By Carolyn Ketchum -
My kids are creatures of habit. Left to their own devices, they would eat the same
thing for breakfast, day in and day out. For my son, it would be all manners of
cereal. For my two daughters, it would be toast with peanut butter. Day in and day
out. I am up against some time-honored breakfast foods if I am trying to get them
to be more gluten free. I suppose I could simply go out and buy gluten-free bread
and gluten-free cereal to replace the conventional versions, but where’s the fun in
that? I like a challenge, and I like enticing them away from their gluten-filled
favorites with breakfast items that seem like special treats but are actually much healthier than any breads or cereals. If I can sneak some extra nutrients in there, more power to me.
My children are equally predictable on the rare occasion that we go out for
breakfast. Their choice almost inevitably falls to either pancakes (preferably
Mickey Mouse shaped) or waffles, with a side of bacon. The bacon I don’t mind, but now that I understand the dangers of a sugar- and gluten-filled diet, I can’t help but shudder inwardly at those heavy rounds of fried flour. I remember how, as a kid, I thought pancakes and waffles were the ultimate in breakfast food, but I always felt uncomfortably full after eating them. Given that going out for breakfast is a special thing, I don’t override their choices. But I do take inspiration from the fact that they love pancakes and waffles so much.
So if I want to compete with the cereals and toasts of everyday breakfast, I try to
come up with gluten-free pancake or waffle recipes. I’ve had great success with several versions of nut and coconut flour pancakes, but waffles are definitely more difficult. It’s much harder to get the gluten-free batter to stay together in a waffle
iron. I had one attempt at almond flour waffles come completely apart, with batter stuck to both sides of the iron. It tasted great, but I didn’t think it would win over my kids.
My latest attempt was with coconut flour, a strange beast to say the least. If you’ve never worked with it, you will be surprised at how much liquid it can soak up, and
still stay as thick as porridge. It also requires a number of eggs to make it bake and rise properly, but the end results don’t taste “eggy,” fortunately. In this iteration, I
decided to emphasize the coconut-y flavor with some shredded coconut and some melted coconut oil for the iron. And I threw in some frozen wild blueberries to
entice the kids a little more.
Majority rules, in this case. Two out of the three kids gave these the thumbs up.
And they happen to be the two kids whose taste I trust the most. The littlest is extraordinarily picky (and I believe that she turns up her nose at some things just to
irk me). I thought these were delicious, although they lacked the light, crisp texture
of waffles made with wheat flour. If I can ever manage to achieve that with gluten-
free ingredients, you will no doubt hear me screaming for joy. But I also loved
these for their health quotient. Coconut flour is very high in dietary fiber, and in
that regard, it kicks even “whole grain” waffles to the curb. And all those eggs
mean these are much higher in protein as well. It’s a hearty breakfast you can feel good about serving.
Blueberry Coconut Waffles
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup finely shredded coconut, unsweetened
2 tbsp granulated erythritol (or sugar)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup milk or almond milk
¾ cup frozen blueberries
Coconut oil for the waffle iron
1. Preheat waffle iron. Preheat oven to 200F and place a metal cooling rack over a large baking sheet.
2. In large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, almond flour, shredded coconut, erythritol, baking powder and salt. Stir in eggs, melted coconut oil and milk. Carefully fold in blueberries.
3. Once waffle iron is hot, grease generously with coconut oil and then spoon about ¼ of the batter into the hot iron. Spread evenly over iron with back of a spoon. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
4. Once cooked, transfer to prepared baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining batter.
Carolyn Ketchum is the evil mastermind behind All Day I Dream About Food, a mostly low-carb, gluten-free food blog. She has always been a healthy eater, but since being diagnosed with diabetes, she has overhauled her own diet and is now working on that of her family. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Facebook.