Monday, July 25, 2011

Gluten-Free Goodness: Sweet Potato Waffles

I like to eat a hearty breakfast. But having a plethora of food allergies can complicate any meal--especially breakfast. Gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, potato-free, oat-free, citrus-free...these words do not really go with breakfast. While a bowl of cereal with some fruit won't cut it, I hate spending a lot of time in the kitchen, and I don't have the time during the school year. So, as a sort of compromise, I double, triple, and sometimes quadruple recipes for things like bread and sweet potato waffles, our breakfast staple. The recipe is easy, prep is quick if you plan ahead, and they are delicious! Bradley and I quadruple our sweet potato waffle recipe so that we have enough of our breakfast staple to last a week to a week and a half depending on whether we eat one or two waffles each morning.

Below is the sweet potato waffle recipe we use, along with notes about our modifications and preparation. The recipe is a modified version of Carol Fenster's recipe in Gluten-Free Celebrations (a must-have cookbook for any with celiac disease).  NOTE: This recipe is for a single batch. We quadruple this recipe each time we make it.

Recipe for a single batch of sweet potato waffles:
*1 cup of brown rice flour
*1/2 cup tapioca flour
*1/4 cup corn starch (We use corn because I'm allergic to potato. If you have a corn allergy, or just want to try a different variation, you can mix up the flours to suit your needs/tastes.)
*1 TBSP sugar (We often leave the sugar out of the mix.)
*2 tsp. baking powder
*1 tsp. cinnamon
*1/2 tsp. salt (I go easy on the salt.)
*1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
*2 TBSP canola oil
*1 medium cooked sweet potato *Be sure to see the tips below!*
*1 1/4 cups milk (We use rice and soy. For our quadrupled recipe, we use one carton of Whole Foods' rice milk--equal to 4 cups--and then one cup of soy. You could use cow milk if you don't have a problem with dairy.)
*1 tsp. vanilla

We mix all the ingredients using our Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and then we use our Krups 4-slice Belgian waffle maker to cook the waffles. These two appliances are probably tied for 3rd most-used appliance in our kitchen. First is our coffeemaker, of course, and second is our newly-purchased Ninja blender. More on the blender and some delicious, food-allergy-friendly smoothies another time... Back to the waffles...

Tips for making delicious sweet potato waffles:
*We've learned that the best way to handle the sweet potatoes is to cook them in the oven just before making the waffles. Since sweet potatoes are a staple food in our house, we bake a bunch of them at a time. We place the scrubbed and poked sweet potatoes in glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, cover them with aluminum foil, and bake for about 45 minutes at 450 degrees. We use four sweet potatoes for our quadrupled batch of waffles. Once they're baked, the sweet potatoes are fairly easy to scoop out from the skins and add them to the batter. Another (time-saving) option for the sweet potato prep is to bake them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to make the waffles. Since it's outdoor-grilling season, Bradley has even baked some on the grill while grilling another meal to save time with this step.

*Add applesauce to keep them moist. We used to add applesauce (1/2 a cup to a cup for our quadrupled batch) to help keep the waffles moist. Bradley finds them to a bit dry, particularly when they're reheated, but the applesauce addition did the trick. Since discovering that I'm allergic to apples, this addition to the recipe is out, but Bradley still eats his waffles with applesauce.

After making a big batch for the week, we store the waffles in Ziploc freezer bags and freeze them so we can enjoy them throughout the upcoming week or two. We reheat them in the microwave using the defrost setting. Since each microwave is different, it might take a bit to find just the right setting and time to reheat your waffles to perfection.

We enjoy our sweet potato waffles with some Smart Balance and syrup or buckwheat honey. Enjoy them with some fresh fruit...and maybe a few slices of turkey bacon. The waffles have been a hit with family. We make a big fresh batch when we have guests over for breakfast.

Just be careful if you have a dog like ours...Tucker loves sweet potato and is always trying to get his paws on some of the waffles! :) Here he is waiting patiently, just hoping that the stack might fall over.

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