Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Toasty Pumpkin Waffles with Maple-Cranberry Butter

Recently I've been transforming the last of our garden's pumpkin bounty into pumpkin puree, some of it destined to be Selah's lunch (or dinner or breakfast) and the rest of it headed for the freezer for incorporation into future meals and goodies. This morning Mike left early to head into town to run a few errands while I battened down the hatches at home- our first snow of the season came to visit late last night and stayed throughout the day. I couldn't convince either girl to go back to sleep after a 6:00am wake up and so instead we had an early breakfast. I had put the flour in to soak the night before in preparation for the morning... I just didn't think morning would come quite so soon. Ah well. So this recipe was just a regular ol' recipe that I thought I might try my hand at tweaking for the better and I have to say, I think this first attempt at recipe redo was a success! The difference is in soaking the flour. My mom's response (over the phone this morning): "What? Soaking the flour?" Yep. See, whole wheat flour is good for you- but soaked flour is even better. Soaking the flour (or grains) breaks down the phytic acid (phytic acid: found primarily in grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and prevents absorption of nutrients). Therefore, soaking is a great way to make all of those good reasons for eating whole grains accessible to your body. The usual soaking medium includes using an acidic ingredient such as whey, yogurt, buttermilk or for those with dairy allergies: lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Generally 2 Tblsp. of the acidic medium per cup of grains, covered with equal parts warm filtered water and left to sit on the counter in a warm spot overnight. Clear as mud? For example: oatmeal, that classic morning mash. The night before put 1 c. oats to 1 c. warm filtered water and throw in 2 Tblsp. of whey, yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice or ACV and let it sit on the counter (covered with towel). The next morning heat up another 1 c. water to boiling and throw in the oat mixture, cover and reduce heat- it'll be done in a couple minutes. Truly a highly nutritious breakfast of fast food. :) So now let me show you how I gave this tasty, toasty recipe a little makeover and then allow me to encourage you to give it a shot- it's really easy and actually makes for a quicker breakfast in the morning!

Toasty Pumpkin Waffles

1 c. whole wheat flour (I used fresh-ground hard white wheat)
1 to 1-1/4 c. plain yogurt or buttermilk

In a small bowl, mix flour and yogurt together and let sit covered with towel on counter at least 7 hours or overnight. *I realize this does not follow the 2 Tblsp. guideline I just mentioned above but the original recipe called for this amount of milk so I substituted the plain yogurt for soaking).

The next morning:

1 Tblsp. Rapadura (or you can use brown sugar)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 c. canned pumpkin
1-1/2 Tblsp. butter, melted
1/3 c. chopped pecans (I used almonds since I didn't have pecans on hand)

Maple Cranberry Butter
1/2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 c. maple syrup (go with quality, use the real thing here)
1/2- 1c. butter, softened

In large bowl combine the Rapadura, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl whisk egg, pumpkin and melted butter; stir in soaked flour mixture. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients and stir until blended. Fold in pecans/almonds. Bake in preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in small saucepan combine cranberries and maple syrup. Cook over medium heat until berries pop, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a small mixing bowl; cool slightly. Beat in butter until blended. (Unless, like me, you always forget to let the butter "soften" and in that case throw it in with the still warm cranberry syrup and let the mixture melt and meld together... its consistency will be one of perfect spreadability).
Serve waffles with maple cranberry butter and extra maple syrup if desired. Refrigerate or freeze leftover butter. Makes about 6 waffles and 1/2- 1 c. butter so I will definitely be doubling if not tripling the waffle part of this recipe in the future! Mmm.

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