's date: July 29th, 2010. One year gluten-free. This is not actually a year from the day I first started eating gluten-free. Rather, it was a year ago today that I stopped eating gluten for the second time, this time with the knowledge that it was a necessary and permanent life change for me. I just reread my post from that day...well, skimmed it really. Reading old posts feels like reading old diary entries; it's somewhat embarrassing and not something I do if I can avoid it. But I was struck by what I wrote. During the three weeks I stuffed gluten into my body in order to get tested for Celiac Disease, I became increasingly despondent and felt unable to handle even the smallest hurdles. On July 29th of last year, I wrote that I was depressed and had cried already once that day. But I also wrote of my hope for myself going forward. I knew by then the effect gluten had on me, and I couldn't wait to get it out of my system. I was ready, I wrote, for my gluten-free life.

Jump ahead a year, and I find my life has changed in ways I never expected. I can't attribute them all to eating gluten-free of course, but I know I would not be here today if I hadn't made that change. Be where? On my way to starting my MS in nutrition at Bastyr University. Preparing to move across the country. Finishing the last of my seven needed science courses (this is a huge one for me, since I was always convinced I could not handle science). Singing to myself in the car, smiling for no reason other than the sight of the bright blue sky, learning to let go, bit by tiny bit. And making waffles. Always, there are waffles.

Coconut Waffles

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

Quinoa Zucchini Waffles

Savory Potato Waffles

Learning to bake gluten-free can be so trying sometimes that once I discovered how easy waffles were, I began making them regularly and freezing them for a quick breakfast or snack. When I want my bread fix, but don't have the time or energy to make it, waffles are my answer. I have a basic template that I follow, and I've found that within those guidelines, I can play around all I want, and still always come up with a tasty treat.

Here are my rules for making gluten-free waffles:

Start with 1 cup of a mediumweight flour, such as amaranth, sorghum, or millet. You can use all one type of flour or mix two or more together. For a heartier waffle, try replacing some of the flour with a heavyweight flour such as almond flour or buckwheat.

Add in 3/4 cup of starch, such as tapioca or potato starch. Again, you can use all one kind or do a mix. If you want a lighter waffle, you can increase the starch and decrease the mediumweight flour. For a healthier, whole-grain waffle, increase the flour and decrease the starch. Either way, you should end up with 1 3/4 cups total of flour and starch.

Add 2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2-1 tsp. salt. Whisk the dry ingredients together.

For your wet ingredients, you have a lot of options. You want to start with 1/4 cup of pureed fruit, applesauce, oil, or melted butter/Earth Balance. I'm pretty sure yogurt would work well here too, although I haven't tried it myself. If I'm thinking healthy, I go with applesauce or pureed fruit. For savory waffles, I use canola oil. For a richer taste, I would go with melted Earth Balance.

Next, eggs. I've tried the same recipes with and without an egg, and I barely notice a difference. In fact, in some cases, they taste better without the egg. I add one in for extra protein, but if you want to skip it, go ahead.

Liquid. You'll need 1 3/4 cup of liquid, although you may need more or less depending on the types of flour you use. You can use water, any type of milk including coconut milk, even fruit juice in some cases. You can use all one or a combination, although if you're using fruit juice, I recommend mixing it with water or coconut milk to dilute the flavor.

Optional add-ins: If you're planning on drizzling your waffles with maple syrup, they don't need to be that sweet, so 1 Tbsp. of honey/agave nectar/maple syrup should be plenty. You can also skip that and chop up some fresh or dried fruit to add in. Chopped walnuts and pecans, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, even sesame seeds (in a savory waffle) add a nice texture. Play around with spices and herbs: cinnamon is wonderful in a sweet waffle. Fresh dill, basil and garlic powder go well in savory waffles.

This should make 4-6 servings (2 squares each).

Because that was long, I'll summarize:

1 cup medium weight flour

3/4 cup starch

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2-1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup applesauce, melted butter, oil, etc.

1 egg (optional)

1 3/4 cup water, milk, fruit juice, etc. (update: start with 1/2 cup liquid and increase by the quarter cup until you reach the consistency you want)

optional: chopped nuts, fruit, seeds, spices, and herbs

Whisk dry ingredients. Whisk wet ingredients into dry. Pour onto (greased) waffle iron. Take off waffle iron. Don't burn your fingers doing so. Enjoy.

Cinnamon Mochi Waffles

I'm calling these Mochi Waffles because the pureed banana gives them a chewiness that reminds me of mochi, despite the fact that there is no rice flour in this recipe. I was sent a case of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice to try (thank you!), and I think it adds flavor and depth to the waffles, but if you don't have that, a different juice, such as cranberry or apple juice, would probably work as well.

Mochi Waffles

Ingredients:

Directions:

Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Whisk wet ingredients into dry.

Spoon evenly onto waffle iron and cook, in batches, according to the iron's instructions. Be sure to grease your waffle iron first because the banana makes it more likely to stick than other waffles.

Serves 4

(2 squares each)

Best of The Blogosphere: Favorite Gluten-Free Waffle Recipes

Coconut Waffles

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

Quinoa Zucchini Waffles

Savory Potato Waffles

Quinoa Flake Waffles from Celiac Teen

Dairy-Free Waffles at The Mommy Bowl

Belgian Waffles at The Gluten-Free Homemaker

Dairy-Free Belgian Waffles at Giddy Up Gluten Free

If you have a waffle recipe you love, or if you use these guidelines to make a waffle recipe, you can leave the url for the post in the comments and I'll add your link here.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Food on Fridays, Foodie Friday, Vegetarian Foodie Friday, and Wholesome Whole Foods.