By Ellie Krieger
Despite its name, buckwheat is not a form of wheat at all. It is a seed in the rhubarb and sorrel family — not even technically a grain, botanically speaking. But because it is eaten like a grain and is rich in fiber, B vitamins and antioxidants like one, it is fair to call it a whole grain. And a gluten-free one at that.
I grew up adoring it in the form of kasha — toasted buckwheat groats that cook up just like rice — that my grandma would toss with browned onions and bow-tie pasta to make kasha varnishkes. But I have also come to love the nutty depth of flavour it imparts to Japanese soba noodles, and to breakfast foods such as pancakes and muffins made with buckwheat flour.
These waffles are a case in point. Here, the more intense flavour of buckwheat is balanced with milder whole-wheat flour or, to keep the dish gluten-free, brown rice flour. Ground flaxseed adds another layer of texture and nutrition. It serves to give the batter some of the structure that gluten would provide as well.
Buttermilk and a little healthful oil ensure the waffles turn out as tender as they are hearty and nutty-tasting. A topping of fresh berries and a drizzle of pure maple syrup seal the deal for an enticing way to start the day.
WHOLE-GRAIN BUCKWHEAT WAFFLES
4 servings (makes 4 large round waffles or 2 square waffles)
From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat or brown rice flour
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh berries, each cut in half or into quarters as needed
Preheat a waffle iron.
Whisk together the buckwheat flour, whole-wheat or brown rice flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
Whisk together the buttermilk, oil, maple syrup, egg and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just enough to incorporate.
Grease the waffle iron with cooking oil spray; ladle on batter, close the lid and cook according to the manufacturer’s directions. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve topped with the berries and drizzled with additional maple syrup.
Nutrition per serving: 360 calories, 12 g protein, 49 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium, 9 g dietary fibre, 13 g sugar