I had a baking pumpkin from Halloween sitting on my porch. After I roasted it, I made some pumpkin muffins last week, but had too much pumpkin! The leftover pumpkin puree has been sitting in my fridge for a week now and I don't like to waste food. So on a whim, I decided to try to make gluten free pumpkin waffles.
What!? That sounds delicious, doesn't it? But I know gluten free recipes can be a bit finicky sometimes. Keeping that in mind, I decided to use the Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Waffle & Pancake mix I already had on hand.
Arrowhead Mills actually had a recipe on the back of the package for plain waffles, which I adapted (recipe below). As a cliche dietitian, I wanted to add a few extra ingredients to kick up the nutritional profile.
First, the added pumpkin made the waffles a healthy lunch on their own, which is packed full of Vitamin A, B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, potassium, and fiber. These contribute to everything from eye to digestive health.
Nevertheless, I added more!
Both for flavor and nutrition, I threw in a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa. Cocoa is low in calories, and has a small amount of fiber, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and niacin. You won't get your daily recommended value of these vitamins and minerals with a tablespoon of cocoa, but it contributes towards the amounts you need during the course of the day. Plus, it made the house smell like cake!
The two teaspoons of cinnamon I tossed in provide polyphenols and anti-inflammatory properties. These can help fight off pain, inflammation of the arteries, and even help protect against cancer. Cinnamon also can lower your cholesterol, and reduce your blood sugar. Believe it or not, cinnamon can fight off fungal and bacterial infections, too, including bad breath and cavities!
Finally, after the waffles came off the iron, I topped them with a bit of agave syrup (my sister used maple syrup), fresh strawberries, and slices of banana. The strawberries offer phytonutrients that are being researched for their role in preventing Alzheimer's dementia. Bananas, along with the strawberries, provide potassium, fiber, and can even improve mood.
The outcome you ask?
These gluten free pumpkin waffles came out soft, warm and with the coziest of flavors. And despite the syrup, I didn't feel guilty about eating these at all. They made a healthy lunch, and when I paired the waffles with chicken, made a great dinner as well.
So how do you make them? The recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Waffles is below, but remember, you can add your own spices like nutmeg or ginger, toppings like ice cream or nuts, and even use canned pumpkin instead of fresh. Add your own creativity to make it delicious!
The brand of gluten free waffle mix can be exchanged for another as long as it has xantham gum or is added in. The recipe called for whole milk, but I used almond milk. Ensure the milk has some fat and protein to activate the baking powder in the waffle mix. Any oil that you have in the cupboard will work.
GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN WAFFLES (adapted from Arrowhead Mills' recipe)
1 cup gluten free waffle & pancake mix (I used Arrowhead Mills)
2 Tbsp oil
1 cup milk (any kind)
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl while the waffle iron preheats.
Let stand for 2 minutes.
Cook waffles until steam stops coming out of the waffle iron.
Serve with your choice of topping(s).
Chocolate, agave, or maple syrup
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