My mom laughingly told me to stop reading books the other day. You see, I have been interested in health, fitness and nutrition since I was a teenager (not quite Neolithic times, but a long time ago). So, I am always coming up with new or old info to test out on the family. They describe it just short of torture, but I consider it good old-fashioned love. When they pick up a sugar-laden processed food to consume, they claim that I give them quite the evil-eye. And my poor mom lovingly puts up with my food rants and incessant label reading at the grocery store.
My latest fascination has been with the Paleo/Caveman/Primal Diet. I won’t go into a long explanation about the Paleo Diet right now, because I want to get to the yummy stuff! Basically, it is about eating whole unprocessed foods – REAL FOOD! Not the stuff that lives in the middle of the grocery store (the black hole) and comes in a package with an ingredient list that is longer than this paragraph.
If you want some detailed info about the Paleo diet, I urge you to check out the websites from Loren Cordain, Ph. D. (considered the father of the Paleo Diet) and Robb Wolf. They have in-depth information and scientific research for the nerdy types!
Have you heard about the Paleo Diet? Do you think it would be too hard or that you would have to give up too much good stuff? I was even a little apprehensive. I love lean meats, veggies, fruits, nuts & seeds, BUT I didn’t want to never eat a waffle again! Let me put your worries to rest. There are tons of great recipes out there that use Paleo ingredients, but you would never think it was Paleo in a blind taste test. It does require that you do your own cooking instead of grabbing fast food or getting sucked into the black hole.
I recently bought a new Paleo cookbook. I am slowly trying out new recipes. Last weekend I decided it would be a new breakfast recipe. My mouth had started watering as soon as I saw the Banana Bread Waffles recipe! I just had to try it. I wasn’t disappointed, and you won’t be either. I had other taste-testers as well… mom (always willing to be a guinea pig), dad (always willing to be a guinea pig, if it involves food), and my little boy Micah (2 ½ years old… he doesn’t have a lot of choice in the matter, BUT will spit it out and tell me if it is yucky).
Banana Bread Waffles with Mixed Fruit Topping
Makes: 8 Belgian waffles or 16 standard waffles
4 large bananas, mashed
4 large eggs
½ cup (140 grams) almond butter
¼ cup (50 grams) melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the waffle iron
½ cup (75 grams) coconut flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of fine-grain sea salt
1 cup (170 grams) blueberries, plus extra for garnish (optional)
1 ½ cups (340 grams) raspberries, plus extra for garnish (optional)
2 tablespoons organic honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 banana, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the waffle iron.
2. Combine the bananas, eggs, almond butter, and coconut oil in a blender, food processor, or mixing bowl and mix well until smooth. Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt, and mix until the batter is smooth.
3. Lightly brush the waffle iron with melted coconut oil. Using the manufacturer’s guidelines for suggested cup quantity, ladle the batter into the preheated and greased waffle iron, and spread it evenly across the surface, leaving a ½ inch border (the batter will spread when you close the lid). Cook, following the manufacturer’s directions, and set aside on a plate and keep warm while you cook the remaining waffles.
4. While the waffles are cooking, make the toppings. Place the blueberries and raspberries in a blender or food processor and blend until the berries break down completely and the mixture is smooth. Place the pureed berries and honey in a small saucepan. Mix together and cook over medium heat until the berry mixture begins to bubble, stirring often, then turn the heat down to low and let it thicken, about 10 minutes.
5. Heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the banana slices and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook on both sides for less than a minute, just until the bananas caramelize.
6. Serve the waffles with the mixed berry and banana toppings, and garnish with extra berries, if desired.
Well, the waffles were a resounding success! Everyone thought they were absolutely scrumptious (even the 2 ½ yr. old). My dad said, “These are caveman waffles?” I responded, “Yes, but you couldn’t tell could you? I told you eating Paleo could be delicious!” He didn’t drop a beat and uttered, “If they are caveman, does that mean I can eat 6 or 7 of them?” Oh dad… I guess I will have the portion talk with him AGAIN.
On a side note, I was in a bit of a rush last weekend, so I did not make the topping to go with the waffles. Instead, I cut up fresh strawberries and blackberries and served them on top of the waffles with a drizzle of organic honey over everything.
I highly recommend the cookbook that this waffle recipe came from. It is a beautiful book, and the recipes are doable. It is called The Paleo Kitchen: Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking by Julie Bauer & George Bryant (I bought mine off Amazon – link to book HERE).
Stay tuned for Part 2 when I test out some Paleo lunch recipes!Tweet