giving thanks and whole grain waffles
I didn’t wake up to an alarm this morning. Or my clock radio. I woke up to my 17 month old daughter singing to herself in her crib. In the dark of the early morning, I just lay there listening to her, entertained by the sound of her delightful la-la-las. A few minutes later, I hear a doorknob jingle. I call out in a low voice, “Who is awake?” But, my call remains unanswered. Then I hear a door close. My heart sinks. I fear my daughter has entered my son’s room at o’dark thirty, disturbing his desperately needed sleep. I hop out of bed and tip toe down the hallway to investigate, the aged hardwood floors creaking under my feet. As my hand touches the doorknob, I hear my daughter ask my son if he’s had a good sleep. My heart melts at the beauty of them, their relationship and the fact that she loves him so much she had to be assured he was well rested. As I enter the room, I fumble to get closer to the bed. My eyes finally adjust to the darkness and I see that she has climbed under the covers to be next to him. They see me approaching and they start giggling. It’s like music to my ears.
Some days are a challenge. But, every day is a gift. One that I must continually remind myself to be “present” and be grateful for. If there are hard moments – lows – they don’t last long. They are invariably followed by wondrous highs, like….
A while back, I made SpunkyCoconut’s cashew milk yogurt for my kids. I handed them each a jar and a spoon. I sat down across the table from them, eager to witness their expressions as they ate it. No amount of money would have encouraged me to leave the table at that very moment. There was complete silence save the din of spoons hitting glass, trying to extract every last drop of yogurt from the jar. In between bites, broad smiles gave way to giggles. I was moved to tears. Seriously. It was pure joy. Eating yogurt may seem so routine, so run of the mill, or ordinary to most people. But, having yogurt when you’re intolerant to dairy, soy and coconut is a HUGE deal. It’s a simple thing but it is one that means so much. I remain grateful for that moment and so many others like it.
Unlike most people I know, I cook 99.9% of our food from scratch. This requires an immeasurable time commitment. Often, I feel guilty for spending so much time in the kitchen when I could be outside playing with my children. It’s a constant struggle. But, it’s those moments – *those* moments – that make the time and effort worth it. My children motivate me each and every day to be better, cook healthier and to learn what works, what doesn’t and how to make each bite count toward our overall health. I do it for them. I realize Thanksgiving has passed. But, it doesn’t matter much. In my opinion, it’s never an inopportune time to be grateful for the blessings in life. My husband says a prayer at the dinner table that never ceases to move me. It goes something like, “let us not be thankful for today, but for each and every day we are given”.
Whole Grain Gluten Free Waffles (egg free, seed free, gum free, corn free, potato free , rice free, legume free & nut free)
The scene at our house in the mornings is crazy. Each person inevitably wants something different for breakfast. My sister and I often joke that we could pass for short order cooks. Waffles, smoothies, oatmeal, eggs and bacon all seem to come up on the line within minutes of each other. This waffle recipe was born out of my desire to find a good egg-free whole grain waffle recipe (that’s free of all the offenders and safe for the baby) that didn’t taste like a brick. I wanted it to be gum-free, corn free and potato free, too. We love them: they are light, crispy and satisfying. We usually have fruit on top (not syrup) so I typically add in a small amount of maple sugar. One batch of flour mix makes 2 recipes. I measure out the flour and put the other half in a container for another morning. I love the idea of waking up and having the flour all ready to go.
250 g flour mix (2 cups) (see below)
3 tsp baking powder (corn-free)
2 Tbs maple sugar (or coconut sugar)
2 Tbs mild tasting oil
1 cup + 2 Tbs filtered water (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Measure out the dry ingredients and whisk them together. Set aside.
- Combine the wet ingredients and stir well.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk gently to combine, until all the bits of flour are mixed in. I like to let mine sit for at least one minute (sometimes 2) before filling the waffle iron. The batter will thicken ever so slightly.
- If your waffle maker requires it (some don’t like spray), spray some oil (I use grapeseed oil spray) before you pour the batter into your waffle maker (mine takes 1/2 cup batter at a time) – following your waffle maker instructions. Enjoy!
Whole grain/waffle flour mix:
125 g sorghum flour (1 1/2 cups)
125 g teff flour (1 cup)
100 g millet flour (3/4 c + 1.5 Tbs)
75 g tapioca starch (2/3 cup)
75 g arrowroot starch (2/3 cup)