Brunch. Potentially the tastiest six letter word. Going out for weekend brunch is a ritual I love. But, if I'm being honest, there are a lot of Sundays where I don't feel like dragging myself out of the house for food. Since skimping on epic weekend breakfasts is never fun, I'll usually whip up a batch of homemade waffles instead. And, if we're being real – these waffles are much healthier than what I'd get at our neighborhood brunch spot. These bad boys are loaded with whole-wheat flour, oats, coconut and heart-healthy flax – but they taste so good you wouldn't guess they were healthy! Less guilt, more yum. And even more reason for me to hang out in my sweatpants all day.
The only thing better than a (lazy) Sunday breakfast, would be being able to eat like this every day of the week. For the longest time, I'd assumed that life stood in the way of me enjoying daily waffle breakfasts fit for royalty. Luckily, that promptly ended when I tried putting these waffles in the freezer. Weekday waffles? Heck yes. Whip up a double batch of waffles and freeze the extras! A quick pop in the toaster and you're good to go. These waffles are great topped with syrup, nut butter, jam, fruit…really, anything you can get your hands on. And, not only do they taste great, but they're healthy and filling to keep you energized through to lunch!
I recommend whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe. At the store, pay close attention to the labels. Rather than the standard (bleached) white pastry flour, we’re looking for the whole wheat version. Since whole wheat flour is ground from the whole wheat berry (with the germ and bran intact), it's a healthier alternative to white. Whole wheat pastry flour is a great way to bump up the nutrition in many recipes calling for standard white flour. It's less dense than regular whole wheat all-purpose flour. So, although there's a bunch of other flours I also like to reach for (like spelt, buckwheat and other gluten-free flours), whole wheat pastry flour is a great "cheat" for when I need the texture of a white flour. If you have trouble tracking it down in a regular grocery store, try Whole Foods or another health foods store - they usually carry at least a couple brands in either the packaged or bulk aisles.
But enough about flour. The true star of this show is the flax seed. Chances are you’ve heard of these little brown super seeds, but like a lot of people (myself included), you probably don’t actually do the best job of incorporating these into your diet. Before these waffles, I could feel our jar of flax seeds gazing sadly at me every time I opened and closed our pantry…I’d left these lovely seeds undisturbed for months! Finally my guilt got to me, and I dumped them into my waffle batter - a whole ¼ cup of them! Aggressive? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely.
Flax is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid, which is something your body really needs (read more about it here). When it comes to flax, how you store and consume it is very important from a health benefits perspective. The outer shell of the flax seed helps to protect it - and is the reason you can store whole seeds for a long time without spoiling. But when you grind the seeds, they become easier to digest and it helps free up their nutrients. Unfortunately, once ground, the heat- and light-sensitive flax oils are likely spoil and go rancid very fast. So try to grind small batches of flax seeds right before you need them. Refrigerate any extras and aim to use all ground flax seed within a few days at most.
Go ahead, give these waffles a whirl - and be sure to make extra! They’re the perfect way to bring more weekend-loveliness into your morning routine. And, since they're chock full of good stuff, these waffles are ones you don't need to feel guilty about. Watch out brunch: weekday breakfasts are about to get a whole lot better!
Whole Wheat Power Waffles
- 1 cup milk (or unsweetened non-dairy milk)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup quick oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- Maple syrup (for serving)
- Dry ingredients: Use a spice grinder (or blender) to grind flax seeds until the consistency of a fine powder. Transfer ground flax to a large bowl. Add whole wheat flour, quick oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until well mixed.
- Wet ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine milk and lemon juice. Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
- Combine: Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Gently stir until barely combined (a few streaks of flour are okay!). Pour in the melted coconut oil and stir just until evenly distributed, to avoid overmixing (see note 1).
- Cook: Pour batter into heated waffle maker. Cook until golden brown (cooking time will vary by waffle iron). Serve with maple syrup.
- Stirring the melted coconut oil into the batter at the end (rather than stirring it directly into the milk mixture), helps prevent the oil from solidifying. But if a small amount of coconut oil solidifies when you add it, don't worry, it turns back into liquid as soon as it hits the waffle iron!
- Make ahead option: To freeze waffles, let them cool completely on cooling rack after cooking. Then, transfer the frozen waffles to freezer bags, remove any excess air, seal and freeze. Reheat the frozen waffles in the toaster.