What does family mean to you?
This is a question I’ve thought a lot about. As a child, I was taught that blood is thicker than water. Since becoming an adult, however, I’ve realized that isn’t always the case. I’ve spent the last decade of my life in different places across the globe: Hong Kong, Scotland, Canada, and, for a few months, the U.S. Even though I was away from my immediate family most of the time, I found family in those I met. I’ve been blessed to have so many new people enter my life, and together, they’ve formed the fabric of my life story thus far. It’s strange to think that, at some point, all of them were just strangers or acquaintances… because now, I see them as members of a far-reaching and ever growing family tree.
I bring up the topic of family because this month’s Recipe Redux challenge was to share a favourite recipe meant to bring families back to the dinner table. I decided to share a breakfast/brunch dish because a.) breakfast for dinner is totally acceptable and b.) waffles are my favourite thing to make for my friends and family. As a child, I spent many Saturdays eating frozen Eggo toaster waffles, Sara Lee pound cakes, Betty Crocker muffins, and Aunt Jemima pancakes. Ovens weren’t a common kitchen appliance and my parents weren’t fussed with buying fancy kitchen gadgets like electric mixers, blenders, or waffle makers.
When I got older, my love for cooking got the best of me and I filled my kitchen with all the appliances I grew up without, including my beloved waffle maker. It’s hard to believe there was a time in my life when I didn’t own a waffle maker, because my waffle maker has since become an important part of my social life. It usually comes out on weekends, when I invite people over for breakfast, or late at night, when I’m craving a sweet treat. Last week, my sisters and mom arrived in Toronto, and I decided to make waffles to celebrate. These are simple, basic waffles that I made by tweaking my recipe for vegan and gluten-free pancakes. I served them with local Ontario peaches and plums that were bursting with sweetness and tender to the touch; they were so lusciously ripe and fragile that the grocer hesitated to place them in the bag with my other produce. You can top these waffles with your fruit of choice, but if equally luscious stone fruit exists where you live, I think it would be a mistake to not pair the waffles with them.
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder or potato starch
- pinch of salt
- coconut oil, to grease the waffle maker
- fruit and maple syrup for serving
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax + 3 tablespoons warm water)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your waffle maker to its medium heat setting. Mix the almond milk, water, and apple cider together in a bowl and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the ground flax with the water and set aside for 5 minutes as well. While they sit, combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond milk and flax mixture. Add the vanilla and maple syrup. Sift the dry ingredients in gradually and whisk until thoroughly mixed.
- Brush your waffle maker with some coconut oil, and once the waffle maker is hot, pour the batter in and allow the waffles to cook for 3-5 minutes. 3-4 minutes will give you softer and fluffier waffles, while 5+ minutes will give you harder and crunchier waffles.
- Once finished, gently remove the waffles from the waffle maker with a spatula. Serve with fruit and maple syrup.
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