Multi-grain flax waffles

I generally like mornings. I can't hide the fact that I don't deal very well with being tired at either end of the day, so Mike likes to tell me I'm an afternoon person - equipped to handle neither mornings nor nighttime gracefully. It's not my fault. But I really do like the idea of being a morning person, so I try my best.

I have this whole routine of hitting the snooze button once, usually after my alarm has been ringing for a full minute as it struggles to drag me out of a REM cycle. I roll to my stomach - still in my warm sheets - and start up Instagram on my phone and check the last day's updates as a more tolerable way of exposing my eyes to light. When I've mustered the energy get out of bed and walk to the kitchen (and believe me, the only motivation there is "coffee... once I have coffee, maybe I'll wake up." Like I should even doubt it's powers. I've been drinking coffee daily for years but I still have this conversation with myself every day), I put on my pink fuzzy robe and wait for a pot of water to boil. Exactly 4 minutes later, I'm sitting on the couch with a cup of black French press. I do my morning Bible study, pausing halfway through to make a smoothie, then I'm finally ready to start the day.

Routine works for me because I can't be trusted to function on a level anywhere close to normal without one. I'd end up walking zombie-style around the apartment, forgetting where I'd left my contacts and wondering why I couldn't see. I'd probably forget how to make coffee. Eventually, my brain would decide to join the real world. But without coffee, who knows how long that would be. 

But these. These waffles could get me out of bed with a single sniff. My past experience with whole-wheat waffles has been less than stellar, usually resulting in a dense, heavy, wheat-y breakfast bread that's more nutrient-rich than its white counterpart but hard to get excited about. These multi-grain waffles are light, nutty, slightly sweet, and so delicious.
You may know molasses as the ingredient used to give ginger snap cookies their deep, smoky richness. But did you know that molasses is one of the most nutrient-dense sweeteners out there? That's right. It can give you manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium along with a dose of sweetness. When sugar is processed, the juice from the sugar cane plant is boiled and the sugar crystals are extracted, leaving behind a dark, syrup-y substance. This syrup is usually boiled multiple times to extract as much sugar as possible, and the remaining syrup left from the third boiling - which is lowest in sugar and has the highest concentration of minerals from the sugar cane plant - is called blackstrap molasses.

Don't try to put molasses on your yogurt or eat it with a spoon - it's not very tasty by itself - but it adds a wonderful richness to recipes.
Multi-grain flax waffles
Makes five 7-inch waffles
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
Note: This recipe is the type that you can totally play with: use different flours (yes, even gluten-free flours should work fine), sugars, spices, and juices to alter the flavor to your liking. A vanilla made with bourbon instead of vodka pairs wonderfully with the sweet, smoky flavor of the molasses. I've found this recipe to be sensitive to over-mixing, which can cause a softer, flatter waffle. Stir only until the dry ingredients are moistened, then leave it alone. It's okay if the batter is still a little lumpy.

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup oat flour (I simply grind up whole oats in a blender or food processor)
2 tablespoons flax meal
2 teaspoons baking powder (I reduce to 1 1/2 teaspoons for high altitude in Denver)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups milk or non-dairy beverage
1 egg
2 tablespoons fruit juice of choice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon molasses
  1. Combine the flours, flax meal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, fruit juice, oil, vanilla, and molasses. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir them together just until the dry ingredients are moistened, taking care not to overmix. Let the batter sit for a few minutes to allow the flours and flax to absorb some liquid.
  2. Preheat your waffle iron on a high setting - this is important in creating a crisp exterior. Put about 1/2 cup of the batter into the hot iron and close the lid. Cook until steam stops escaping from the sides (3-4 minutes).
  3. Top with your desired toppings. I love mine with sliced almonds and good maple syrup.

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