Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quinoa Waffles & How to Make Breakfast Healthier

I fell into this by accident. I was trying to buy the grain version of quinoa on, because its way cheaper buying it online than in my local stores. But somehow, I didnt pay attention to what I was buying.

Finally my package arrived, and I excitedly opened it. I was planning on making quinoa stir fry later that day. Then to my horror I noticed I bought qunioa flour, not the grain....

I had no clue what to do with it. Searching online for recipes yielded nothing interesting. Plus, many people commentated that this type of flour has a bitter taste to it if you don't use it carefully. Great.

Anyways, I'm not one to let things go to waste so I decided to try this quinoa waffle recipe I found on It came from a book called "Recipes for Food Allergies" by Marilyn Gioannini.

 Quinoa is a great grain and flour substitute because it is gluten free. This is important for people with diabetes. For me its important because it means I wont have a sugar rush and then an energy crash an hour later. Why this happens is explained at the bottom of this post.

Follow this recipe EXACTLY. I thought it was weird adding shredded apples and fruit juice to my waffle batter, but this is important to mask that bitter taste quinoa can have.

3/4 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 dash salt
1/2 cup apple juice or 1/2 cup prune juice or 1/2 cup non-dairy milk substitute
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1 small apple, grated (about 3/4 cup)
1 egg (optional)
This recipe makes about 2 large waffles on a standard waffle maker.
Mix the quinoa flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to incorporate it all together.
Mix the fruit juice of your choice, vegetable oil, and honey together and microwave for 30 seconds so everything mixes well. I used coconut oil instead which is a healthier type of oil.

Now add the fruit juice mixture and the grated apple to the quinoa flour mixture. Mix very well. Then add the fruit juice, oil, and honey mixture.

Cook them in a waffle iron.

I served my waffles with some eggs and my homemade sausage I made yesterday. This combination yields a gluten free waffle with some good protein.

The only issue I had was what to top my waffles with. Syrup is full of sugar, and I wanted to keep my breakfast gluten free...I was not prepared. Unfortunately, I topped it off with a caramelized brown sugar, syrup, and banana mixture. Just add some brown sugar and syrup into a small sauce pan and heat it up on low. Add in sliced bananas and cook slowly until everything is smooth and caramelized. Sorry I didn't measure things, but its so easy to make.
Hey, this is still healthier than traditional waffles! Plus I had to make this taste so yummy that my husband would eat it. Now that I think of it, I probably could have used honey instead of the syrup. Duh! Or maybe I could have just used honey and bananas alone. Anyways, I was trying to make it sweet so my husband would like it. He is not a fan of healthy eating, but he says if it tastes good he will eat anything.

I loved the waffles. Tasted great to me. My husband however is quite another story. He has very particular tastes buds. He said it didn't taste like waffles...ok. Waffles to me don't really have a taste besides being starchy. The texture was fine. They weren't extremely light and fluffy, but they were not densely gross either. 
I thought they made a great substitute for traditional waffles. Or maybe my taste buds have been burned off due to how much coffee and hot tea I drink every day. So for those of you who are not so picky, I'm sure you will love this recipe too. I know I will be making them again, even if its just for myself.

The original website I got the recipe from can be found HERE
Why sugary and high glycemic type carbs during breakfast, gives you an afternoon energy slump
I hate eating sugary and carbohydrate full breakfasts. Most traditional breakfast items like cereals, instant oatmeals, breads, muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc...are overloaded with this stuff and overly processed. These types of carbs have what is called a high glycemic index. This means they promote a rapid increase of sugar into your blood stream. Your body reacts by releasing insulin like crazy to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal. This entire process takes a lot of energy and your left feeling tired shortly after. I used to get an afternoon slump everyday, now I don't and I have constant energy levels.
Oh, and why gluten free? Gluten eventually gets processed down in your body to a form of sugar which is a high glycemic type of carb. Thus why a healthy diabetic diet avoids gluten. I'm not diabetic, but I am trying to cut as much sugar from my diet as possible. Plus research came out that showed too much sugar is akin to a poison in your body. It causes tons of diseases so its best to avoid it. That is hard for me because I have a huge sweet tooth, so I'm learning ways to substitute it for healthier options.
For example, I got rid of sugar in my coffee too by using stevia extract. The cheapest place to buy it is from I bought the VitaCost brand stevia extract for $11. Stevia is super sweet. A few drops are just as sweet as an entire spoonful of sugar. Plus, since its not sugar, it doesn't affect your blood sugar levels.

Why cereal and instant oatmeals are bad for you:
Yes they are very convenient and quick breakfast items buts they are so processed and devoid of naturally occurring vitamins, fiber, minerals etc...Instant oatmeals are made instant by removing the harder outer layers of the oat berry/bran (whatever its called), so that it will cook faster. By doing this, everything that is nutritious about the oatmeal has been removed. And they add tons of sugar and artificial ingredients to make it tasty.
I'm not saying all are bad. I buy Mom's Best Naturals brand cereal because it is all natural, low in sugars, retained its fiber content, and has no more than 10 ingredients all of which I can pronounce and know that they are natural. Plus this brand is one of the cheapest healthy cereals you can get. I know a 24 oz box of the frosted wheats is like $2.58 at Walmart.There are tons of other cereals out there. Just read the labels and pick out something that is more natural and less processed.

I love oatmeal too. But I make it myself and I only use steel cut oats because the outer layers have not been stripped off. It takes a long time to cook steal cut oats. The best way to cook them is overnight in a crock pot. Add cinnamon, stevia granules or extract for sweetness, and diced fruit such as apples, and you have a very nutritious breakfast option ready for you when you wake up. I make tons of this stuff and freeze them in individual sized containers. Heat them up in your microwave for a healthier instant breakfast option.
This is the recipe I use for overnight steel cut oats, except now I use the stevia extract instead of brown sugar. Click HERE.

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