Photos and Words by Nandini Ahuja
According to Correlated.com, 51% of people prefer waffles to pancakes. This surprises me, because I was sure waffles would win by a landslide. To me, waffles are insurmountably cooler than pancakes. Their characteristic surface impressions create little pockets for syrup, butter, berries, or if you’re strange like me, cream cheese. Pancakes are flat, barren circles with little to set them apart from any other cake. Waffles are not trying to be anything but themselves: the pinnacle of breakfast foods. But while researching this article, I learned that waffles do not just belong with a glass of milk in the morning; by using some unique and delicious ingredients, waffles can become the perfect dish for any meal, day or night. Let’s start with breakfast. For all those creative souls who get a little bored with the dining hall’s plain--though delicious--waffles, try a coconut flavor. I am a huge fan of throwing coconut milk into Thai curries and noodles, so when I stumbled upon a recipe for coconut milk waffles, I was intrigued. I found a delectable, healthy coconut waffles recipe on Pastry Affair.
Coconut Waffles (adapted from Pastry Affair) Active time: 10 minutes. Total Time: 15 minutes Yields 3-4 waffles.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes, plus extra for topping
- Preheat waffle iron.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the honey, egg, milks, melted butter and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just incorporated. The batter may be lumpy.
- Cook the waffles in the waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions. Serve warm, topped with extra (or toasted) coconut flakes, and a healthy dose of syrup.
When you’re sick of the sometimes overwhelming sweetness of maple syrup, waffles may seem like an improbable choice for lunch or dinner. For the second and third most important meals of the day, you may want savory, salty and tangy flavors on your plate. I realized during my perusal of waffle recipes that a waffle can be all those things and more. There are a plethora of waffle recipes online which bring my favorite breakfast food into the realm of hearty meals. You can make Rosemary-Parmesan Sweet Potato, Cheese Onion, Jalapeno Popper Cornbread, younameit waffles. I discovered a wonderful vegan Garlic Basil waffles recipe on Muffin Topped:
Basil Garlic Waffles (adapted from Muffin Topped) Active Time: 90 minutes. Total Time: 95 minutes Yields 3 waffles.
- 1 head garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 panier cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons almond milk
- Fresh basil: 2 heaping tablespoons minced, 2-3 tablespoons chiffonade, plus a few leaves reserved for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel away the outer layer of the garlic bulb skin; try to leave the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch off the tops and expose the individual cloves of garlic. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated; wrap in aluminum foil and place in the oven. Roast for 40 minutes, or until cloves feel soft when pressed.
- De-stem cherry tomatoes and place in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil over the tomatoes, ensuring even coating with your hands. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and place in oven; roast for 15-20 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
- Preheat waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pop cloves of garlic out of their skins and mash well in a separate bowl; try to get the garlic pulp as smooth as possible. Add almond milk & 2 tablespoons olive oil to the garlic and whisk well. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold in the 2 tablespoons minced basil.
- Pour 3/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. While waffles are cooking, drain the roasted cherry tomatoes and combine gently with the 2-3 tablespoons chiffonade basil. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Sweet, fluffy, and cute-looking waffles are engineered to make perfect desserts. If you’re like me, no dinner is complete without a satisfyingly sweet conclusion. Rather than sticking to the traditional breakfast combination of waffles and syrup, try something new and reinvent the waffle in your kitchen forever. I am a ricotta lover--cookies and cheesecake for the most part. So I when I saw this Lemon Ricotta waffle recipe on Judicial Peach, I knew it would be a winner:
Lemon Ricotta Waffles (adapted from Judicial Peach) Active Time: 15 minutes. Total Time: 20 minutes Yields 6 waffles.
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoonsalt
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about four lemons)
- Preheat waffle iron.
- In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the ricotta mixture.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Fold a quarter of the beaten whites into the batter; then fold the rest in, until just combined. The batter should be substantially lighter.
- Pour batter onto the center of the lower grid, and spread it evenly to the edges--the entire lower grid should be filled. Flip the lid, and cook until ready. Drizzle with syrup or confectioners’ sugar; serve warm!
Is your mind blown? Can you believe America’s favorite breakfast food--or at least mine--can be devoured in so many different ways? Do yourself a favor and head to Shaws so you too can create a surprising, spectacular waffle breakfast, lunch or dinner.