I've posted about waffles and pancakes before because they're so adaptable. Between the readiness of the waffles (made from scratch vs. a mix vs. frozen), the mix-ins, and the toppings, waffles can be anything you want them to be.
For these, I'm making a Walnut Waffle Parfait. The waffles take the place of the granola that's typically found in a parfait. However, I'm mixing walnuts into the waffle batter and then topping the cooked waffles with plain yogurt, fruit, and some more walnut pieces.
Walnut Waffle Parfait has a natural sweetness to it from the fruit and walnuts. The yogurt provides more of a binder between the waffles and toppings than a flavor enhancer, similar to the way frosting holds together two layers of cake.
What I like is the combination of textures. Soft waffles and fruit with crunchy walnuts and creamy yogurt work well together.
You can change the flavors with different fruit toppings. Consider raspberries for more of a tart flavor, avocado for a more savory and creamier taste, or baby oranges for a citrusy zest.
Sometimes I make waffles completely from scratch, but when I don't want to spend too much time preparing breakfast in the morning I either pop frozen waffles in the toaster and dress them up, or I compromise with a store-bought waffle mix.
For this recipe, I used Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle mix. It's a reliable gluten-free mix that's slightly sweetened. The pancakes and waffles turn out perfect every time. You'll need a waffle maker.
If you choose to use this mix, following package instructions will get you 1 serving of waffles. You can double or triple it depending on how many you're cooking for. My recipe below doubles it since there are two in my household.
It will require eggs, butter, and cooking spray. If you're vegan, consider one of these egg substitutes and oil or a vegan butter in place of the milk-based butter.
A handful of California walnuts is a versatile snack and can satisfy any taste preference, from savory to sweet. Regardless of your flavor preference, walnuts are the only nut to provide an excellent source of the plant-based omega-3, ALA (2.5g/oz).
Walnuts have between three times more polyunsaturated fat content than peanuts. (1) Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and omega-3s (a type of PUFA) are healthy fats. They help support heart health, infant brain development, and eye vision.(2)
I tend to use strawberries and bananas to top off waffles because of the potassium and fiber in each. Diets containing foods that are a good source of potassium and that are low in sodium, like strawberries and bananas, may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.(3)
A serving of 8 strawberries also have a full day's worth of vitamin C.(4) If that's not enough, strawberries are a source of folate and contain only 8g of sugar per serving- perfect for those trying to lose weight or manage diabetes.
However, you'll be getting beneficial nutrients from any fruit you choose to use.
Yogurt is a dietary source of probiotics and is recommended over supplements. Because supplements are not regulated by the FDA, it's sometimes a health and financial risk to take supplements. Many "probiotic" supplements do not contain the live cultures that would benefit your gut bacteria. Yogurt, however, usually does contain the good bacteria you need.
Beware! Yogurts today are very high in sugar. I recommend a no-added-sugar yogurt with no more than 8g of total sugar per serving. (These would be the natural sugars found in milk- glucose and galactose.) Greek is preferred because it contains more protein (and usually less sugar and fat).
If you don't have plain Greek yogurt (any fat content is nutritious), then use something with as little sugar as possible. You can always add in vanilla extract, a bit of honey, or fruit to sweeten it up.
Here's the easy recipe.
Walnut Waffle Parfait
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Cook Time: 10 mins.
Total Time: 20 mins.
Yield: 5 large waffles
Gluten-free pancake & waffle mix prepared according to package instructions for 4-5 waffles (I used Pamela's)
-OR- Frozen waffles
1 cup walnuts
1 lb. strawberries
2 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Make waffle batter according to package instructions. Add in 1/2 cup of walnuts to the batter. (If using frozen waffles, just pop in the toaster.)
Add batter to pre-heated waffle maker and cook until steam stops coming out.
While waffles are cooking, peel and slice the banana and set aside. Wash, dry, and slice the strawberries and set aside.
Remove waffles from iron and top each with about half a cup of yogurt.
Top each waffle with an equal amount of banana slices, strawberry slices, and the remaining walnuts.
Nutrition per waffle:
Calories: 374 Protein: 17g Carbohydrates: 18g Total Fiber: 4g Added Sugars: 0g Total Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 48mg Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g Sodium: 179mg Potassium: 353mg
(1) USDA FoodData Central. (2020). Walnuts. Peanuts. [database]. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/784392/nutrients
(2) National Institutes for Health. (2019). Omega-3 fatty acids: Fact sheet for health professionals. Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/
(3) United States Food and Drug Administration. (2000). Health claim notification for potassium containing foods. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/health-claim-notification-potassium-containing-foods
(4) USDA FoodData Central. (2020). Strawberries. [database]. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/786790/nutrients