Courtesy of Fredde 999, Wikipedia Commons

I love waffles. I had forgotten until a recent waffle kick, but they are the perfect carrier of maple syrup (one generous drop in each square, please). The crisp exterior contrasts beautifully with the tender interior and they are flexible enough to support just about any flavor. And, an important consideration for anyone cooking for one, they freeze and reheat beautifully. Unfortunately, the waffle recipe I grew up on is mostly butter. Wonderful, delicious, but the sort of meal you eat twice a year. Literally. Because they are 40% butter.

One way to search for healthier recipes is to review older cookbooks. Sometimes, there are thriftier meals available that cater to families who had lower access to such luxuries as butter and eggs. Particularly during wars, making foods without much sugar, butter, and egg was important.

This is an adaptation from the Joy of Cooking‘s Yam Waffles that uses little sugar. To make them even healthier, I substituted flaxseed and quinoa for part of the flour, switched from butter to oil, and added cinnamon. So, they’re half whole grain, part vegetable, and they have healthy fats! They even taste great, and work for breakfast, snacks, and even sandwiches.

Pumpkin Waffles

This makes a lot, but they are well worth freezing. Expect 12-14 full sized waffles, fewer Belgian waffles.

1 c pumpkin, mashed or canned
6 eggs, separated
2 T sugar or maple syrup
3 c milk or your fake milk of choice
1/4 c oil (use a light olive oil or canola oil)
1 1/2 c gluten free flour mixture*
1/4 c ground golden flaxseed
1/4 c quinoa flakes
2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
Optional: 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/2 t ground ginger, 1/4 t ground cloves

Stir together the egg yolks, pumpkin, sugar, oil, and milk. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, quinoa flakes, spices, and flaxseed. Start whisking the egg whites. Whisk (or beat with a mixer) until they are stiff. Meanwhile, heat the waffles iron.

Stir the dry ingredient into the pumpkin mixture. When the dry ingredients are dampened, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter. When mixed, gently fold the remaining egg white in.

Bake according to the directions of your waffle iron. Don’t try to remove them too soon! One key is to watch the steam coming from the iron. When it decreases significantly, that’s a sign they are close to done.

To freeze, cool completely on cooling racks and pack into freezer bags. Reheat in a hot oven (~400 F) for 5-10 minutes.

*My favorite current blend is a ratio of 1 part brown rice flour: 1 part white rice flour: 1 part mixed potato and tapioca starch. Use any mild flavored blend, or wheat flour for those who can.