Autumn is in the air! Crisp, dried leaves, damp…grey skies and rainy days. Summer is officially out of the picture in the midwest, so in with all things apple, pumpkin, and cinnamon, out with the flip flops, berries and floppy straw sun hats. In a way, we are bidding farewell to the easier days, and heading into colder, more trying months. But, lucky for us, we know how to handle this transition, and will find the joys of each season with or without grace. Lately, grace hasn’t been easy for me, and I find myself being more harsh and blunt with people, as well as with myself. So chances are, if you’ve interacted with me the past few days OR if you’re handling the season change like a pro, you deserve a treat.
Comfort comes in many forms, but lately, carbs have been the go-to. Weekend morning (or afternoon, because sleeping in needs to happen sometime, people) waffles, therefore, are on the agenda! We have the time to heat up the waffle iron, the patience to measure out ingredients for batter, and the inspiration to stew some market-fresh local apples with brown sugar (or maple syrup, for a refined sugar-free version) and spices. Bonus: making the spiced apples will fill your kitchen with the sweet, spicy smell of fall. The buckwheat flour lends a nutty flavor to the waffles that pairs so, so well with the sweet, spicy apples. Don’t let the type of flour intimidate you-it is easily found at most grocery stores now, and also bulk aisles of natural food stores/food cooperatives (i.e. Whole Foods, The Willy Street Coop).
Just in case you’re feeling lazy, or can plan ahead like a champ (go you!), the waffle batter annnnnnd the stewed apples can be made the night before. In fact, the waffle batter will age with nicely, and produce an even better waffle after chilling in the fridge. Simply take your batter out when you pre-heat your waffle iron. Ditto with the apples: simply re-warm, and you’re on the road to Waffle Town! For easy mid-week waffle action: make all the batter into waffles, thoroughly cool, and then store in a container or plastic bag in the fridge for up to 3 days (or freezer for up to 2 weeks). Simply re-thaw in a toaster or a quick zap in the microwave. Top as desired, enjoy, and pat yourself on the back for winning at breakfast. Just don’t try to eat a waffle, precariously topped with sunbutter (sunflower seed butter), banana and maple syrup, while driving to work. It will not end well for you, or the waffle. And especially don’t attempt this feat of waffle eating when you are fresh out of “just learned how to drive my recently purchased manual car 101” class. Waffles + clutching + braking + accelerating + shifting = not good.
Get your maple syrup, butter (cow or otherwise), bananas, coffee….whatever else you need for proper waffle-ing….ready, and enjoy! I especially loved these waffles with homemade sunbutter, the stewed apples, banana and pure maple syrup. Annnnnnnd GO!
Buckwheat Waffles with Spiced Stewed Apples // plant-based; gluten-free; soy-free; nut-free option; refined sugar-free option // makes about 4 standard sized waffles & 1 1/2 cups stewed apples //
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk or cultured milk, OR 1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used soy*) mixed with 1 TB apple cider vinegar
- 4 TB melted coconut oil, or other fat of choice (butter, Earth Balance…)
- 1 TB maple syrup or brown sugar
- 1 large egg, preferably locally sourced and/or organic
- optional: walnuts or pecans (omit if needed)
Spiced Stewed Apples:
- 3-4 medium to large apples, washed, peeled and cut into ~1/2″ pieces
- 1 TB brown sugar or maple syrup
- 1 TB coconut oil, butter or Earth Balance
- small pinch sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch dried ginger
Other Toppings: sliced bananas, walnuts or pecans, maple syrup, butter, jam, etc…
*after re-testing this recipe with almond milk, I noticed that the batter made with soy milk was thicker (due to the apple cider vinegar lowering the pH of the soy milk, causing it to thicken). So, if you use soy milk, you may need to add a few more TB of liquid-either more soy milk or water-to think it out just a bit (I ended up using 1 1/4 cup soy milk + 4TB water).
1. In a large bowl, sift the first 5 ingredients together. In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup or brown sugar, and egg. Whisk to combine.
2. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir to incorporate. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes (while your waffle iron heats up), up to overnight in the fridge in a covered container. Allow batter to warm up for 10-20 minutes if using it out of the refrigerator.
3. While the batter rests, start the apples: combing all the ingredients in a 4-cup sauce pan. Heat on medium-high, until the apples release their juices and the mixture slowly bubbles. Turn down to low, place a lid on and cook for 10-15 minutes, checking once or twice and stirring. Cook until apples are tender, or to desired texture. If your apples are watery, simply cook on low with the lid off to cook off excess moisture.
3. Cook ~3/4 cup batter for each standard size waffle, cooking until golden brown and crispy. Optionally sprinkle on a small handful of walnuts or pecans on the batter before closing the waffle iron. Top waffies with apples, and whatever else your heart desires: butter, maple syrup, nut/seed butter, walnuts, bananas….etc.!
The batter. The apples. The giant container of cinnamon you purchased when you moved into your new place, and are now wondering how the hell you are going to use it all before it goes stale. The best peeler in all the lands (It is a Rada brand peeler, is sharp, sturdy, affordable, and made in the good ol’ US of A).
Peeled, cubed apples, fat, sugar, spices. You CAN have it all!
While the waffle batter sits, allow the waffle iron to come to temperature, and also let the apples stew. Revel in the spicy apple aromas! Drink some coffee! Relax!
About 15 minutes later. Now is the time to start making a waffle (or two, or three), and assembling your toppings. Pro Tip: apply butter to waffle BEFORE taking off the hot iron, allowing the fatty goodness to really penetrate into the waffle.
You know what to do now….