There is a fantastic cookbook that you really must pick up: The Splendid Grain, by Rebecca Wood. The author explores sweet and savory applications of grains from around the world, many of which can be purchased in bulk from a well-stocked, natural foods store. Organized by continent of their provenance, grains from amaranth to tef are introduced and described in sumptuous detail. Though the recipes are not necessarily vegan, many of them can be nudged into animal-free territory with a few simple modifications.
The recipe at the top of my "must-try" stack was Overnight Buckwheat and Millet Waffles. I love waffles, always claiming at least two when my mom made a batch on a laid-back weekend morning. Unlike Mom's, though, this recipe includes no flour. Instead, the duo of whole grains is soaked overnight and then blended with the other ingredients into a smooth batter. It sounded delicious enough to make me disregard the memory of the last buckwheat dish I'd made (a steamed kasha salad that tasted like dust). Alas, there were no buckwheat groats to be found at my local Whole Foods. What a convenient excuse to use oats instead!
In addition to the oat substitution, I replaced the milk and egg of the original recipe with vegan baking ingredients. Any non-dairy milk should work, and I used Blue Diamond Almond Breeze in the chilled Original variety. This was my first time to try the product, which was tasty on its own, in addition to performing well in the waffle batter. In place of the prescribed single egg, I opted for Ener-G Egg Replacer. While it doesn't bring any additional nutrition or flavor to the party, I've found that Ener-G works really well in loose batters like this one. I may try using ground flaxseed in the future, but there seems to be a trick to using it: changing the proportion of flax to water will give it more leavening or binding properties. Ener-G is a safe choice for this application, and it delivers predictably egg-like results!
Since shredded coconut is among the ingredients, I used unrefined coconut oil in place of the butter. The spice trio of orange zest, cinnamon, and coriander were a refreshing match to the mildly-sweet coconut. There is no sugar in the recipe, which is appropriate, since the only thing to do with a waffle is to drown drizzle it with maple syrup (and perhaps a dab of Earth Balance). For a special occasion like Mother's Day (May 9, 2010) or Husband's Day (every day), serving with orange-infused maple syrup would add a special touch.
You should make these waffles. They will motivate you to dig out the waffle iron more often. Or, in my case, to buy a waffle iron, since Mom's probably going to want hers back to make a batch of her own. Enjoy!
Overnight Millet, Oat, and Coconut Waffles
adapted from The Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood
makes 4 waffles
- 1 cup millet, lightly toasted and crushed
- 1 cup steel cut oats, lightly toasted
- 2 1/4 cups almond milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons virgin unrefined coconut oil, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Notes: Your choice of non-dairy milk may be substituted for almond milk. If not using Ener-G Egg Replacer, use substitute of your choice to equal one egg. This batter may take longer to cook than flour-based batter; waffles are ready when surface is light golden brown in color. Suggested additions: one tablespoon of poppy seeds sprinkled in waffle iron before pouring in batter; up to 1/4 cup of chopped pecans added to batter.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add millet, oats, and almond milk. Stir to combine and refrigerate for three to eight hours.
- >When ready to make waffles, preheat the waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Remove soaked grains from refrigerator and pour with all liquid into a blender.
- Prepare Ener-G mixture in a small bowl by vigorously whisking powder in 2 T water until dissolved.
- Add Ener-G mixture and all remaining ingredients to blender. Blend until grain is combined into a loose batter.
- Pour batter onto waffle iron and bake according to manufacturers instructions.
- Serve hot.