Waffles have become more than a weekend thing around here. The boys consider pancakes and waffles for breakfast the ultimate treat – the novelty has not worn off – and they are almost as simple to make as the house stumbles awake on a cold weekday morning as a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, particularly if there are leftovers in the freezer to pop in the toaster.
On this particular morning (post-sleepover, meaning waffles were a must), as I vaguely wondered what to do with a single blackened banana, I stumbled upon these banana waffles made with quinoa flour by Elizabeth and Brian, food bloggers from Brooklyn (I want to be that!) who I met when we were in New York (that does sound pretty cool, too) and really liked. They’re just great people, with a great blog. I wonder what my blog would be like if Mike contributed to it? Mike Mondays? More grilled cheese, I think.
Also: at the risk of turning into the Packaging Police, I must inform you that bottled pancake syrup has a longer ingredient list than I’m comfortable with – syrup should be an ingredient, not contain a lengthy list of them. I myself am hooked on the Real Thing – pure maple syrup (from our friend Manon if at all possible) – but in reality maple syrup is pricier than Scotch. A fairly wee bottle of real maple syrup will run you about $17, which lets face it, sends many people running into the arms of Aunt Jemima.
But let’s take a look at the ingredient list of bottled pancake syrup, shall we? I don’t think most people think to look at the ingredients. It’s just syrup, right? Sadly not. I was at my Mom’s house for brunch over the holidays (sorry Mom) and as a diabetic, she keeps the lite (lower sugar) stuff around. I took a peek. Serendipitously, my dad walked in with groceries at the same time, and had picked up a bottle of the regular stuff. Same thing. This is what the bottle of Aunt Jemima Lite (in Canada) contains:
INGREDIENTS: LIQUID SUGAR, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS, SORBIC ACID, SODIUM BENZOATE, CARAMEL COLOUR, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE, SULPHITES.
If you look up the ingredients on the US website, you’ll get a slightly different spin:
INGREDIENTS: CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.
So. Homemade syrup – why not? It’s just sugar, after all. Like hot cocoa, I’m not sure it even warrants a recipe. Homemade syrup is as cheap as it gets, and as easy to make as heating up stuff from the bottle that you have stored in the fridge. If you like, spike it with vanilla, or maple extract, or a splash of cream, or a handful of fresh or frozen berries. For a flavour twist, use apple cider or orange juice in place of the water.
Brown Sugar Syrup: bring two parts packed brown sugar to one part water or juice to a simmer; cook until the sugar dissolves completely. If you like, add a few drops of vanilla or maple extract. If it seems too runny, simmer it a little longer. Serve warm.
Of course you can keep your own syrup in a sealed jar in the fridge indefinitely.
Quinoa Banana Waffles
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour (or oat flour, or more all-purpose or flour)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 very ripe banana, mashed
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, oil and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, add the mashed banana and stir just until combined.
Pour batter into a preheated waffle iron using a measuring cup or ladle (as much as your particular machine can handle) and cook until golden brown. Keep them warm in a 200F oven, or serve immediately.