Protein Power Waffles
Earlier this year, in an attempt to sneak varying fruits and vegetables into my fussy toddler, I bought a waffle maker. I had been doing my sneaky mama tricks in pancake form, but my oven is an absolute joke and my stove not much better, and everyone knows that cooking pancakes is a pain in the ass at the best of times, especially when you can't even get a consistent temperature on your stovetop. A waffle maker on the other hand, you just turn it on, pour in the batter, shut the lid and let it do it's thing. Its freakin marvelous. No burnt pancakes, no gooey centres, just perfect, fluffy waffles every time. Well, almost.
In my endless attempt to get more nutrients into Louie, I experimented with an array of different batters using every flour under the sun except wheat flour. My go-to was oats, which I would pop in the blender along with some soy milk, fruit, baking powder etc and blend into a batter. Whilst this is genius in concept, these waffles definitely were not blog material. They were healthy and yum, but not the best in texture, and definitely not Louie approved.
Then one day my blender was otherwise engaged (I was probably too lazy to pour my smoothie into a glass and therefore drinking it straight from the blender) so I decided to make some 'normal' waffles. You know, the kind that use good ol' all purpose wheat flour. And a little bit of hemp protein powder which has become my favourite ingredient to experiment with since my pal Roberta told me to switch the hemp seeds for hemp protein in my smoothies to help with my baby-growing. Enter the most delicious, fluffy waffles I have ever made. Louie ate a whole one. A WHOLE ONE! And no there aren't any fruits or vegetables hidden in there and yes they contain a little bit of sugar but fuck me, when you have a toddler who exists on peanut butter on toast, cheese toasties, pasta and the occasional green smoothie or banana, just getting a little bit of hemp protein into him feels like one heck of an achievement.
Anyway, I've made them numerous times since that fateful day, and they are killer every time. If making them just for myself, I leave the sugar out because I get enough sweetness from all of the yummy toppings, but I am at the point with Louie now where I am happy if the kid eats anything and if that means adding a little bit of sugar to some waffles then so be it. Without further ado, my recipe for delicious, fluffy, Louie approved waffles that you would never in a million years guess are vegan. Enjoy!
For the waffles:
1 cup (250ml) soy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup (90g) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (30g) hemp protein powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons raw sugar (optional)
1-3 tablespoons coconut flour
For the toppings:
I have used coconut yogurt, fresh berries, passionfruit and maple syrup on these, but you can use whatever yogurts, fruits and syrups are easily available to you. They are also super yummy eaten on their own, with no toppings.
Turn on waffle maker (duh). Combine soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a mixing jug and leave for a minute so that they can curdle. Add the all purpose flour, protein powder, baking powder, vanilla powder, salt and sugar if using. Whisk to combine.
Add coconut flour, one tablespoon at a time (you probably won't need all of it), whisking well after each addition, until you have a batter that is thick but you can still pour, like a cake batter. This is the key to a good waffle. If the batter is too runny they won't cook through to the middle. The reason I have said 1-3 tablespoons is because the thickness of your soy milk, denseness of your protein powder and whether you use sugar or not will all play a part in how much coconut flour you actually need. If you haven't cooked with it before, you'll be surprised at how absorbent it is. If you don't have any, you can go ahead and use normal flour instead, adding a tablespoon at a time until your waffles have a cake-like consistency.
Pour waffle batter into hot waffle maker and allow to cook until the waffle maker tells you they are done. This recipe makes the perfect amount of batter to fill my waffle maker and get four glorious waffles, however the size of your waffle maker will determine how many waffles you get and/or whether you need to cook this in batches or not. Remove and serve, either plain or with toppings as suggested above.