Another one of my favorite breakfast dishes is a Belgian Waffle. There’s nothing like a hot waffle with a crisp, buttery outside and moist, fluffy inside, with butter melting on top and maple syrup floating in the crevices. These waffles remind me of family vacations I used to take as a child to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. I looked forward to the early morning walks past the Boardwalk Plaza Victorian Hotel to a little breakfast stand on the boardwalk. They made huge Belgian Waffles topped with strawberries and whipped cream. It was always a challenge to figure out how to get it back to the hotel room without being attacked by seagulls. I also used to look forward to ordering these fabulous waffles at the Woodlands old restaurant The Left Bank at Sunday Brunch after church.

While Belgian Waffles may be good for the soul, they’re not typically good for the waistline. Traditional Belgian Waffles can top 400 calories and easily wreck a diet once you pile on all of that whipped butter and sugary fruit. If you make them yourself at home, it’s much easier to control the fat and calories. Belgian style waffles are classically topped with strawberries and whipped cream, but I enjoy them with butter and syrup as well. To keep calories down, I prefer I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (sticks) and Log Cabin Sugar Free Syrup. This recipe can also be used as a lighter edition for the base of a good Chicken and Waffles meal. (A Pennsylvania Dutch specialty – which I’ll have to make in the future.)

Here is my guiltless version of a Whole Grain Belgian Waffle. You need an electric waffle iron for this recipe, and if you don’t have one you should get one ASAP! It’s well worth the investment. Waffle irons can be electric or are designed for stove-top cooking. They have heating elements on both sides so that two sides of the waffle mix can cook evenly and at once. Most modern irons now have nonstick cooking surfaces so they’re much easier to clean. (I think that my waffle iron takes less time to clean than my panini grill.)
The bottom line is that once you have your own homemade Belgian waffle, you’ll never be able to eat those processed frozen ones again. Promise!

Fairytale Feasts Whole Wheat Belgian Waffles
(Serves 4)

1 1/2 cups of Hodgson Mills Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancake Mix
1 cup Unsweetened Almond Breeze vanilla almond milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1/4 cup of applesauce

Heat waffle iron according to it’s own specific directions. Place the pancake mix in a large bowl. Add the almond milk, egg, oil and applesauce. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Add batter to your waffle iron in accordance with it’s own instructions.

When waffle is ready, remove it from the iron with a spatula and place on a wired rack to cool so the waffle retains its crispness. Serve the waffles immediately. Top with mixed berries, whipped cream, butter or powdered sugar – or all of the above – for a delicious, healthful breakfast.

Nutritional Information for one waffle (not including toppings): 219 cals, 7 grams of fat, 35 carbs, 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 425 mg of sodium.