Eric Akis: The benefits of quinoa waffles

Advantages include added nutrition, richer flavour and a more delicate texture

Eric Akis

To me, any morning, is a good morning to make and enjoy waffles. But mid-August is probably the very best time to whip up a batch of them.

That’s because at this time of year you can top and complement the taste of waffles with an array of in-season, ripe and flavourful B.C. fruit.

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Doing that also creates a cheery summer breakfast or brunch. It’s hard not to feel happy about having hot waffles on your plate adorned with richly hued, pretty to look at berries, sliced stone fruit, such as nectarines and plums, and/or pieces of fresh fig.

I usually make waffles with wheat flour. But in today’s recipe I switched things up and replaced almost half the amount of it I would normally use with quinoa flour, a good source of protein, iron and fibre.

Beyond providing added nutrition, it also made the waffles more richly flavoured and because quinoa is gluten-free, they were more delicate and tender.

Quinoa flour is sold in bags at most supermarkets. It is not inexpensive. I paid $19.79 for a 623-gram bag, which contained about five cups of quinoa flour. If you don’t use it very often, you may instead want to buy it from a bulk food store, such as Bulk Barn. You’ll need one cup of it for the recipe.

Beyond fruit, and, if desired, some butter and maple syrup, I’ve also given you the option to top the waffles with a citrus-flavoured, sweet and tangy Greek yogurt mixture. It, too, enhances the flavour of the waffles, and also the fresh fruit you top them with.

The waffles with quinoa freeze well, so you might wish to make a double batch of them and freeze some for another time. To do so, once cooked, let them cool to room temperature on a baking sheet. Now put them in the freezer. When frozen solid, pack them in freezer bags or containers and keep frozen until needed. You can thaw and warm the waffles up in a toaster.

Waffles with Quinoa and Summer Fruit

These golden, tender waffles incorporate nutrient-rich quinoa flour into the batter.

Once cooked, you can plate and top them with your favourite summer fruits, cut or left whole, depending on size.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: three minutes per batch of waffles

Makes: 10 (4-x-4-inch) waffles

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup quinoa flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 3/4 cups 2 per cent or homo milk

3 large egg yolks

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 large egg whites

• vegetable oil spray

• cut and whole summer fruit, to taste, such as nectarines, plums, pitted cherries, berries and figs

• butter and maple syrup, to taste

Place flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and thoroughly whisk to combine.

Combine the milk, egg yolks and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and mix until a smooth batter forms.

Place the egg whites in a third bowl, or bowl of your stand mixer, and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk quarter of the whites into the batter to lighten it. Now, with a spatula, gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter.

Preheat the oven to 200§F. Preheat your waffle iron to medium-high (see Note).

When hot, spray the waffle iron’s cooking surface lightly with vegetable oil spray. Spoon 1/2 cup batter into each waffle slot. Quickly spread the batter out so it reaches to the corners.

Close the iron and cook three minutes, or until waffles are golden brown and cooked through. Set the cooked waffles on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest.

Serve the waffles with summer fruit, butter (see Eric’s options) and maple syrup, for topping them with.

Note: My electric waffle maker makes four, four-inch square waffles at a time. It has a temperature range of one to five. When preheating the waffle iron, I set it at three and half.

Eric’s options: Instead of butter, top the waffles with yogurt waffle topping (see recipe below). If desired, you could make the waffles entirely with all-purpose flour, replacing the quinoa flour called for with another cup of it.

Sweet and Tangy Yogurt Waffle Topping

Dollop this sweet and tangy, orange-flavoured yogurt on the waffles just before topping them with summer fruit.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: None

Makes: About 1 1/3 cup

1 cup Greek-style yogurt

1/2 tsp finely grated zest

3 Tbsp orange juice or orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

3 Tbsp packed golden brown sugar

• pinch ground nutmeg

Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with the waffles.

Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks, including seven in his Everyone Can Cook series. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.

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