Monday, September 17, 2012

Oat Flour Waffles & Real Maple Syrup

Hello again friends. Bet you didn't expect to see a new post this week, eh? I don't blame you. But things are really starting to calm down. One thing is for certain, a wonderful (and grueling) fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is over. Our Ladies Social turned out great.
Dressing in style at the Ladies Social
But with that over, I was able to get another relaxing chore day at home with my husband this weekend. And we started the day right by sleeping in before I made us waffles. But these aren't your everyday kind of waffle. I made the mixture myself and with oat flour verses all purpose.
Waffles = Om nom nom
So why oat flour you ask? Well, in our attempt of getting to a more natural/traditional/hopefully healthier diet, I'm trying to replace nasty uber-processed ingredients with items in mother nature's pantry. Normally it's as easy as using olive oil instead of canola. But processed sugar and flour appear to be awful on the body since those lack any kind of nutrient. So those two are on the top of my list of figuring out replacements.

Nutrient-speaking, oat flour is a great substitute for all purpose flour. Oat flour contains more protein, dietary fiber and calcium. Also (depending on if it's from gluten-free oats) the flour can be gluten free. Oats in general are a great way to help your heart and reduce your cholesterol, so it seemed logical to try to implement more into my baking. And I have a lot on hand since I use it for our dog biscuits. Also, if you have a food processor- you can make your own flour.
This is not homemade, but here's an idea of it's consistency
BUT I have to warn you that oat flour is not the exact same as all purpose flour. Since I've incorporated it (and Amish butter) into my cooking, I've noticed a distinct consistency difference- mostly for the better. But the waffles (and other baked goods) are more moist and dense. It's still delicious, but keep that in mind when you try to replace your own baking ingredients.

So Sunday morning, I decided to attempt this waffle recipe, but changed a few things. So here's what I did:
- 1 1/3 c Oat Flour
- 4 t baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 3 t sugar
- 2 t cinnamon
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 c butter, melted
- 1 3/4 c 2% milk
I pretty much did everything that recipe called for, just added my own flare and ensured at least one meal that day didn't contain processed flour. It turned out great. The only thing I would note is that I had to put my waffle iron on a lower heat and baked longer. That's because the oat flour is so thick, it took awhile to cook all the way through. But after a few lame attempts, our last two turned out perfect. It's always nice when an experiment turns out delicious, right?
Oh, and while I'm on the topic, I'm going to bash fake maple syrup for a moment. It's unnatural. It's unhealthy. And most importantly: it. tastes. gross. I was raised on only have real maple syrup on my pancakes and waffles. I've tried the fake stuff (normally when we go out for breakfast) and I can't do it. In fact, I normally smuggle a small bottle of real syrup. I know I'm a syrup snob. My husband has made that fact known for years; but if the taste alone won't convince you, here's something to think about: normally, fake syrup contains mostly high fructose corn syrup. With that, it normally doesn't have any nutritional value. And while I wouldn't say you should go chug a jug of Canadian maple syrup, the real stuff does contain manganese and zinc, which can boost your immune system. Both generally have the same calorie count. Real maple syrup is mostly made up of sucrose, with a little bit of fructose and glucose.
My Smuggling Bottle
And in case you actually take my advice and go looking for syrup, here's a tip: in Canada & the U.S., a product can only use the phrase "maple" if it has a high amount of real maple syrup. It's going to be more expense, but your taste buds will love it.

So the moral of these waffles is to try to replace all purpose flour with oat flour in your next baking experiment. And use real syrup next time.

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