I just had to make a recipe for healthy gluten free vegan waffles or I was seriously going to be in trouble with my sister. My mum and I have been smashing out gluten and dairy free waffles when at her house in Yackandandah, but my sister is strictly an egg free gal. Egg seriously gross her out. For instance, if she drinks from a cup that’s been through the dishwasher with ‘eggy’ dishes she will dry wretch (and hurl abuse). Therefore, if I want my sis to continue to unconditionally love me then I knew that healthy gluten free vegan waffles where mandatory. 😉
When you think about it, really waffles are fancy pancakes right? Waffle batter isn’t far off a pancake batter to be honest. The main difference is that waffle batter tends to have a bit more oil in it to make them crunchy around the edges and a little more raising agents for that puffy rise. When aiming to make this happen with a gluten free vegan approach to waffles one has to think outside the box. Here I’ve used a combination of baking powder and bicarbonate soda to give the gluten free vegan waffles the oomph they need to sit up and come to the party. I’ve also laced them with cold pressed macadamia nut oil that gives them that wonderful crisp outside finish.
Making waffles has always been one of those things I wanted to do because they look so pretty and mouthwatering all in one package. It’s seriously taken me years to get around to buying a waffle iron (correction years of saying ‘I want a waffle iron’ and then Dameon finally getting sick of me going on about it so much that he ordered one online – he is a savvy online shopper). Making gluten and dairy free waffles with Mum over Christmas also finally pushed me to get my butt into gear. Mum had some knock out recipes from Pinterest that we used and then adapted using my own gluten free flour base from this recipe. I can confidently say that our waffles were coming out looking better than Dad and Dameon’s.
Now there are some food rules with waffles that need to be covered so that the experience of eating them is enjoyable. Of course a waffle is a lovely puffy texture with ideally a crisp outside, but if it’s not topped with the best waffle toppings, then it can be a dry experience.
Waffles need juiciness! Traditionally this comes in copious amounts of high fructose corn syrup which is god awful. So, here are my suggestions for the best toppings for healthy gluten free vegan waffles.
- red globe grapes, 100% pure maple syrup and soy ice-cream (pictured here)
- fried banana with honey and peanut butter
- stewed apple with almond butter blueberries with caramel macadamia sauce
- warmed orange segments with creamy chocolate sauce
- strawberries and papaya with peanut butter and lime juice
Of course the list could go on and on, but the point is that you need that moisture in your toppings to sink into the waffle crevasses and create a beautiful sauce to cut through the baked texture of the waffle. As long as you include some type of sauce like activity with your waffle toppings then you will be super sorted.
Now I know a lot of you will ask what waffle iron to buy. Honestly this is new to me. We bought one made in Melbourne (Australian made) and so far so good. I don’t think you need to spend a lot really. My mum got her’s from Aldi from memory and it does the trick. In saying this it’s not like I’ve road tested a load of waffle irons to work out which ones are the best, so I’ no expert.
I am more of an expert however when it comes to putting the ‘healthy’ in healthy gluten free vegan waffles. Too often gluten free vegan alternative baked products are loaded with refined white flours, devoid of fibre and just simply way too much sugar. I wanted to create a waffle recipe that you could confidently have for breakfast every morning if you wanted to. To create this option it meant using a mix of wholegrain gluten free flours such as sorghum flour and brown rice flour with some arrowroot flour to give the batter some lightness. The sweetness comes from the use of the rice milk combined with the maple syrup in the batter, though a small amount compared to the average waffle recipe.
Because the waffle is vegan, it is a little lower in overall protein intake compared to an egg containing waffle. You can combat this by adding toppings with a bit more of a protein kick like nut butters, hemp seeds or even my dairy free yoghurt made with silken tofu. If you wanted to use egg, in my cookbook e.a.t I have a recipe for a One Pan Pancake that I think would actually work well in a waffle iron. If you have e.a.t in your home and you do eat eggs, but are after a gluten and dairy free waffle you could use that recipe base and simply add 1 tablespoon of oil to the batter. If you do this adaption please let me know how you go in the comments below! xo
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healthy gluten free vegan waffles
- 2 – 3 (depending on your waffle iron size
- preparation time
- 15 min
- cooking time
- 3 – 4 min
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup rice milk (or plant based milk of choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup cold pressed macadamia nut oil
- 220g raw zucchini
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or oil of choice for cooking)
This recipe for gluten free vegan waffles is designed to be thrown together in a blender for ease. You can mix the ingredients old school style in mixing bowls if you like, simply mix the wet ingredients together in one bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes, then add then to a bowl with all of the remaining dry ingredients. However, if you are like me and would prefer a quick waffle recipe for any morning of the week, read below.
Place all ingredients in a blender (minus the coconut oil for cooking) and blend till well combined. Allow the mix to sit in the blender to 5 minutes so the chia soaks up the liquids.
While the waffle mixture is resting, preheat your waffle iron to the manufacturer instructions. Brush the waffle iron when ready with coconut oil liberally to ensure a crispy finish and also make sure the waffles do not stick.
Pour in the waffle batter from the blender filling up the waffle iron generously. Close the lid and ensure that you again follow the manufacturers instructions so that the waffle is cooked to your liking. I like mine on the higher setting for a nice crisp waffle.
Once the waffle is ready, carefully remove it from the waffle iron and place on a wire wrack in a warm oven while you cook the other waffles. This will allow the waffle to stay warm and not sweat, while still retaining its crispy edges.
When the waffles are all ready to eat, top them with your favourite toppings. Here I have topped mine with red globe grapes, maple syrup and dairy free vanilla ice cream.
Waffles can be stored in the fridge for 2 – 3 days, though note they will be softer after sitting. They can also be frozen when cooled.
Jessica Cox is a qualified practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and over 15 years of clinical experience. She is the founder and director JCN Clinic, published author and established recipe developer. Jessica is well respected within health and wellness space for her no fad approach and use of evidence-based nutrition.