Wonder

   “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

~Maya Angelou

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Generosity

   Be generous. Give to those you love; give to those who love you, give to the fortunate, give to the unfortunate – yes, give especially to those you don’t want to give. You will receive abundance for your giving. The more you give, the more you will have.

~ W. Clement Stone

Kitchen Experiment: Crispy Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free Waffles

Every Sunday morning when we are home, my husband and I have breakfast together and our favorite thing to eat is waffles.  I have been on the search for a fantastic, crispy waffle for a long time and I finally found the recipe. I have made some other great waffle recipes, but this one not only tastes great, but it makes the crispiest gluten-free, dairy-free waffles that I have ever eaten.  What I love about this recipe is not only how easy it is to make, but how versatile.  I have added and changed the recipe almost every time I have made it and each time the waffles are just as delicious and just as crispy.  I forewarn you, if you are not one of those people that enjoys a crisp waffle, then these are not for you.

(The original recipe comes from the Real Food Dieticians and if you go to their site, you can find some great reviews and comments about this recipe.  )  The recipe below has a few of my own changes.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Crispy Waffles

  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. flax meal + 6 Tbsp. warm water or 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dairy free milk (flax, almond, soy, coconut)
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup liquid sweetener (maple, agave, coconut nectar) [or milk or water if you want it to be sugar-free as well]
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup oil (coconut, melted; olive, grapeseed, sunflower)

Instructions

  1. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, tapioca starch and baking powder. Whisk or stir to combine well.
  3. In a small bowl or coffee cup, whisk together flax meal and warm water. Set aside until thick and egg-like.
  4. In a small bowl, add milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow to sit while you melt the coconut oil (if you are using it) on the stove.
  5. To the milk mixture, add flax meal, maple syrup, vanilla and finally, the melted coconut oil. Whisk well to combine and quickly add to dry ingredients (because coconut oil will start to harden and clump if you don’t).
  6. Stir batter just until combined. Using a ¼ cup scoop (or size recommended by manufacturer), pour batter onto preheated waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
  7. Layer on your favorite toppings and enjoy!  (My favorite – almond butter, banana, cinnamon and maple syrup)

Note:  when I first made the waffles, I thought that there was something wrong with the batter. You can see how the middle is brown but the edges do not seem to be cooked?  I have determined that it is all of the tapioca starch that makes this happen because that “uncooked” part seems gooey.  I flipped that waffle and cooked it on the other side for 30-60 seconds and then they seemed fine.  The other side looked fine:

I sprayed my waffle iron with coconut oil before cooking.  I did not have an issue with them sticking but I did see some comments with the original recipe where people complained about having that issue.

Here are some of the changes and additions that I made to the recipe:

  1. The first time I made them, I was out of coconut oil, so I used olive oil.  The consistency of the batter was a little but thinner than it is when you use coconut oil, but the waffles cooked up the same.
  2. I have been trying to go without sugar in recipes, so I made them without the maple syrup and added 1/4 cup more milk and again they tasted a little bit less sweet but they cooked up exactly the same.
  3. I made the batter with 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 tsp. monk fruit powder and the waffles were just a little more sweet like the original recipe.
  4. I am always trying to add more vegetables into my diet so I have added:
    1. grated carrot – I made the batter in my vitamix so the carrots really were more pulverized then grated and the waffles cooked up fine with a lovely orange hue.
    2. grated zucchini – I added one small zucchini to the batter and cooked them up like normal and you would have never know that there was zucchini in there.
    3. I purchased powdered beets and kale from Earthlight and I added a tsp to the batter.  It changed their color a little but the flavor was basically the same once I added all of my toppings.

I hope you enjoy these waffles as much as I do.  It makes about 8 waffles depending upon the size of your iron.  I freeze the extras for a mid week treat!  Bon Appetite!

January Reset

Happy New Year!  Where did 2017 go?  It went by way too quickly for me.  But it’s January again. This is the time when everyone takes a moment to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the new one.  I hear a lot of people talking about health and wellness and what they need to do this year to lose those few extra pounds that creeped on over the holidays or over the past year.  More exercise!  Less Eating!  No Carbohydrates!  No Fat!  No Breakfast!  No lunch! No…fill in the blank with whatever may be popular in the moment!  There seems to be a new craze every week that promises a quick fix – lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks – wow, wouldn’t that be great!   

Unfortunately, most of the “crazes” are not based in reality or may be good for short term fulfillment but they lack staying power.  I prefer to think of this time of year as one for permanent changes not quick fixes.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get off the diet roller coaster?  Wouldn’t it be nice to finally lose those 5-15 pounds and keep them off?  I think it’s time to make a change – you deserve it!  But where do you start?

Start simple!  A lot of us have an all or nothing mentality.  We either exercise everyday for 1 hour or we do nothing.  We either avoid all carbohydrates or we over eat them.  We either eat healthy or we eat all junk foods.  It does not need to be all or nothing.  Let’s start with simple moderation. 

1.       Eat something for breakfast every day.  You need to get your metabolism going first thing in the morning so that you can continue to burn calories all day long. 

2.       After breakfast, eat something (I am not saying a whole meal, but something small) every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism burning.

3.       Eat more vegetables.  Most people I talk to do not realize that they should be eating 5-10 servings of vegetables each day.  That is ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw.  That may seem like a lot, but it can easily happen if you put your focus on eating some vegetables at every meal.

4.       Fruit does not take the place of vegetables.  Limit your intake to 1-2 pieces every day.

5.       Eat protein at every meal and every snack. Protein is what makes you feel full.  It also helps to keep your blood sugar stable which helps to keep sustained energy all day long.

6.       Make sure that your diet contains some good fats.  Olive oil, coconut oil, walnut, almond, flax, MCT, and fish are all good sources of healthy fats.

7.       Walk for 10-15 minutes every day.  This might mean parking a little further away at work or the grocery store, taking an extra flight of stairs instead of the elevator, taking a few laps around your house or office because the weather is bad.  It is not difficult to include more movement in your day if you know that it does not have to be an all or nothing. 

8.       Take a moment to think about what you are eating, be mindful of how quickly you are eating and why, and be thankful for the food on your plate.

9.       When all else fails, seek out some extra help.  I have seen many people through the years who have struggled with their weight, only to find out that they have food sensitivities.  Once they remove the offending foods, the weight just comes off. 

Wishing you all health and happiness in the New Year!