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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)

  1. Measure out the dry ingredients and whisk them together. Set aside.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients and stir well.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)

This post is linked up to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Cybele Pascal’s Allergy Friendly Fridays

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28 responses to “giving thanks and whole grain waffles”

  1. Shirley @ gfe said:

    Stephanie, what a beautifully written post! I could just visualize your little ones from the singing and snuggling to the silent, joyful eating of homemade yogurt from Kelly’s recipe. Yes, it’s important to be thankful for these moments. I love your husband’s prayer … simple and so right. Finally, the waffles look fantastic, dear! You are a brilliant and a fabulous mom! Don’t you ever forget that. ;-)

    xoxo,
    Shirley

  2. Tweets that mention gluten free by nature » articles and recipes » giving thanks and whole grain waffles -- Topsy.com said:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephanie Fourie, Stephanie Fourie. Stephanie Fourie said: {new post} 5 ingredient whole grain waffles http://wp.me/pjHzY-wm #glutenfree #vegan – + a story about giving thanks for our blessings [...]

  3. jill sims said:

    As I was reading this post it brought tears to my eyes. Just this Tuesday at bible study I was confessing to my lady friends how guilty I felt about not spending more time with my children because I too, out of necessity, make 99% of our meals. That feeling of guilt was really getting to me. My Daughter is intolerant to Cow Dairy and Corn and just recently we took her off of Gluten. Its been a rough road and your post just spoke to my heart. Thanks so much.

  4. Kelly said:

    Ahhhh… Stephanie! You know I’m pregnant, so perhaps I’m more emotional than usual, but this really moved me to tears :-) You made my week. Sending you guys tons of love! XOXO, Kelly

  5. Stephanie said:

    I loved this post, and this recipe. I also have a question for you regarding your coconut intolerance… how did you figure that out and is it the same symptoms to maybe a dairy or soy allergy? Just curious…. :) Thanks again for such a beautiful post!

  6. Karina said:

    What a lovely, moving story. You brought tears to my eyes. My children are grown now, but I remember the moments you speak of. So tender. And too quickly, a memory. I’m also in the camp of having to make 99% of everything we eat from scratch. It’s not easy. Stay strong and beautiful. Blessings to your family. xox Karina

  7. Nancy @SensitivePantry said:

    Stephanie – so very beautiful. I’m seriously teary because those moments are like gold. Oh gosh, one day they’ll be in college…before you know it.TY for sharing.

  8. Jude said:

    What a lovely post Steph, so beautiful!
    I am baking your waffles as we speak and we are eagerly awaiting our delicious breakfast thanks to Aunty Steph :o). Here is a question, what baking powder are you using that is both corn free and potato free?

  9. Jude said:

    Hmmmn these are SO delicious and crispy and light, we loved them! My son gave them a ‘lishy’ for delicous :o)

  10. Stephanie said:

    Hi Jill,

    So sweet of you to leave such a beautiful comment. I understand the Mother’s guilt – and I am sorry to hear that you are struggling with your little girl. Although it may seem like an uphill battle – I am here to tell you that this crazy time will pass and one day you will look back upon the journey from a better place. What you are doing for your daughter is an incredible act of love – what an amazing mom you are for doing all that you do !!

    It’s also important to know that you are not alone on this road. It’s wonderful that you have a group of women you can talk to and with whom you can share your feelings. Such a comfort, isn’t it? It’s pretty remarkable the support I have found in and amongst the online gluten free community. Most of us have never met, but we have bonded over our own respective “issues.”

    Hang in the there, friend, and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    xo
    Stephanie

  11. Stephanie said:

    Jude,

    You made my day:) I am so happy to hear that you and B loved the waffles! I can just picture the little man sitting in his chair munching away happily….

  12. Stephanie said:

    Hi Kelly,

    You’re so sweet, thank you. Yes, indeed motherhood (pregnant or not) has a tendency to make us more emotional, doesn’t it ? The kids and I just watched Toy Story 3 and at the end I was a blubbering fool. I just couldn’t help it – it was such a tender moment.

    Your yogurt has been such a beautiful addition to our lives. Ultimately, we have you to thank for all those beautiful smiles and giggles that day, my dear. Such a special memory :)

    lots of love right back atcha
    Stephanie

  13. Stephanie said:

    Hi Stephanie.

    Thank you and thank you :) So kind.

    So, about the coconut intolerance. It was about 14 months ago, my daughter was having a very hard time sleeping, huge dark circles under her eyes. Some tummy aches but mostly behavioral/coping problems. She wasn’t herself. I knew something was wrong. I had a test done (FoodStats IgG) – I’ve since learned that they’re not super reliable. The test showed elevated IgG, so it’s just an intolerance. Because we came off dairy and soy such a long time ago we were eating a fair amount of coconut (oil in stir fry, baking with coconut oil, and coconut milk, ice cream, etc) among other things. At the end of the day, it was just too much coconut. I did a complete elimination for 6 months. Then reintroduced. It was pretty horrific. It was like I’d never taken her off it. She sank right back into non-sleep, dark circles and mood swings. I sought the advice of some nutritionists – and we realized there was a 99% chance her gut hadn’t completely healed from her initial Celiac diagnosis. In other words, the gut was still leaky – thus, the development of food sensitivities. We’ve changed/upped our supplement regimen and we’re hoping we’re going to be able to reintroduce at some point in the next 12-18 months.

    In comparison to dairy or soy – the reaction to dairy is more akin to gluten (in the sense that it gives us at least 3 days of diarrhea and tummy aches). Soy gives me a stomach ache but gives my children pretty serious eczema. Writing this makes it sound like we’re falling apart at the seams. But, we’re actually doing just fine – better with each day that passes :)

    hope you’re doing great! Happy Spring
    xoxo
    Stephanie

  14. Stephanie said:

    Karina,

    Many thanks to you for such a sweet comment. It’s strange – the one phrase repeated to me over and over by countless parents is this: enjoy them, they grow so quickly. And I think we have a tendency to dismiss that thought because it is so often spoken. But, it is the truth. In January, my son lost his first tooth. I just sat there for a moment trying to hold back the tears (he was so excited, I didn’t want to burst his bubble). But, I cried. How did we get here ? Gone are the days where I could feel the warmth of his tiny body as he slept on my chest. It passes by with the blink of an eye. It just pulls at the heart strings. And you’ve chosen the most a propos word for all of it: tender.

    You’re right, cooking from scratch can become a bit overwhelming. But, I think about how it’s changed so many lives. I mean, consider how it’s healed you ! Truly amazing and so worth all the time and effort. It keeps my spirits up when I think of all the success stories out there. Hopefully one day, when we’re healed, we’ll be counted among them!

    lots of love xoxo
    Stephanie

  15. Stephanie said:

    Hey there Shirley,

    Thank you dear friend for your kinds words. That means a lot. Brought a smile to my face, such a wonderful uplifting start to my day :)

    xoxo
    Stephanie

  16. Stephanie said:

    Hi Nancy,

    Thank you so much. They do grow way too quickly, don’t they?? I know I will blink and my son will be going off to college….can’t even think about it….must.soak.it.all.in.

    xo
    Stephanie

  17. Stephanie said:

    Hey Judes,

    muchas gracias!

  18. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) said:

    This was a beautiful post. I feel the same way about being in the kitchen all the time, but I think it is equally important to nurture our children inside and out! I am a huge fan of waffles and these look amazing!

  19. Stephanie said:

    Sarena,

    Welcome ! and thank you very much. You hit the nail on the head, it is SO important to nurture our kids from the inside out.
    We used to have waffles only every 10 days or so and we started having them a few times a week. We found this amazing 100% fruit sugar free apricot jam from Italy that we spread on top. It’s wonderful and my kids love to take spreaders and create their own breakfast. So fun.

    Happy Spring!

  20. Homa said:

    I found you via Cybele Pascal’s site – these look great! We deal with many of the same allergies (our known ones are wheat, corn, oats, soy, milk, eggs, sesame, tree nuts, peanuts, grapes, some melon, dogs) so I cook from scratch mostly too. I understand how much time it takes, I have a 2.5 year old daughter and 7 month old son and I love love love seeing them interact. Your words capture a lot of how special it can be to see the love of siblings.

  21. cybele pascal said:

    Stephanie, thanks so much for sharing this lovely, HEALTHY recipe. I am really impressed that you have no egg replacer of any kind, and love your blend of whole grain gf flours. I can’t wait to make this for my kids (and self!).

    Can’t wait to see more of your recipes. Thanks for introducing me to them via Allergy-Friendly Friday.

    Kindest regards,

    Cybele

  22. Stephanie said:

    Thanks so much Cybele!

    It was a work in progress for a while. Then one day, it just came together. I was thrilled. Especially since there are so few things we can eat for breakfast besides porridge. I’ve tried the waffles with a few different flour blends and it came out just about the same, just lighter in appearance. For all the moms out there that struggle with a child who won’t eat anything that “looks” healthy that is for you !

    I love the concept of Allergy Friendly Friday – it gives us some pretty amazing things to choose from. I must say all of the recipes submitted look delicious – especially the vegan samoas! Those just went straight to the top of my list :)

    All the best
    Stephanie

  23. Stephanie said:

    Homa,

    Hello !

    Wow – we share many of the same food sensitivities ! It’s funny: grapes and melon are not true allergies for us, but we are quite sensitive to them. Don’t quote me, but I think they are part of the same family as blackberries (which we don’t do so well with). I think it’s more of a mold issue – they are all musty foods.

    You are a star for spending all that time in your kitchen having such young children! It’s crazy trying to find 2 moments of uninterrupted time to get anything accomplished. Most of my recipes from back then were epic fails because I would attempt to bake something (it would take me 3 hours to get it in the oven) only to realize (staring at it in its flat, unrisen state) that i forgot to add the baking powder and soda. There are worse things, right ?

    My kids are 15 months apart – and they are inseparable. It’s so beautiful to watch. Just like having a built in playmate wherever we go. It’s going to be so fun to watch how the relationship blossoms between your children. Especially when they start interacting and playing together. I bet your daughter is a very good little helper !

    thanks for your lovely note, Homa.
    Stephanie

  24. Allergy Friendly Friday 3/25/11 | Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine said:

    [...] Gluten Free Whole Grain Waffles from Gluten Free by Nature [...]

  25. retete dulciuri said:

    retete dulciuri…

    [...]gluten free by nature » articles and recipes » giving thanks and whole grain waffles[...]…

  26. Jennifer L said:

    These did not work for us. They were tasty, but they stuck like crazy to the waffle iron. We had a bowl of waffle crumbs. It could be that our waffle iron just does not like gluten free vegan waffles. Did you use whole grain teff or teff flour? That could be a part of the problem too. I used teff flour since I didn’t have any whole grain teff on hand this morning. Fortunately I only made a 1/2 recipe since I am not brave enough to put them in the waffle iron again. Phew! Lots of scraping them out with a chopstick this morning. Not so great. Oh well. This seems to happen every time I try a gf vegan waffle recipe. With the second half of the batter I tried adding a flax egg and the same thing happened, although it took the starchy edge off the taste from the arrowroot and tapioca.

  27. Stephanie said:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Goodness, I am terribly sorry these didn’t work for you. That really stinks! However, thanks to you, I now see that I wrote teff instead of teff FLOUR in the recipe, a mistake. so sorry! I use ivory teff although I don’t think using that or dark teff flour makes any difference.

    Each waffle iron is unique – some require non-stick spray, some actually will be ruined if you spray it on them. If you are brave enough to try it again, I would recommend adding another 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the batter (subtract 1-2 tblsp water). Also, make sure your iron has had the chance to warm up for a solid 5 minutes before you pour any batter onto it, so it’s nice and hot. Try a light yet even coating of non-stick spray and you’re good to go. Unfortunately, after using spray like that, I always find the first waffle off the iron is a bit “different” than the others. Still yummy, just different.

    Thanks, Jennifer, for letting me know. all the best, stephanie

  28. Tiffany Youngren said:

    I have a fantastic gluten free crepe recipe – but have been in need of a good waffle recipe!

    We LOVE coconut palm sugar, and are excited to carry it at our store after the first of the year. Sometimes we’ll cut the amount of coconut sugar with Stevia – I can usually detect stevia in anything, but for some reason if it’s used with coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup, it throws off my “detector” :D

    Thanks for the great recipes!

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