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I don't know about you but I can't stand making waffles. That's probably a horrible way to start off my post but it's true. After making these four times, I figured out some helpful tricks to make cooking waffles much cleaner, easier, and all around more tolerable. I'm so glad I found a process that works for me because I can't get enough of these!
Here's what I learned:
- Preheat your waffle maker. You'll want to make sure it's really hot so they cook properly. Plus, if it's too cool, the waffles will absorb the oil in the waffle maker and you'll get a greasy soggy waffle. Yuck.
- Make your batter in a blender. It's so much cleaner than a bowl and whisk and if your blender has a pour spout you can pour the batter directly into the hot waffle maker instead of using a ladle which is again, messy. I have a Blendtec and it doesn't have a pour spout but since the jar (Wildside+) is square-ish, it's super easy to pour from. I think with traditional waffles you aren't supposed to overmix the batter because it does something to the gluten that makes the end result tough. No need to worry about that since these are gluten free! I think overmixing does something to the egg too but you really just need to blend them enough to break down the squash. I used the "mix" preset on my Blendtec and they came out perfect.
- Put a cutting board under your waffle maker. Waffle makers are disgusting evil little appliances who's primary purpose is to ooze grease and raw batter onto your countertops. They're secondary purpose is to make waffles. A cutting board, especially a dishwasher safe one, will make breakfast cleanup much quicker. Also, try a cutting board or paper towels under your blender jar of batter and the oil you use on the waffle maker plates. It will catch any drips you might have.
- Grease the plates before adding the batter. Start by choosing the right fat and keep in mind, this isn't only to prevent sticking, it also gives your waffles extra flavor. If you like butter on your waffles, I'd recommend butter, ghee, or dairy free butter. Coconut oil is also a great option. Try to avoid any spray on oils because they can sometimes leave a sticky residue on the waffle maker. If you choose a fat that's solid at room temperature, melt it in a bowl in the microwave and use a silicon brush to apply it to the hot plates. I like to tilt the waffle maker back when greasing the top plate so that it doesn't all run out the back. I then close the lid for a second to catch the drips then open it back up to touch up any dry areas on the bottom plate.
- Only fill the waffle maker ¾ of the way full with batter. This will make step 7 much easier for you. All waffle makers and batters are different but in general, you should pour the batter starting in the center of the waffle maker and work your way out until about ¾ of the bottom plate is covered. If it oozes out, try a little less next time.
- Wait until the light goes off. Seriously, don't take a peek to see how it's coming along. Most waffle makers have a light on them that turn on when you close the lid and turns off (or changes colors or whatever) after a few minutes to let you know the waffles are done. If you peek, you'll not only let heat out, you'll also probably end up with a waffle that sticks to the top of the waffle maker and splits the top and bottom halves of the waffle apart. Another thing you should do is time how long it takes for that light to go off. Mine takes 5 minutes exactly and these waffles did better cooking for 6 minutes on my waffle maker. Once the light goes off, I wait another minute before taking out the waffle.
- Clean it right. Waffle makers are no fun to clean. Do they make waffle makers with removable, washable plates? If so, run out and buy one ASAP! (Grab one for me while you're at it.) If your waffle maker is like mine and you can't clean it in the sink or dishwasher, here's how I have started cleaning mine. Unplug the waffle maker and while it's still warm but not too hot to touch, wipe off the plates with a dry paper towel. Wipe the rest of the waffle maker with the towel to get that outer layer of grease off. Don't forget the cord. Yep, that dinky little cord that's never long enough -wipe it off. Next, get a damp paper towel and wipe the inside again until it's clean. Add a tiny drop of dish soap to the damp paper towel (grab a new one if it's too dirty) and wipe the non-cooking surfaces with that, working from top to bottom. It should take the grease right off. Again, don't forget the cord. Leave the waffle maker open to dry and put away once it's completely cooled and dry.
- And for this recipe in particular... prep the night before. Make sure your squash is cooked and get it in the fridge. I like to crack the eggs into a Tupperware and add the syrup, almond milk, vanilla. Then I'll put the flours, pie spice, and salt together in another container. In the morning, I just dump everything in the Blendtec then add the melted DF butter and baking powder and blend it all up. Doing this makes breakfast so easy!
After typing all that, it's very clear to me why I've only used my waffle maker a handful of times. That's going to change now that I know how to NOT destroy my kitchen while using it. Do you guys have any other tips I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments.
I think most winter squashes or even sweet potato could be used in this recipe instead of just delicata squash. Probably not spaghetti squash but I bet most other winter squashes would work. If you try pumpkin, be sure it's fresh. I think the canned pumpkin would be too wet. I chose delicata squash because it's my new favorite but I've also used acorn squash in this recipe and it was great!
Gluten free, dairy free waffles made in a blender with delicata squash, pumpkin spice, and vanilla. Try substituting other winter sqashes. Paleo option included.
- ¾ C almond milk or other milk alternative
- ¼ C maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ C melted dairy free butter (or use melted coconut oil for a paleo option)
- 1 C delicata squash, cooked with skin removed
- 1 ¾ C almond flour
- ½ C tapioca starch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat your waffle maker.
- In a blender, add your wet ingredients (dairy free milk, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla extract, and melted DF butter/oil) followed by the delicata squash, then the dry ingredients (almond flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.) Blend until smooth and well-combined.
- Use a pastry brush/basting brush to apply additional melted fat to the hot waffle maker plates. Pour the batter into the center of the bottom plate and continue pouring in a circular pattern until the batter covers ¾ of the plate. Close the lid and continue cooking according to your waffle maker's instructions. My waffle maker cooks each waffle for 5 mins but it needed about 6 minutes so I left them on a little longer.
- Once the waffle is fully cooked, use tongs or a fork to remove the waffle. Repeat this process with the remaining batter until it's gone and remember to apply more fat between each batch to prevent sticking.
- Serve while fresh along with your favorite toppings.
- Potential allergens in this recipe may vary due to brands of ingredients used, product reformulations, etc. Please verify that all your ingredients are safe for you to consume and always be mindful of allergen cross contamination while cooking.
- For dairy free butter, I usually recommend Earth Balance soy free baking sticks. Note that they also carry a similar product containing soy. You can also use coconut oil as a substitute.
- To cook my delicata squash, I decided to use the oven. I split the squash down the middle and scraped out the seeds. Next, I put the cut side down on a baking sheet and baked it at 375ºF. It's done when you can easily piece through the skin with a fork. You'll want to start checking to see if it's done after about 25 minutes in the oven.
- See blog post above for more tips.