Want the perfect motivation to get that early morning run done? Waffles, of course! And not just any.
A healthy-but-awesomely-delish breakfast, one fit for a food magazine cover, is something about which I often fantasize in the last straightaway stretch to my house on my morning runs - especially weekend long runs. Reality for me, however, is that I grab something that works for the numbers (healthy, calorically appropriate) and is within my window of glycogen restocking opportunity, and that’s it. On with the day.
I’ve wanted to change this lackluster routine forever. I just needed help. Well, to say it has now arrived is the understatement of the year. Of course, it comes via my fantastic friend and great runner Dara Michalski, aka the Cookin’ Canuck. Her ability to make me want to jump on broken glass while barefoot until I can whip up her latest offering is never-ending and all-powerful. Follow her on her blog, via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and you’ll have more healthy culinary inspiration than you can handle. Just warning you.
Without further ado… the breakfast you – and your family – deserve.
Take it away, Dara, my dear Canucky…
Stumbling through the door after a long run on a cold morning, my mind flip-flops between two choices. Hot shower or big breakfast? Both will happen eventually, but I have to wrestle with my priorities. In the end, the breakfast always wins. Really, this choice is inevitable. I think about food all day, every day…why should the minutes post-run be any exception?
More importantly, my body craves healthy protein and carbs following a run. So, out come the whole wheat pastry flour (this provides a lighter texture than regular whole wheat flour), raw walnuts and overripe bananas. For an extra dose of fiber and omega-3s, I sprinkle in some wheat bran and ground flax seeds. Neither of these are detectable. As long as your family doesn’t watch you make the batter, they will never know that you spiked their waffles with “healthy stuff.”
While most waffles call for whipped egg whites for added leverage and lightness, this easy recipe cuts out that step without sacrificing that light texture that makes a plate full of waffles so alluring.
Whenever possible, I substitute natural sweeteners for processed sugars. In this case, maple syrup and sweet, overripe bananas take the place of granulated sugar, and the bananas also lend moisture so that the oil can be cut back to the bare minimum.
All of these healthy changes mean one thing…an extra slice of bacon. Well (ahem)…and a healthy, strong body that will be refueled and ready to take on the day.
Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Waffles Recipe
Makes 5 6-inch round waffles
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp wheat bran
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups nonfat milk
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
Maple syrup, for serving
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, flaxseed, wheat bran, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Stir in the milk, canola oil and maple syrup.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the bananas and walnuts.
Heat a square or round waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions. Coat lightly with cooking spray. For a 6-inch round waffle iron, use 3/4 cup batter for each waffle. Adjust accordingly for smaller or bigger waffle irons.
Cook until the waffles are golden brown. Serve with heated maple syrup.