Monday, August 20, 2012

Banana Waffles

Last week Jeremy finished wiring the first new circuit for the house. We turned the formal dining room into an office and went from having 2 outlets (1 of which was 2 prong and ungrounded) to 7 properly wired outlets. We took down the chandelier and replaced it with a ceiling fan. The circuit also incorporates our small screened-in sun porch, where we added an outdoor ceiling fan and an outdoor outlet.

Writing this all down, I realize it sounds like a lot of work and it was. But the thing that caused 3 meltdowns and a chocolate binge wasn't wiring the fans or drilling through the brick veneer for the outdoor outlet. Oh no, those were a cakewalk in comparison. Two little words caused more renovation headaches than pulling the poison ivy in our 1/2 acre yard and those words are: DRYWALL PATCHES. Maybe it's because we have plaster layered over the drywall so none of the regular patching kits work. Or maybe it's because I'm allergic to the blown-in fiberglass insulation that kept falling on my head. Could be because ceiling patches require the skills of a contortionist and MacGyver combined. Whatever the particular reason, I was reduced to a raving mental patient on several occasions. Do you know what helps calm a raving lunatic? These waffles.
Seriously. Because on a day when I wake up knowing that I'm going to have to cut drywall in the shape of a giant squid, magically attach it to the crumbly plaster ceiling while doing a backbend, and spackle and sand it at least 3 times to try and match the surrounding texture, while I gradually grow itchier, the last thing I want to worry about is breakfast.

A few of these straight from the freezer into the toaster oven and a few minutes later you have breakfast nirvana. You won't even notice there's some healthy ingredients like whole wheat flour, flax, and almond milk snuck into this recipe. All you will taste is toasty banana with a hint of vanilla. I like to wait until I have some overripe bananas with at least a few black speckles. For this batch I used some overripe bananas I had frozen. I usually use 3 large bananas but there is definitely some wiggle room in the amount of banana. You can also play around with the oil content. I tend to like 2 tablespoons rather than the full 1/4 cup called for in the original recipe because I find the waffles come out crispier. I tried eliminating the fat completely, but they came out with a less fluffy texture and too dry.

The yield on this varies depending on the size of your waffle maker. I make undersized Belgian waffles and get 16 to 20. I'd guess this would feed about 6-8 people. Maybe more if you get crazy with the toppings.
I've also made this recipe once using Bob's Red Mill gluten-free baking mix. I wasn't crazy about the mix. It had an earthy, sort of wheat grass taste. The next time I make these for celiac guests, I'll try King Arthur's version, which I've seen great results with in other baked goods. If your bananas are not overripe and you won't be smothering these with syrup, you may want to add some additional sweetener.

Banana Waffles
Adapted from this recipe on
Serves 6-8
Cooking Time: 45 minutes


1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons oil (I like to use melted coconut oil and melted butter will also work.)
3 large overripe bananas, mashed with a fork (leave them fairly chunky or they'll add too much moisture to the batter)
3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (Or whatever milk you want. I've been meaning to try it with low fat coconut milk. Please report back if you try this!)


1. In a large bowl stir together all the dry ingredients.

2. Measure all the wet ingredients into the same bowl and stir until just combined.

3. Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes. This will create a fluffier waffle with a better texture.

4. Pour batter into your waffle maker per the manufacturer instructions and cook to your preferred level of golden-brown. For the mini Belgians you see above I used a generous 1/4 cup for each waffle and cooked them on the highest setting on my Waring waffle maker.

5. Allow leftover waffles to cool and freeze in a freezer bag. If your waffles are on the mushier side you may want to freeze on a cookie sheet and then transfer to a bag or freeze with wax paper in between waffles, otherwise they'll be hard to separate out of the freezer. 

6. Reheat frozen waffles in a 325 degree oven for 5 minutes or more. Check them every couple of minutes and flip or rotate if they start to brown too much.

Update 4/5/13:

I made these again a few weeks ago and was really surprised when they came out of the waffle iron and were still mushy and uncooked on the inside. After a second failed attempt, I realized what I was doing wrong. I was confronted with a really lumpy batter and decided to treat it like pancake batter and puree it with my immersion blender. Big mistake! The pureed bananas added too much moisture to the batter so that even on the highest iron setting, they were mush in the middle. Plus the banana flavor was less noticeable since there weren't any caramelized chunks as in previous batches. Leave the bananas fairly chunky. If you want a really smooth batter puree first and then fold in the bananas.