The smell of a light and fluffy waffle cooking in a waffle iron is sure to wake anyone up in the morning. Waffle batter is made with flour, sugar, eggs, milk and a leavening agent, similar in make-up to a pancake. However, while a pancake is thin and spongy, a waffle is thicker and crisp on the outside but soft and airy on the inside. Waffles tend to have a bit more oil or butter, as well as sugar, than pancakes.
Make waffles healthier by using oil instead of butter. Oil has more unsaturated fats, good for heart health. Nonfat milk, rather than whole or full-fat buttermilk will be lower in calories and saturated fats. Finally, substitute whole-wheat flour for the all-purpose to get more b-vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. The only trouble with using a whole grain flour is that it's more dense and can make for a not-so fluffy waffle. A good remedy for that is to separate the egg whites from the yolks and beat until fluffy. This helps to incorporate air into the waffle, while not overworking the batter.
The toppings on a waffle can make or break your nutritional goals. Maple syrup, whipped cream, powdered sugar, chocolate sauce and fruited syrups can quickly pack in the calories. If a sugar-free syrup is not your thing, try flavored yogurt and fresh fruit. Warm applesauce, cinnamon and toasted pecans are also heavenly. For an on-the-go option, spread on the peanut butter and cut into sticks. Dust off your waffle iron, and wake up to the smell of waffles.
Whole Wheat Fluffy Waffles (Printable PDF)
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 ¾ cup nonfat milk
⅓ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions. Lightly grease with non-stick cooking spray if necessary. In a large bowl, stir flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Separate egg whites from yolks. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a medium separate bowl, whisk eggs yolks, milk, oil and vanilla. Gently fold in egg whites. Add liquid ingredients to dry. Mix until just combined. Pour batter into waffle iron (amount varies-follow manufacturer's directions.) Close lid and heat until golden brown. Serve with favorite toppings.
Yield: 15 small waffles
Nutrition Facts (per one waffle serving): 130 calories, 6 grams fat, 130 milligrams sodium, 15 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams protein