Bananas. I’m not sure I could do with out them. So you’ll understand my feelings when, right after returning home from the grocery store, I dropped my precious four bananas on the ground. The horror! Dropping any fruit is bad, but I feel like bananas take it the worst. The insides turn to banana pulp! Crazy! And the way I dropped them was such that more than half of each banana was horribly bruised by the impact. I tried opening one to eat but couldn’t do it without a spoon, and I was a little put off by the bruising. Feeling sad and defeated, I put them in the fruit basket and tried to forget about the whole incident.

About four days later, the bananas started to get spotty. I was worried; I didn’t want to throw them out but didn’t want to eat them as is. What was I to do? A little voice sounded inside my ear and said things like, “You bake things! Bake banana things! You paid for those bananas! Use them!” I usually eat bananas too quickly to allow them to ripen, which means I don’t get the chance to bake with them. Not this time! So all is not lost, in fact, my love for banana baked goods is found again, especially with these waffles. The banana flavor isn’t pronounced, but you know it’s there, and you’ll love how the banana is complimented by oatmeal, cinnamon, and raisins. I’m going to count the banana dropping as a blessing this morning (but I promise to be more careful next time). Happy bananas for breakfast! Happy Breakfast Tuesday!

Oatmeal Banana Raisin Waffles

(Recipe only slightly adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance)

Yields exactly 4 Belgian waffles or up to 12 regular waffles

Notes: Instead of using both all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, you can use one cup and two tablespoons all-purpose flour. If you decide to use quick cooking oats, you don’t need to soak the oats in liquid mixture before adding to dry ingredients. If you don’t have nondairy milk on hand and/or don’t require waffles to be vegan, substitute whatever milk you have on hand.

Ingredients:

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ cup whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup rolled, or old-fashioned, oats

1 very ripe banana, mashed well

1 ½ cups nondairy milk

3 tablespoons maple syrup

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

¾ raisins

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix together oats, banana, milk, syrup, and vegetable oil. Let mixture soak for 10 minutes while you preheat the waffle iron.

3. After ten minutes, pour wet ingredients into dry and mix just until combined. A few lumps will remain. Fold in raisins, taking care not to over mix.

4. Waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions, greasing waffle iron between waffles.

If you would like to keep the waffles warm between taking them off the iron and serving, preheat the oven to 200 degrees while the oatmeal is soaking and keep waffles in the oven, on a baking sheet lined with foil, up to 30 minutes before serving. Waffles will keep, refrigerated, up to a week, and frozen up to a month.

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For a few months, I was making waffles left and right. If I had an ingredient, I put it in a waffle (which sounds a lot like both my chocolate chip cookie and oat bran philosophy – creature of habit and hedonism, I guess). Chocolate waffles! Bran waffles! Malt waffles! Pumpkin waffles! All of the waffles! One fateful morning, however, I attempted to make waffles and the result could only be described as waffle genocide. So many good waffles split in half, burnt, and crumbled in my hands. I thought it was the recipe, and then I thought it was me, and then, having rejected the first two options as improbable, I decided to blame the waffle maker. And then I was stuck. I didn’t want to look into buying another waffle maker because I wasn’t a hundred percent sure it was malfunctioning, but I didn’t want to try another waffle recipe because I couldn’t deal with the sadness and guilt that comes from massacring one of the breakfast treats I consider most sacred.

This dilemma kept me from making waffles for far too long. In every bizarre-o kitchen appliance grudge (those who use a lot of kitchen appliances hopefully know what I mean), there comes a time where someone has to give in, and that someone is usually the person. Because it would be hard for the appliance to give in. And it would be a little scary, too, if it actually had the capability to give in. Anyway, the waffle maker and I had a long talk (which, if you’re wondering, looks a lot like me glaring at a waffle iron until tying up my apron and getting on with it), and I decided to give it another go. Turns out my waffle iron responds really well to aerosol oil and not well at all to any other method of greasing. Huh. Looks like Colleen the Waffle Machine is back in business.

These waffles are amazing, though on the hearty side of the breakfast good spectrum. My roommate, K, really enjoys them, and she prefers her breakfasts to be more healthy than sweet, whereas I’m the opposite. We both agree that these waffles make a great breakfast, though! Something about the quinoa-banana-cornmeal combination and the fluffiness on account of whipped egg whites makes these waffles suitable for any kind of breakfast eater.

Happy Breakfast Tuesday, because it’s a happy one indeed!

Banana Quinoa Waffles

(Recipe adapted from The Family Kitchen)

Yields 7 Belgian style waffles

Notes: The original recipe is for spiced waffles – add one teaspoon ground ginger to dry ingredients. For my particular waffle iron, I got the best results with the heat set at six (out of eight) and leaving the waffle in iron for 5 minutes, then flipping the waffle and letting it heat for one more minute before taking it out.

Ingredients:

½ cup, or one stick, unsalted butter

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup fine cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 ripe bananas, mashed

3 eggs, separated

3 tablespoons honey

¾ cup cooked and cooled quinoa

1 ¼ cup milk

Method:

1. Preheat waffle iron.

2. In a small saucepan or microwave, melt butter. Set aside.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk mashed bananas, honey, egg yolks, melted butter, quinoa, and milk together until combined. Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and spices together.

5. In yet another mixing bowl, or bowl of stand mixer, whip egg whites to stiff peaks.

6. Fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined, and then gently fold in egg whites.

7. Waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions, using 2/3 cup batter per waffle and greasing waffle iron between each waffle.

For whatever reason, I like to pride myself in my waffle-making abilities (read: I feel super awesome when I use my waffle maker because it’s fun and makes pretty foodstuffs for me to eat). This pride makes it really difficult for me to deal when I make waffles and it fails. I can’t help thinking that it has something to do with my internal waffle-making intelligence, like my waffles didn’t turn out because I didn’t will them hard enough. Over all these months of making waffles, I didn’t once think that maybe it wasn’t me but was the machine that caused most of my waffle making-induced suffering. In general I try to shy away from blaming machines with the mentality that blaming a machine can’t really do anything to improve your finished product; all that’s left for you to do is research methods to change a recipe or try a different one altogether.

This morning I experienced a particularly annoying waffle-fail and, instead of taking my usual passive route of shrugging and assuming it’s either the recipe or me, I went straight to the computer, angry and hungry, to see if maybe it actually was the waffle maker. The past few times I’ve tried to make waffles have not turned out well – I took this as supporting evidence in my questioning as to whether or not the waffle-maker is to blame. After ten minutes of reading, folks, I came to the conclusion that it must be the machine. The heat is uneven and my waffles are splitting in half while almost burning (even when the heat is adjusted). It was a good lesson for me to learn though, that when using a kitchen appliance like this you have to take it into account – especially when the recipe seems pretty solid but your finished product is just a pile of waffle. 

The only waffle that ended up looking like a waffle and not a pile of waffle carnage.

Yogurt Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod, originally Honey Yogurt Waffles)

Yields 8 to 10 waffles in a Belgian waffle iron

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup rolled oats (or old-fashioned)

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 ¼ cups milk

¾ cup Greek yogurt, plain

1/3 cup maple syrup, maple syrup blend, or honey

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Method:

1. Preheat waffle iron on medium-high setting.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until combined.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract, until smooth – there shouldn’t be any yogurt lumps.

4. Add liquid ingredients to dry and whisk until just combined. Fold in melted butter until just combined.

5. Grease waffle iron and bake each waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions (until waffle is golden brown).

Serve immediately or freeze up to a month, heating up each waffle individually as needed. While baking waffles, if you want to keep them warm before serving, preheat oven to 200 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Store waffles in oven, on baking sheet, in between making each waffle and before serving.

I would like to take this Breakfast Tuesday opportunity to shower affection on something special, something very new in my life, something tasty. I’m talking to you, oat bran. Originally, I had just wanted some oat bran to make these pancakes. When I got to the store, however, all they had was a HUGE bag of the stuff. The pancakes were too much to pass up and I thought I’d find something to do with the rest of the oat bran (figuring that I’d just throw it in the freezer and forget about it). The pancakes were made, and I enjoyed them. The next morning, I threw some oat bran on yogurt with fresh fruit. The next morning, I put oat bran on some frozen waffles with peanut butter and maple syrup. Last Breakfast Tuesday I managed to put oat bran into a smoothie. The last few recipes I bookmarked are for cookies made with oat bran. Ramble Ramble. The point is that I think about oat bran all the time and can’t believe I’ve never had it in my life before in such a prominent, albeit obsessive, way.

And usually if I’m this obsessed with an ingredient I’ll find a way to put it in a waffle. Or find a recipe that puts the ingredient in a waffle. Well, here you have it, the oat bran waffle! I was a little worried upon putting the batter together because it didn’t seem to be thick enough, but went ahead with the recipe anyway. I can always tweak the recipe later. Sure enough, the waffles cooked beautifully and I really like that they aren’t dense and chewy, more crisp and airy. The oat bran lent the waffle a wonderful hearty flavor without making the waffle feel like a brick. And you might also be able to convince yourself these waffles are healthy. Until you load it up with homemade blueberry jam and greek yogurt, that is.

Oat Bran Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Rogers Foods)

Yields 4 to 5 Belgian-size waffles using 1 cup batter per waffle

 

Ingredients:

¾ cup all-purpose flour (I will use 1 cup the next time I make these waffles)

2/3 cup oat bran

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 ¼ cup milk

¼ cup vegetable or canola oil (I assume you could also use ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted)

2 egg yolks, beaten

2 egg whites, beaten until stiff but not dry

 

Method:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oat bran, baking powder, and brown sugar.

2. In a medium mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine milk, egg yolks, and vegetable oil.

3. Pour milk mixture into dry mixture and mix just until combined.

4. Fold egg whites into batter.

5. Let batter rest while waffle iron preheats to a medium or medium-high temperature, depending on how hot your waffle maker can get.

6. Greasing waffle iron between each waffle, pour batter onto waffle using a one cup measure. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions (about 5 minutes per waffle).

Serve immediately or freeze, once cooled to room temperature, to enjoy whenever a waffle craving hits you.

This is the saddest Breakfast Tuesday ever. Was that a “Why, Colleen?” I heard, way in the back of the peanut gallery, behind the giggling and pointing? You may not have asked, but I will tell you. I completely and utterly butchered a recipe that I not only adore, by a cook/baker/food-mastermind that I admire, but have also made at least three times before with great success.

Why do these things happen? I’ll give you my reasoning, and then I’ll give you permission to look at me like I’m a crazy person. I had a case of extreme indecision this morning. Muffin recipes sounded amazing, but I just made muffins for last week’s Breakfast Tuesday. I wasn’t hungry enough to make pancakes, or motivated enough to make scones. I didn’t want chocolate and didn’t want fruit (I know, it surprised the living daylights out of me as well). My own acting like a cranky toddler without the benefit of being all cute and young and tiny made me a little frustrated. Why can’t I choose something amongst the vast store of recipes and ingredients at my disposal? Out of something that felt like a mixture between defeat and apathy, I decided to make a waffle that hasn’t let me down in the past. I knew I’d be satisfied with the results and knew that it’d be a great recipe to share with the people who read this blog, who deserve amazing, consistent recipes.

I might be wrong, but I feel like going into things with this attitude, that of total surrender and frustration, made my waffles turn out badly. You tend to make careless mistakes when you think things will just go according to plan without your having to be a part of it. For instance, you can’t just leave a waffle in the iron for minutes and minutes and minutes and assume that it won’t be burnt to a crisp because your waffles had never burnt to a crisp before.

I leave you with the recipe, which is awesome and a different take on a popular breakfast baked good, and the hope that your Tuesday morning breakfast was more successful than my own!

Raised Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Vegan Brunch)

Yields 6 Belgian style waffles

Ingredients:

2 cups warm milk (non-dairy for vegan waffles)

2 teaspoons dry active yeast

¼ granulated sugar

1/3 cup oil (I use canola, but any flavorless oil will work)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup warm water (not over 105 degrees F)

¾ teaspoon salt

Cooking spray for waffle iron

Method:

1. In a large glass, plastic, or ceramic mixing bowl, pour in milk and sprinkle yeast over milk. Let sit for 5 minutes in order for yeast to dissolve.

2. After 5 minutes stir in sugar, oil, and vanilla. Stir in flour until batter is relatively smooth, though a few lumps are okay. Add water to activate the yeast and stir just until incorporated.

For the third step, you can choose your own adventure!

(First option) 3. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let batter rise in a warm spot for an hour.

(Second option) 3. Uncovered, let batter rise at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place bowl in refrigerator to let batter sit overnight.

4. Preheat waffle iron to a higher setting than usual. These particular waffles are amazing with a more crispy exterior. Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve waffles immediately, or freeze, up to a month, and toast as needed.

 

Some people go to hugantic everything furniture stores to pick up a new dresser or bed. Some go for the adventure, because the store is like a world unto itself. Some go to pick up furniture, have an amazingly awesome adventure with a good friend, AND pick up some super delectable goodies to use in the kitchen. Like pearl sugar. I squealed with delight upon seeing the little package on the shelf and couldn’t wait to make waffles.

Waffles? Pearl sugar? I’ve been reading a bit about all the different kinds of waffles, especially from Belgium, and one that always catches my attention is the Liège waffle. The texture is remarkably different from the waffles I’m used to eating and making in that they are chewy and the pearl sugar adds a sweet crunch to the outside of the waffle. And it’s not only the final product that’s different; it’s also the waffle preparation. Making a Liège waffle is almost like preparing brioche dough, letting it rise and rest just like you are making a loaf of bread.

I wasn’t sure about these waffles at first, because they were so different, but they grew on me. The best way I came up with to describe them was “brioche waffle candy” and I found the best way to eat them, believe it or not, was absolutely plain. The pearl sugar was glorious and totally worth the effort to procure. I’m in the process of some serious pearl sugar research, so stay tuned!

Liège Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Squidoo.com)

Yields 8-10 waffles

Ingredients:

1 package, or 2 ¼ teaspoons, active dry yeast

1/3 cup lukewarm water

1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Belgian pearl sugar

Method:

1. In a small bowl, mix yeast, water, sugar, and salt and let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.

2. Place flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.  If using a stand mixer, use the bowl for the mixer.

3. Pour yeast mixture into flour well and mix until blended (with paddle attachment, on medium speed, if using a stand mixer).

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.

5. Slowly pour melted butter into batter, beating well after all the butter is incorporated. Add vanilla and beat to combine.

6. Let dough sit until it doubles in volume (an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).

7. Fold in pearl sugar and let dough rest for another 15 minutes. While waiting for dough to rest, preheat waffle iron. I used the medium heat setting.

8. For each waffle, use a ball of dough about 2 inches in diameter and waffle according to manufacturer’s instruction, making sure to grease waffle iron between each waffle.

Serve immediately. Store up to a week in the fridge or a month in the freezer, toasting as needed!

Yesterday, coconut bread with mango butter counteract with the rain and cold. Today, for Breakfast Tuesday, pumpkin waffles to “welcome” spring, along with a 60 degree day! Sounds a little backwards, but I’m totally digging it.

This is another recipe I’m considering in my hunt for a great, reliable waffle recipe that is both unique and easy enough to WANT to prepare on a lazy morning. I realize pumpkin is out of season but I love it. And lots of other people love it. Just because pumpkin is most prevalent in the fall doesn’t mean you can’t eat it all year! Right? The thing I love most about these waffles is that, as my roommate and fellow food enthusiast puts it, “they taste like pumpkin pie!”

Pumpkin Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Allrecipes)

Yields 6 waffles in a Belgian waffle maker

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup light brown sugar, packed (1/3 cup if you plan on using syrup or sweet topping)

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 cups milk

4 eggs, separated

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Method:

1. Preheat waffle iron.

2. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together pumpkin, milk, and yolks. Set aside.

4. Whip egg whites until medium stiff peaks form.

5. Stir flour mixture and butter into pumpkin mixture, stirring until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/3 of the whites until incorporated. Gently fold in remaining whites, taking care not to over mix.

6. Cook waffles according to waffle maker’s instructions.

Serve waffles immediately. If you’ll eat them within two or three days, you can refrigerate them up to a week in an airtight container. Waffles also freeze well; lay them out on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour before moving them to an airtight container or plastic wrap. Freeze up to a month.