Homemade Waffles and Syrup

Our family is going through the slow, sometimes-painful (when we realize a favorite of ours contains it) removal of red dye from our diets. There are lots of things that got cut out years ago: fruit snacks and the like, Koolaid type drinks, etc.  But it’s in SO much more than you realize when you try to completely cut it out. A few convenience foods that I still bought despite their lack of nutritional value (because let’s face it, sometimes we just need a quick dinner) contain red dye. Like Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and Hungry Jack Belgian Waffle Mix. Really? Why is red dye in these?

Sidenote: I’m not freaking out over birthday treats at school, a snack at a friend’s house, etc. The boys don’t have to be the odd kid out in these situations. I’m just taking it out of our diet at home.

So. Back to waffles.

I used 100 Days of Real Food’s waffle recipe as the basis, thanks to Sonya’s recommendation. I changed up a few things, primarily to make it easier to mix and to be able to use the ingredients I already had in my pantry (I didn’t have any King Arthur white whole wheat flour; just regular white flour and regular whole wheat flour). I made a batch and a half of the original recipe (and that’s what I’m posting below), so there are plenty to freeze. It made 8 huge Belgian waffles.

3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups + 2 Tbl skim milk
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil – because it’s a solid at room temp, melt it down to liquid before using by putting what you need in a measuring cup in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until it’s a liquid)
1/2 cup applesauce
1-2 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-3 Tbl ground flaxseed

Preheat your waffle iron.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cinnamon, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and flaxseed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, applesauce and honey.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk together (doesn’t need to be perfectly mixed). THEN, add the coconut oil while you are whisking the batter, so that it gets evenly distributed. This is important, because the batter is cold and the coconut oil will harden in the batter; you want it to be in tiny bits, not large clumps.

When the waffle iron is hot, ladle some batter onto the center of the iron. I found that, due to the coconut oil, I did not need to grease my waffle iron. Cook as long as you need – my Belgian waffler takes about 3 minutes/waffle.

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These are delicious with maple syrup, of course, but if you want to try something really amazing, make this Buttermilk Caramel Syrup. Oh my goodness…it’s amazing and super easy to make. Three bits of advice: 1. use commercially-prepared buttermilk (instead of adding vinegar to your own milk to sour it, like you can when baking) 2. Using 1/4 cup of butter is fine. 3. Prepare the syrup in a big pan. Bigger than you think is necessary, because when you add the baking soda and have a bubbly chemical reaction, you don’t want to lose this delicious concoction all over your stovetop!

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