Breakfast this morning
About three years ago my cholesterol was borderline high. As I was researching cholesterol and its effects I learned that the nutrients and fiber in grains of whole wheat help reduce cholesterol and have a long list of other nutritional benefits. Whole kernels of wheat have 46 nutrients in them, almost everything the body needs. Bleached white flour has only one: carbohydrates; and that too with a relatively high glycemic index. In "enriched" flour four of the nutrients are added back into the flour at the end of the process. I thought to myself that no wonder a hundred years ago people could live on a diet of bread, cheese and water; you put someone on a diet of (Wonder) bread, cheese and water today and he/she will die very quickly of malnourishment! I also learned that even though you can find whole wheat flour and whole wheat products on the store shelf, milled wheat flour has a short shelf life, i.e. many of the nutrients begin to decompose and by the time you buy a packet of flour at the store it has very little nutrients left. (Read on for the waffle recipe)
Needless to say, I started researching places that would sell whole wheat and ways I could mill it at home. I discovered that there are many, many varieties of wheat. I found a place that would sell wheat in 40-lb drums; this was okay since whole kernels can last a few years. I also discovered that the Germans are big on milling wheat and that you can buy a variety of German made mills. I bought one that uses stone/metal alloy burrs to mill instead of high speed blades. I started making various kinds of bread, pancakes, waffles, pizza, pasta, muffins and many other things. Whole wheat became a regular part of our diet. Within a few months my cholesterol was near the midpoint of what is considered normal range (both HDL and LDL).
This morning I decided to make waffles for breakfast. This is one of my favorite breakfasts made of whole wheat, and the kids like it as well. Here is the recipe (adapted from the BreadBeckers recipe collection). You need a wheat mill and a waffle maker with deep pockets for this recipe. This recipe makes 12 crispy, deep-pocket waffles, each 4-inch square (see photo above). In case you are curious: from the time I woke up until we all finished eating breakfast was about an hour.
Whole Wheat Waffles with Berries and Crème Fraîche (serves 6)
For the waffle:
- 1 cup Hard White Wheat (Hard Red for a slightly nutty flavor)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups of lowfat (1%) buttermilk
- 2 eggs (or white of 3 eggs)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the toppings:
- Maple syrup (Grade A dark amber preferred)
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, washed, stem removed, quartered
- 8 oz fresh blueberries, washed
- 8 oz fresh raspberries, washed
- 8 oz crème fraîche, whipped lightly with fork
- powdered sugar for dusting
Mill the wheat to fine flour. Add salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix well. Add the buttermilk, eggs and vegetable oil and fold into a batter. Make it less lumpy than pancake batter but do not over mix. Follow the instructions of your waffle maker to make the waffles; they should come out crispy and golden brown.
Place two waffles on a plate. Drizzle with desired amount of maple syrup and top with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Add a dolop of crème fraîche (1–2 tbsp) on the side; the crème fraîche helps to cut through the sweetness. Dust some powdered sugar on top and serve immediately.
Note: while baking powder is activated by heat, baking soda is activated by acid from sour things, i.e. buttermilk; so once the batter is made, it won't store for long. You'll have to make the waffles right away. However, once the waffle is made you can freeze them in a ziploc bag for several weeks; before freezing, cool them to room temperature on a paper towel to absorb moisture.