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Not Just for Breakfast: Light Pancakes and Waffles

by Nanette Blanchard


Most of the countries of the world serve some sort of pancake, from French crepes to Russian blini. Even waffles can either be Belgian or just plain American. Unfortunately, many waffle and pancake recipes are high in fat and really heavy. Is it possible to lighten up your morning pancakes? Yes, it is!

Sourdough starters, yeast, and other leaveners like baking soda and baking powder are used in dairy-free pancakes and waffles. All these batters will improve after standing; so don't be afraid to cover and refrigerate overnight before cooking. Leftover pancakes and waffles freeze quite well. I use the microwave to heat up frozen pancakes, and I pop frozen waffles into the toaster to regain their nice crispy texture.
Pancakes should be cooked on a hot griddle. One way to prepare pancakes for a large group of people at the same time is to use a large griddle or two or three nonstick skillets at once. I have a nice enameled cast iron griddle that fits over two range burners; so I can prepare about 8-10 pancakes at the same time. To keep pancakes warm until serving time, place on a platter covered with foil in a 200- degree oven. Waffles should be placed directly on your oven's racks at 200 degrees to keep warm.
All waffle irons are not created equal. I've tested several different models and found some are more nonstick than others. To prevent a sticky waffle disaster, pre-season your waffle iron each time you make a batch by brushing with vegetable oil or spraying with vegetable cooking spray. Repeat this process if you notice the waffles beginning to stick.
Whether you use your grandmother's heavy old four-waffle baker or one of the new fancy-shaped nonstick models, you really don't need to use a lot of oil to cook waffles. Some new waffle irons have a temperature setting which gives you more control over the waffle's doneness. (All the waffles in this article were tested in Vitantonio's Five-of-Hearts nonstick waffler.)


APPLE PANCAKES
(Makes 10 three-inch pancakes; serves 3)

These thick, cake-like pancakes are wonderful served with homemade applesauce.

1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons apple juice concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup lowfat soy milk
2 green apples, cored and grated

Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together; mix the apple juice concentrate and soy milk separately. Add wet ingredients to the dry; add the grated apples and stir gently until well blended. Spray skillet with vegetable cooking spray and preheat until it is moderately hot. For each pancake, use about 3 Tablespoons of batter. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Total Calories Per Serving: 300
Fat: 2 grams

ORANGE WAFFLES
(Makes about 6 waffles; serves 3)

This batter burns easily; so set your waffle iron on a low setting. If your waffle iron doesn't have a tempera-ture setting, peek to see if the waffles are done when the waffle maker opens easily. Orange oil, made from the natural oils in orange rind, can be found at gourmet stores. One mail order source is the King Arthur Flour Baker's Catalogue at (800) 827-6836.

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, warmed (about 120°F)
1/2 cup lowfat soy milk, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon orange oil or 1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Dissolve yeast in warm orange juice and let sit for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well for several minutes. Let batter rest, covered, in a warm spot for 30 minutes. Heat waffle iron, pour in the appropriate amount of batter for your specific model, and spread to the edges of the waffle iron. Close and cook until gently browned.

Total Calories Per Serving: 409
Fat: 7 grams

SOURDOUGH STARTER
(Makes about 1 cup starter)

It is simple to make your own sour-dough starter at home, and you can add prepared sourdough starter to any of your waffle or pancake batters.

1 cup warm water
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast

Mix all ingredients well, cover, and let stand in a warm place for 24-48 hours until bubbly and sour-smelling.

SOURDOUGH WAFFLES
(Makes 6 large waffles; serves 3)

This recipe can be used for either sweet or savory waffles. For a delicious breakfast or dessert waffle, add either 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or 1 cup peeled, diced peaches, slightly crushed.
You do have to prepare part of this recipe the night before for the starter to work.

1 cup Sourdough Starter (see previous recipe)
1 cup lowfat soy milk
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix sourdough starter, soy milk, and 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 12-24 hours. When ready to cook, add the remaining 1 cup whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Heat waffle iron, pour in the appropriate amount of batter for your specific model, and spread to the edges of the waffle iron. Close and cook until gently browned.

Total Calories Per Serving: 302
Fat: 2 grams

SPICY CORN PANCAKES
(Makes 12 three-inch pancakes; serves 4)

These delicious pancakes make a terrific dinner when served with a bottled salsa for topping. I use chipotle chili peppers that are canned in adobo sauce, but you can also use dried chipotles. Let the dried peppers soak in warm water for several minutes before you dice them.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 chipotle chili peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, diced
1 cup lowfat soy milk

Mix whole wheat flour with salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix corn, chipotles, garlic, scallions, and soy milk. Gently blend wet ingredients with dry until well mixed. Spray skillet with vegetable cooking spray and preheat until it is moderately hot. For each pancake, use about 1/4 cup batter. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Total Calories Per Serving: 302
Fat: 2 grams

CORNMEAL WAFFLES WITH CHILI TOPPING
(Makes 4 large waffles; serves 4)

This chili topping is also good with the Spicy Corn Pancakes. The chili topping can be made in advance and reheated once the waffles are hot.

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup lowfat soy milk
1 Tablespoon oil

Chili Topping:
Vegetable cooking spray
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 cups cooked pinto or kidney beans

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Add soy milk and oil and stir gently until well blended. Heat waffle iron, pour in the appropriate amount of batter for your specific model, and spread to the edges of the waffle iron. Close and cook until gently browned. Serve immediately.

For Chili Topping:
Spray nonstick skillet with vegetable cooking spray and sauté onion and pepper over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add chili powder and beans and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Pour chili topping over cornmeal waffles.

Total Calories Per Serving: 332
Fat: 6 grams

Questions regarding items on this page should be directed to: vrg@vrg.org.

HTML reformatted by Richard Jacob, Jr. September 2000.



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August 30, 2000

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