Waffles are a food that evoke childhood memories in me and many Norwegians like myself. If someone were to call ahead to say there were coming for coffee back home in Norway, my mother would quickly whip up a batter for waffles and heat up the waffle iron. Waffles, coffee and brown cheese are for me the key components in any successful family gathering, summer or winter.
Traditionally waffles are made with refined wheat flour, sugar and milk – three things that I do not like putting in my food or in my body so when I made waffles the other day I substituted the wheat for oat flour, the sugar for the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes and the milk for home made almond milk.
Wheat flour is highly mucus forming in the body and has little nutritional content as it has been pulverise, heat treated and exposed to air. It is found in so many of the foods that most people eat every single day and causes many people to feel discomfort and bloating. Oats, however, are naturally gluten free and a great source of fibre. They contain a group of antioxidants, avenanthramides, that have proven to protect against heart disease and are a wonderful source of iron and magnesium. Hey, they even contain protein!
I mill my own oat flour using my blender, as flours are foods that have been exposed to air and light for a long time and lost much of their nutritional content through oxidation.
There are many reasons to eat less sugar, too numerous to list in this post. Suffice to say it is not doing any of us any good. Sweet potatoes are deliciously sweet all by themselves and are a highly alkaline food containing no cholesterol and an incredible amount of beta carotene and vitamin A – actually more than any other root vegetable! This makes the humble sweet potato a powerful antioxidant.
Lastly, I choose to cook and bake with home made nut milk in most cases. Finding dairy that is produced in a sustainable and humane way is difficult and dairy that does not come from pasture fed and happy cows are no good for my body nor my conscience. Almond milk, or other nut milk for that matter, is very easy and quick to whip up at home and I make it every other day. Almonds are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids which contribute to lowering “bad”, LDL, cholesterol while upping the “good”, HDL, cholesterol. They contain good amounts of protein and are an excellent source of the “beauty vitamin" that is vitamin E alongside minerals such as phosphorus, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Take that, dairy milk!
The recipe is simple yet delicious and the waffles can be enjoyed as a dessert with sweet toppings such as home made jam, fruits or raw honey, but they can also be made into a savoury and protein packed lunch with sprouts, butter, cheddar and hummus.
If you are not lucky enough to own a waffle iron, I am sure that with half a teaspoon of baking soda this recipe would make excellent pancakes!
Sweet potato waffles
raw butter, for greasing
500 grams sweet potatoes, cooked (unpeeled if organic)
120 grams oat flour
60 ml nut milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
After cooking the sweet potatoes by either boiling or baking, let them cool down and then mash with a masher. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Grease the waffle iron with butter and add a ladleful of waffle batter onto the iron. You want it to be a little bit thick – see picture above. Leave for 2-5 minutes, depending on the heat of your iron (mine is vintage and only has the “on” setting!). To check if they are ready, carefully lift the lid and peek under. The waffle should fall away from the waffle iron quite effortlessly. Cool on a cooling rack and eat them while they are warm.
Photography by Adrian Fisk – thank you!