Friday, February 12, 2010

Buckwheat Blender Waffles or Pancakes

This recipe is adapted from Sue Gregg's Blender Pancakes or Waffles recipe. (I highly recommend Sue Gregg's cookbooks.)

Buckwheat is supposedly technically a fruit, not a grain, so these could be considered grain-free.

Measure 1 cup buckwheat and rinse. We used raw buckwheat (whole light-colored kernels, with the hulls removed), but Sue Gregg recommends sprouting buckwheat.

Put rinsed buckwheat in the blender and cover with about 1 to 1 and 1/2 cup(s) raw buttermilk, yogurt or kefir thinned with filtered water to buttermilk consistency. (For a non-dairy alternative, use rice milk, nut milk or water with 1 Tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar as part of the liquid).

Soak 6-12 hours or overnight.

Add to buckwheat mixture in blender:

2 Tablespoons chia seeds, ground or whole (optional--or you can substitute other types of edible seeds such as flaxseed if desired)
1 egg (optional--you can leave out or substitute)
2 Tablespoons oil, melted butter, or melted coconut oil
(optional) 1-2 teaspoons honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener
Enough liquid to blend, if necessary. A thinner batter is better for pancakes.

Preheat waffle iron.

Blend buckwheat mixture very well at highest setting until smooth, 3-6 minutes or more. Add more liquid if necessary for blending.

Meanwhile, mix together:

1/2-1 teaspoon baking soda (adjust the amount depending on the acidity of your liquid--more baking soda for higher acidity, less if you are diluting your yogurt or kefir, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon salt

While blender is running, sift baking soda mixture through fine sieve into blender, or drop carefully into vortex of blender. Turn off the blender as soon as the baking soda mixture is thoroughly mixed in.

Thoroughly grease or oil hot waffle iron and bake waffles until they have mostly stopped steaming (for both of my waffle irons, this is slightly longer than the iron's doneness indicator).

Carefully loosen waffle from iron (with non-metal implement if using a nonstick iron). We eat these plain, but you can top with fruit, syrup, whipped cream, or just about anything else. If you leave out the sweetener, waffles make a great base for things like sausage gravy, creamed tuna, or chicken a la king.

Waffles freeze or refrigerate well, and can be reheated in the toaster.

Troubleshooting and Variations:

* You can leave out either the egg or the seeds, but you probably need one or the other to bind it and keep the waffles from sticking to the waffle iron.

* Gluten-free waffles tend to stick to the iron more, so it's important to grease well and remove the waffles gently. Also make sure the waffle is done (has stopped billowing steam) before lifting the cover of the iron.

* You can leave the oil out or reduce to 1 tablespoon, but will still need to grease the waffle iron and the waffles may stick more. Increasing the flaxseed will allow you to reduce other added oils without so much of a sticking problem.

* If you wish to use plain water or un-soured milk or dairy substitute, reduce the baking soda to 1/4-1/2 tsp. The waffles won't rise as much and may be a bit more bland, but they should still work.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Flaxseed egg substitute

For 1 egg: 1 Tbs ground flax seed, mixed with 3 Tbs hot water

For 2 eggs (in some recipes, this amount can substitute for 1 large egg): 2 Tbs. ground flax seed, 1/4 cup hot water

You can either just let this sit for a while and then add to the recipe, or you can cook the flaxseed and water until gelled, let it cool and then if desired you can whip it to add more lift to your baked goods. You may need to add 1-2 Tbsp more water for the cooked and whipped version.

Another thing I've done when I want to substitute for 1 to 4 eggs is just add 1/4 cup or so of flaxseed meal to my recipe and increase the liquid a bit if needed. Flax seed contains quite a bit of oil, so you may be able to omit or reduce other oils in the recipe. It's pretty flexible, so you can play with the amounts without hurting your baked goods too much.

I do recommend using ground flax seed, or grinding it in a coffee grinder or spice mill to release the oils and the nice sticky compounds in the flaxseed that make it a good binder in baked goods.

If you're trying to make something like waffles and they are sticking, either grease your griddle better or try adding another tablespoon of flax seed and the corresponding amount of water.