Thursday, May 16, 2013

Homemade Freezer Waffles (soaked whole grain : gluten-free : nutrient-dense)

Freezer waffles are one of my family's staple breakfast foods.  We make a very big batch once every 4-6 weeks, and then we have the convenience of eating them for breakfast any time we'd like. Whether topped with butter and syrup, butter and jam, or even nut butter and jam, we all love to eat waffles for breakfast.

Years ago, I made freezer waffles from soaked spelt and soaked oatmeal.  Now that we avoid gluten and try to limit most grains (since they can cause behavior problems in our daughter), I developed a new freezer waffle recipe based on millet, arrowroot, and coconut flour.  Even though I use whole millet in this recipe, a grain grinder is NOT required as a blender works wonderfully to grind the millet.

These waffles hold together well and can be warmed in the toaster oven or toaster.  Like most freezer waffles, they need to be watched carefully to make sure they don't burn. I've given recipe amounts for the both the huge batch that I make as well as a smaller amount in case you want to start with less.



Freezer Waffles

Huge batch: makes 30-32 sets (60-64 individual) waffles
Smaller batch: makes 10-11 sets (20-22 individual) waffles

  • Equipment Needed:
    • blender OR grain mill
    • whisk or hand mixer
    • waffle iron
    • cooling racks
    • wooden spatula, or similar utensil for removing the waffles from the waffle iron
    • ladle or measuring cup for batter
    • kitchen shears, or a knife, but the shears work much better
    • food service film (or you can use normal plastic wrap, but the food service film works much better)
    • parchment paper (optional)
  1. Soak the millet: The day before you are going to make waffles, carefully sift through the millet to look for any small pebbles. (I always find at least one or two pebbles, so don't skip this!) Then put the millet in a blender.  Blend the millet for a bit, until it doesn't seem to be grinding up any finer.  Add the whey (or vinegar) and water to the blender.  Blend it all together for several minutes to further grind the millet.  (If you are using a grain mill instead of a blender, just grind the millet first and then combine it with the water and whey/vinegar.) Transfer this mixture into a bowl and cover it. (I like to transfer use a Pampered Chef glass bowl with a lid.) Let this mixture soak at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  2. Melt the butter. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Turn off heat and let cool a bit.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the salt, baking soda, coconut flour, arrowroot, and sucanat.  Whisk it all together.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients. Get out a large bowl for the wet ingredients.  You will need to use a VERY large bowl (at least 3 quarts) if you are making the huge batch. Combine the eggs, milk kefir, sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract in the bowl.  Mix it all together.
  5. Add in the millet. Add the soaked millet to the wet ingredients and mix it all together. 
  6. Mix in the dry ingredients followed by the butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.  Then mix in the melted butter.
  7. Preheat the waffle iron. I like to place the waffle iron on top of a kitchen towel to catch any waffle batter overflow.
  8. Set up the work area. To make the process go smoothly, you'll need to put a little thought into setting up the work area for making the waffles.  I like to place the waffle iron next to my very large bowl of batter.  I also use a wooden spatula to remove the waffles from the waffle iron, so I put this in the same row as the waffle iron and batter.  I also set up my cooling racks nearby for ease of transferring the cooked waffles to the cooling racks.  And finally, I have a location for the food service film which will be used to wrap up each set of waffles.
  9. Cook the waffles. Once the waffle iron is hot, start cooking the waffles.  Use a ladle or measuring cup to pour the batter into the hot waffle iron. One trick to knowing when the waffles are done is to watch the steam coming from the waffle maker; when the steam coming from the waffle iron has reduced considerably, they are near-done.  DON'T repeatedly check on the waffles, as they will get wrecked if the waffle iron gets opened too early.  The waffles are done when they are a light golden brown. They will be a little soft, but that is fine since they need to be a little underdone when you'll be freezing them. (But if you want to eat some right away without freezing them, go ahead and cook them until they are more of a medium brown color.)
  10. Cool the waffles. Transfer the cooked waffles to the cooling racks. Allow them to cool until they reach room temperature.
  11. Trim the waffles. Use the kitchen shears (or a knife) to trim the little extra bits from the edges of the waffles.  If you don't trim the waffles, these little bits will burn when you toast the waffles later on.  These little extra bits can get fed to any little helpers who are watching the waffle-making, or they can even get fed to backyard chickens.
  12. Wrap the waffles. Wrap each pair of waffles with the food service film. If you are concerned about plastic touching your food, you could put a small piece of parchment paper on each waffle before wrapping.  I don't worry about plastic leaching, though, since I make sure the waffles are nice and cool before wrapping them.  One good trick for making sure the waffles won't freeze together is to wrap a small amount of the food service film around one of the waffles so that it will be between the waffles. 
  13. Freeze the waffles.  The waffles freeze best if they are placed on their sides in the freezer,  rather than laid flat. If you have problems with the waffles falling through the slits in your freezer shelves, just place a piece of paper underneath the waffles, directly on top of the freezer shelf.
  14. Reheat the waffles. The beauty of this method is that you will have plenty of frozen waffles that can be eaten for breakfast with minimal effort any time.  Just remove the plastic wrap (and optional parchment paper), and then toast the waffles lightly.  Just as with commercial frozen waffles, you'll need to watch these carefully to make sure they don't burn in the toaster.  (I use a toaster oven to reheat my waffles, but they will do fine in a normal toaster too, especially if it has a frozen food setting.)
  15. Top with butter and your favorite toppings. We typically enjoy these waffles with lots of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. Fruit such as blueberries or bananas taste great on top, and maybe even a sprinkle of crispy pecans. These waffles are also great when topped with jam or even made into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

10 comments:

The Entwife said...

yum. I would pin this if you had a pin it button. I would like to try it.

Sarah Smith said...

Oh, thanks for this reminder! I used to have a Pinterest button, but it disappeared recently and I've had trouble getting it back because Blogger changed some things around. I'll work on it some more.

Sarah Smith said...

Nope. Just spent two hours trying to get it to work, but I can't get it to show up properly.

mygapsmusings said...

Wow, these look amazing!! I hope I can make these once I go back to grains.
Just one note of caution: don't eat to much millet. It is goitrogenic. Read here:
http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/beware-of-millet/
Have you tried sorghum? I used to love using it in my GF baking. Delicious and very similar to wheat.

Sarah Smith said...

Wow, thanks for the link! I had no idea millet was goitrogenic. I think we are likely fine, as besides a waffle a time or two each week, we don't typically eat any other millet. But I'll keep this in mind!

Anonymous said...

Wow these are great! I usually make small batches for new recipes but took a leap of faith here and made the big batch since my 18 month old loves all things sour. I thought these would last a while but my husband, who cringes every time I break out the kefir, loved these! Also I soaked the whole grain millet for 5 days, then blended it. It was fermenting gargoling goodness. Glad I went big!

Sarah Smith said...

Hooray, thanks for letting me know! I was wondering if anyone would be brave enough to go big!

Vickie said...

These look great! We don't have a waffle maker, do you think they would also work as pancakes?

Sarah Smith said...

Yes, they should work as pancakes, too! You might want to thin the batter a little with more milk to get your desired consistency.

Vickie said...

Thanks Sarah! I'll try to find time in the next few weeks to give them a try. I'll let you know how it goes! I love the ingredient list and think my babes will love them.