Sunday, March 27, 2011

Healthy Breakfasts: Malto-o-Meal Waffles

I secretly love Malto Meal, Cream of Wheat, all those hot breakfast cereals that left everyone else gagging.  Grits? Yes, please.  Corn Meal Mush?  Pass the syrup.  Oatmeal? ABSOLUTELY.  Now, any of these things mixed into muffins, waffles, or pancakes?  Pardon my drooling.

I like this recipe because it incorporates whole wheat flour and because we got a new waffle maker!  It makes heart shaped waffles! (Insert me squealing manically, because I personally think heart shaped anything tastes better.)  I also like waffles because it's another fun way to get your kids to eat more fruit- what's better than waffles with chopped strawberries, bananas, and raspberries?  These waffles have a nice light crunch to them, go great with fruit, and yes- you can still have a bit of butter and syrup.

Are you a syrup connoisseur?  I have to admit to being a bit of a food snob when it comes to maple syrup- I like the best, I like grades A or B of real maple syrup.  Rich, thick and dark, so you only need a bit, with a fresh and full maple taste.  I also have a place in my heart for sorghum and molasses, but more on that later.

I know the gold standard for pancakes and waffles are the traditional buttermilk recipes, but make room in your arsenal.  Prepare to be amazed by some healthier versions- oatmeal applesauce, whole wheat, even pumpkin pecan recipes- because I'll be bringing you some other kinds through the next few months too.  We serve up our pancakes and waffles with bowls of heaping fresh fruit, turkey sausage links, fresh squeezed juice, and hot coffee.

Breakfasts are big deals on the weekends here.  We try to get the kids involved with as much as possible- helping pick the fruit, squeezing oranges for juice, stirring things, setting the table, even just playing and singing at the table while we get everything ready.  We like the ritual that big weekend breakfasts bring and love that it's another chance to get our family around the table together, sharing food and laughter.

Crunchy Malt-o-Meal Waffles (or Pancakes)

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. quick Malt-O-Meal
2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat a waffle iron and grease it lightly. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, Malt-O-Meal, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg yolks, and butter.

Beat the egg whites in a mixer until stiff. (A tip I like is to chill the bowl for your egg whites in the freezer for at least 5 minutes, and I always use a metal bowl.  These two things always help me beat egg whites or whipped cream into stiff peaks better and faster.)

Stir the buttermilk mixture quickly into the dry ingredients until almost blended. Then gently fold in the egg whites.

Cook the batter in the prepared waffle iron until crisp and golden (3-5 minutes). Serve immediately or freeze after cooling. To heat after freezing, just pop in toaster for 2-3 minutes.

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