Berries and yogurtMy darling sweet children have been less than darling and sweet lately at dinner time.  I can’t complain because honestly they’re pretty good eaters most of the time and are great about trying new things.  But the past few weeks it’s been one grumpy face after another and out of the blue, my perfect I’ll-eat-anything four year old turned into “I like everything about this chicken except for the crunchy brown stuff and gooey white stuff” kid (Oh, you mean the freaking breading and melted cheese?  That I put on to make it like a giant chicken nugget but only better so you would actually eat it?  So basically you like the plain chicken inside.  The same plain chicken you complained about last night.  Hmph.)  Since they’re on a picky kick, I decided to let them each pick a night and decide what we’d have for dinner.  That night they’d be the special helper and help make the food and set the table and serve everyone else.  It worked like a charm for kid #1, my 7 year old, who picked tacos (remind me to tell you about the time that I realized my 7 year old has never eaten a taco before.) and everyone licked their plates clean and asked for more.  Kid #2, the 4 year old pulled a fast one and chose waffles.  Of course he’d pick a food that’s basically dessert.  Waffle night was scheduled for this weekend, but then this happened this morning:

Snow Day

 

Those are my kitchen windows, and what you see is a sudden winter storm that resulted in school cancellation.  A snow day meant that suddenly my quiet day at home to work on today’s chicken dinner post was quickly interrupted by shouts of “NO SCHOOL!!”  “I’m hungry!”  “When is it gonna be waffle day?!”  I couldn’t argue.  Seemed like a perfectly good waffle day to me.  But little do they know that their favorite waffles are actually nutrient-packed-super-waffles.  Mom win.

I know “whole grain” might turn some of you off, but trust me, I’m very picky when it comes to healthy versions of traditionally non-healthy foods and these waffles are truly crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.  So keep reading and make sure you get all the way to the bottom half of this long post because I have some really fun stuff down there!  It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but for waffles.

Now.  It’s not often I recommend baking with all whole wheat flour.  There are certainly recipes that work well that way, but most of the time in general baking both the texture and taste are best when only part of the flour in a recipe is subbed out for whole wheat.  These waffles however, are 100% whole wheat, and that’s the way I like them.

Whole Wheat Flour

When it comes to healthy grains, the sky is the limit.  Lots of recipes will call for 12 different kinds and I wanted my waffles to be simple.  I also didn’t want people to have to go buy a million bags of things to make a quick breakfast.  I’m not grain-crazy, but 2 things I do keep in my freezer and use fairly regularly are wheat germ and flaxseed meal, so that’s what’s going in here to boost up our nutritional content.

Whet Germ and Flaxsed Meal

Now, let me be honest.  When I’m looking at recipes I often tune out the moment I start seeing words like “wheat germ” and all sorts of other weird things I don’t have and don’t want to go buy for $5 a bag just to use the tablespoon a recipe calls for.  I also feel like there are limits in how far I’ll go to make something healthier and it has to be balanced against the satisfaction in eating said thing.  (As in, if making it “healthy” also makes it taste gross, I’m not going to make it healthy.)  So here’s what I want to say before people like me tune out.

1.  You can make these plain ol’ whole wheat waffles without the flaxseed and wheat germ so don’t sweat if you don’t have any or don’t want to buy it.

2.  Both wheat germ and flaxseed meal are pretty easy to find in a normal grocery store so you don’t have to go hunting around in weird places for it and spend a fortune.  If you’ve never bought them before, ask a store employee right when you go in so you don’t have to go on a search.

3.  Although we’re just using a little bit, these will keep in the freezer for a long time and there are lots of ways to use them (I’ll list some below.)

4.  These taste good.  Really good.

This is Wheat Germ:

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is the heart of the wheat berry.  It’s a great source of dietary fiber,  folic acid, and Vitamin E.  It kind of has the consistency of a roughly chopped oatmeal and has a great nutty flavor.  You can use it to replace some of the flour in baked goods, and it works well in many of the ways oats do, like as a filler for meatballs or meatloaf, breading for chicken and fish, or I like to toast it and sprinkle it on yogurt and fruit.  It’s also great mixed into smoothies (try it in Kate’s Power Smoothie)

This one is flaxseed meal:

Flaxseed Meal

Flaxseed is known for it’s fiber.  I don’t think there are many other grains with as high of a fiber content as it has.  (4 grams in 2 tablespoons) It’s also incredibly high in natural antioxidants called lignans- 75 times higher than any other plant food!  It’s also packs a punch with high levels of omega-3s.  This is a power seed, my friends!  The seeds themselves are incredibly tiny and hard, so I love flaxseed meal because it’s ground up into a fine crumb and works great mixed into things- like waffles.  Interestingly enough, when mixed with water, it functions as a great substitute for eggs.  I toss this one in smoothies as well.

So, now that we’ve got the healthy stuff out of the way, let’s mix these up.  So easy.  Flour, wheat germ, flaxseed meal, baking soda, sugar and salt go into a bowl (doesn’t that sound like the start of a good joke?)  I often use Splenda in place of sugar as well.

Dry Ingredients Whisking

After those are whisked together, mix up the wet ingredients.  And egg, some vanilla, milk, and a little canola oil.

Waffle Wet Ingredients

Mix the wet and the dry together.  Pretty straight forward.  Just don’t overmix!

Whisking dry and wet

Cook them in a waffle iron until they’re golden brown on the outside.

Cooked Whole Grain Waffle

They’re nice and crisp on the outside, but soft and sweet in the middle.

Whole Grain Waffles

The whole grains definitely give them a nutty flavor and a nice chew, but they are still tender and fluffy at the same time.

Whole Grain Waffles from Our Best Bites

Now for the fun part.  Toppings!  I’m going to give you some options of different ways I like to eat these.  This is a great example of how you can still eat really great food while counting calories or simply trying to eat fresh and healthy.  Each triangle (1/4 of the circle waffle) is under 100 calories, so stack a couple and add on some yumminess!

Honey-Berries with Yogurt

Yogurt Berry Add On

Berries and honey is a classic combination.  In the winter months, when fresh berries are expensive (and not always tasty) I use frozen berries.  Mixed with a little no-calorie sweetener or a spoonful of jam, they turn into a great syrup.  A dollop of fruit-flavored greek yogurt adds a little protein.

Whole Grain Waffles with Greek Yogurt and Berries from Our Best Bites

Apple-Cinnamon Nut Crunch with Cream

Apple Cinnamon Add On

This one tastes like a dessert waffle.  For the “Cinnamon Apples” I just toss 1/3 cups diced apple in a little saute pan with 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and a spritz of cooking spray.  Just stir them around and let them cook for 2-3 minutes, just when they soften a little, and then pop them on the waffle.

Whole Grain Waffles with Cinnamon Apples and Cream from Our Best Bites

Sweet Drizzled Peanut Butter-Banana

PB Banana Add On

When I was a kid, pancakes and waffles on the weekends were drenched in butter, syrup, and whatever else we wanted, but if we were eating them on a school morning (and I’m talking frozen leggo-my-eggos here) it always, always had peanut butter and bananas on it.  I’ve continued the same habit with my own kids.  I feel like the PB adds a little protein and sticks to their tummies a bit longer and the banana gives them some energy.  This is also my go-to pre-work out snack (only I have it on a whole grain english muffin).  If you aren’t used to using agave syrup, it’s one of my most favorite things.  Calorie-wise, it’s similar to honey, but it has a very low glycemic index.  And I honestly love the flavor; it tastes like caramelized sugar.  I like the brands they sell at Costco so I always stock up there.

PB Banana Whole Grain Waffles from Our Best Bites

The great thing about these is you can whip up a batch and either freeze or refrigerate them.  During the week, just pop them in the toaster to heat up (and re-crisp) a quick breakfast.

 

If you’re in the mood for breakfast now, check out my Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancake recipe.  All of these toppings work great on that too!

Here’s a fun little graphic for you Pinners out there…pin away!

Healthy Whole Grain Waffles with Topping Options from Our Best Bites

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74comments

  1. 1
    sasha says:

    We had your fauxtisserie chicken for dinner tonight, but breakfast for dinner is always my 7 year old’s first choice when he picks dinner.

  2. 2
    Lauren @ Sassy Molassy says:

    These topping variations look delish!

  3. 3
    Megan says:

    You say “cinnamon apples”, but your instructions say 1/2 tsp brown sugar. Should there be cinnamon AND brown sugar mixed in? Or just cinnamon? Either way, these waffles look delicious, & I love making waffles for dinner. =)

  4. 4
    Jennifer says:

    I don’t have a waffle iron could these be made as pancakes?

  5. 5
    kim says:

    I love this. Thank you!

  6. 6
    Stacey says:

    I just got that same chandelier from PB! I’ve been debating whether the size is right for my dining room before installing. Is that the large or small? It looks great in your room. And it kind of looks like the same table runner I have from World Market, but I’m probably just seeing things!

    One of my boys ALWAYS picks waffles when I have them pick a meal for the week!

    • 6.1
      sara says:

      Stacey is there a large and a small in the globe?? I thought there was just one. I was iffy on the size too, until it went in and I absolutely love it. It doesn’t provide a huge amount of light since there’s just the candelabras in there, but if you have surrounding light it’s just fine. I have the mini chandeliers from that line over my kitchen island, and the big one in my entry way. I get tons of compliments on all of them, I love how they turned out. I’m going to do a post about my kitchen in the next couple of weeks so that might help with some perspective.

      And yes- that runner is from World Market, looks like we need to be shopping buddies!

  7. 7
    Amanda says:

    I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I’d use a waffle iron. Now I want one. :) These look delicious and I love the topping ideas!

    • 7.1
      SarahWendell says:

      I didn’t want to fill up my kitchen with gadgets, myself, so it took a while for me to buy a waffle iron. When I did, I picked out the one that you can flip the heat plates and it’s a griddle, panini press on the other side. Works wonderfully and doesn’t take up as much limited space.

  8. 8
    Sarah J. says:

    Thank you for this!! For some reason, it didn’t occur to me to freeze them until I read it–but if Eggo can do it, so can I :)

  9. 9
    Trisha Chase says:

    Thank you so much for posting healthy recipes that actually taste good! It is a real challenge to find simple and delicious healthy recipes but you guys have got it covered! I hope these posts continue occasionally past January!

  10. 10
    Patti says:

    I love the gorgeous way you swirled the peanut butter on the knife for the photo. You always go the extra mile for us!

  11. 11
    trisha says:

    Good timing. I was feeling like I was in a breakfast rut…I asked my toddler this morning, “Ok, do you want pancakes, a smoothie, oatmeal, or french toast for breakfast?” I think he was feeling the breakfast rut too, so he replied, “Something different.” I went to the breakfast category on your blog and hooray! Something healthy and different. I made them this morning and they are fabulous! I used only 1 Tablespoon of sugar (sometimes I lose track when trying to keep my toddler happy while I am cooking) and they were still fabulous! They are great even plain! Next time I will make a double batch so I have more to freeze. I love the wheat germ and flaxseed meal in them. Thank you!

  12. 12
    Ellie says:

    I love your solution to the picky eaters problem. And I love that I now have a waffle recipe that uses all wheat flour. And I love the picture with the square plate wedged in with the waffle.

  13. 13
    meredith says:

    Such I great week of posts!! I’ll be making every single one of them :-)
    I’ve been searching for a great waffle recipe forever and this looks like the one!!
    Thanks for all the both of you do in putting together these amazing meals!!

  14. 14

    I have a hard time getting my family to eat anything whole-wheat, unfortunately. This recipe looks a good excuse to give it another try, because they look really delicious!

  15. 15
    Robin B. says:

    Have you ever tried white whole wheat? It’s great, like a cross between whole wheat and white. I haven’t studied the nutritional differences but I love adding it to recipes. I use half white whole wheat and half all purpose in my pancakes.

    • 15.1
      Cynthia says:

      I use white whole wheat all the time and I sub it into tons of recipes in place of all purpose.

    • 15.2
      Sarah says:

      White Wheat is not a cross between whole wheat and white, it is simply a different type of wheat berry and is very nutritious. I firmly believe that most people that say they don’t like wheat have only had red wheat, which has a much more robust flavor and is more commonly used/sold. White Whole wheat is awesome.

  16. 16
    C says:

    Do you ever seperate the egg yolks and whites first? My mom’s recipe does that; mix the yolks in with the batter and beat the whites until fluffy, then fold the whites into the batter (don’t overmix). It makes them noticeably lighter and fluffier!

    I’m excited to try a whole wheat recipe :)

    • 16.1
      sara says:

      I do in other recipes, but not in this one. They come out pretty fluffy already, and since there’s only one egg in the recipe it’s more of a nuisance to try and whip it up!

  17. 17
    Anna says:

    Oh Sara. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try these waffles. By the way, another great way to eat toasted wheat germ–bananas, peanut butter and wheat germ. Peel bananas, cut in half. Spread all over with peanut butter, roll in wheat germ and freeze. You can also stick a Popsicle stick or lollipop stick up through the middle before freezing. Yummy quick breakfast or snack. My mom made these for us back in the 80s. Yeah, that long ago. LOL.

  18. 18
    Linda L. says:

    This is amazing! My daughter is 22 and she becomes instantly suspicious if I open a second flour canister when I’m cooking. Apparently she’s figured out that it means I’m trying to sneak nutrition into her ‘white-bread’ life and poison her! With this 100% whole wheat recipe, unless she’s looking right at it when I get the flour, she’ll never know (;-D) And she loves her waffles something fierce!!
    Thank you! Thank you!

  19. 19
    Kelly f says:

    Is that add 4 tbs flour for each wheat germ and flax(8 total) or 4 tbs to replace both? I usually have flax but not wheat germ.

  20. 20
    Rachael F. says:

    These look great! I love wheat germ on yogurt(although I buy it in a jar in the breakfast isle instead of a large bag, but the bag might be a better deal I will check!). So good. Anyway, I have a question. I have been putting off buying a waffle iron because I want a Belgian waffle maker but I am not sure if that means I have to have special batter. Would this recipe work still do you know? (of all the more complicated recipes I make and create, I have a hang up on waffle batter of all things, lol)

  21. 21
    Jennifer Lee says:

    This recipe was a huge hit for breakfast this morning. Thanks for sharing my new go-to waffle recipe!

  22. 22
    Jenny says:

    Thank you for this post! We have a very similar recipe (except we add a little Bisquick and cinnamon to ours), and had even tried them with wheat germ and flax seed before, but were never really sure how much to add. And thank you for explaining everything’s health benefits! I’ll definitely be using more of these healthier ingredients now! I’m excited to try these new toppings too!

  23. 23
    Jenny says:

    Rachel F–we make our very similar recipe in our Belgian waffle maker every time and it works great! LOVE our waffle maker!

  24. 24
    Laura says:

    Do you have a waffle iron you’d recommend to make thin waffles as opposed to Belgian?

  25. 25
    Tara says:

    I made these this morning in a Belgian waffle maker and they were delicious! I had flax on hand, but no wheat germ, so I added 1 tablespoon of wheat flour and it turned out great. Loving the healthier (but still so dependably tasty) recipes!!!

  26. 26

    Love the add-ons you listed! These sound like a great idea, and healthier than my normal waffles recipe for sure :)

  27. 27
    Esther L says:

    I made these for breakfast this morning and they were fantastic! I’m not a huge waffle fan, but these had great texture and flavor. The kids were big fans of doing the choose your own toppings bar. It was great!

  28. 28
    Becky B says:

    Question on the flax–I have whole flax seed that I mix in the blender and add to smoothies. Is flax meal the same thing, (ground up flax seeds) or made with only parts of the seeds? And is the flax meal better either in taste or nutrition? Thanks for all your recipes. I was looking for a good wheat waffle recipe–mine is only mediocre.

    • 28.1
      sara says:

      It’s just ground up flax seed. The seeds are so itty bitty, that it’s hard for them to really get ground up (like, even in smoothies you’ve probably noticed it leaves some grit.) So the flaxseed meal just makes it easier to incorporate into recipes, especially batters and doughs since it’s a finer grind.

  29. 29
    Ali says:

    I love this! All versions look delicious!
    I made the mini puffed oven pancakes with east berry sauce for breakfast this morning but substituted half the flour with whole wheat flour. They came out almost indistinguishable from the 100% white flour version and the whole family loved them!

  30. 30
    Melanie says:

    I made these (minus the wheat germ & flaxseed). I mixed some berries into the batter and used my mini-belgian waffle maker. The kids loved them!

  31. 31
    Sue says:

    We had these for dinner last night. They were delicious! I’m not usually too fond of whole-wheat anything, so I was very pleasantly surprised. I topped mine with butter and homemade apple butter. It was wonderful.

  32. 32
    Maria says:

    I made these this morning and they are super yummy! I love using whole wheat flour (bought at the store or ground myself) in anything I can. Thanks for sharing!

  33. 33
    Megan Parr says:

    These are delicious! Thanks for the great topping ideas too. My favorite- the cinnamon apples, and I made some homemade buttermilk syrup (kind of like a caramel apple waffle). I don’t think I’ll be able to eat waffles without them ever again! I am all out of wheat flour, and all purpose flour, so my only option tonight was bread flour. I did have toasted wheat germ however-a great addition. These were fantastic. Thanks again!

  34. 34
    Rhonda says:

    Just bought my belgian waffle maker today and can’t wait to try these. Do you happen to know if the dry ingredients are mixed and stored ahead of time in bulk, how much would we measure out to add to the wet when we are ready to bake one recipe?

  35. 35
    Kelly says:

    Do u know the calorie count using regular sugar?

  36. 36
    Sydney says:

    I am pulling this up to make these for the fourth time since you posted this… The other three times were all within a week of your post, but I was too embarrassed to admit it at the time. :) Haha – needless to say, my family loves them! We have also drained a jar of Buttermilk Caramel Syrup to top them off. I love that they are healthy – especially since we cover them in sugar. Every little bit helps!

  37. 37
    Jill says:

    I have tried many whole wheat pancake and waffle recipes and these are by far the best ones ever. And they are very sustaining. If we have these for breakfast, my girls don’t ask for a morning snack. Very good!

  38. 38
    katy says:

    looks so yummy! i love bready baked goods, just sometimes feel guilty for all the white flour we consume.

    also- have you tried PB2?? its a healthy alternative to peanut butter- all natural, just less fat and calories! would be a great addition to your 3rd option! :)

  39. 39
    Sonya says:

    I cant even begin to tell you how much we LOVED these waffles!! My two teenaged sons kept saying how much they loved the nutty flavor and how full they stayed until lunch time..total winner of a recipe..thank you!

  40. 40
    Peggy says:

    I made these for breakfast yesterday. Everyone loved them! Thanks for sharing.

  41. 41
    heidi says:

    do you have a suggestion for a good waffle maker? my 17 yr old one is on its way out.

    • 41.1
      sara says:

      I just have a simple one, but I know on one of our waffle posts (I think it was Kate’s recent “Light and Crispy Waffles” post) a lot of people were talking about a specific waffle maker they love. It’s the one Kate has so it’s probably featured in that post- check it out!

  42. 42
    Heather says:

    I know this is a very late comment, but I have to tell you how much we love this recipe at my house! I always make a double batch and freeze, they are so crispy and light and yummy from the toaster! AND they are totally kid-tested and aprroved :) Loved by my whole-wheat-hating 3 year-old and 13 year-old.
    I’m also a FACS teacher and I decided to try this recipe as part of our breakfast unit in a beginning foods class and most of the kids loved them. Thanks for the awesome recipes, please keep the healthy ones coming!

  43. 43
    Shana says:

    The perfect sunday breakfast recipe! I made the batter right away. Then I realised I threw the waffle iron out last year. Made really good pancakes though! :)

  44. 44
    Trisha says:

    Would you happen to know if I would use the same amount of almond milk in place of the milk? (Milk allergies in our family). I haven’t cooked much with almond milk though so don’t know if it would ruin the waffles (especially since I’m not a big fan of the taste of almond milk straight up in a glass).

  45. 45

    Just sub equal amounts- it should be fine :)

  46. 46
    Eva says:

    I made these tonight with dried cranberries and almonds…delish!!

  47. 47
    Sonia says:

    These were great!! they get nice and crispy and soft at the same time. I replaced the oil with applesauce and it was still great! Probably a little more dense, but didn’t alter taste. Thanks for such a filling and healthy recipe! It will be my go-to one!

  48. 48
    Meredith says:

    Favorite pancakes. Cook up perfectly every time. Thanks for sharing this one :-)

  49. 49
    Janet says:

    These are the best waffles. I used coconut oil instead of canola oil. Freezing them for go to breakfasts.

  50. 50
    Angela Cady says:

    Could I mix the dry ingredient’s and store them in the fridge? For how long do you think?

  51. 51
    Zarin says:

    I recently bought a waffle iron and was so excited to try it out. I’m a healthy eater so I was so glad I found this recipe! The waffles came out amazing, and tasted so naughty for something so healthy. Definitely going to make these waffles countless times in the future. Thanks so much <3

  52. 52
    Julia says:

    Have you ever tried this with beating the egg whites and folding in? I love waffles and that makes the best in my opinion. Might try this flour mix with that change – will let you know how it goes!

  53. 53
    Shibani says:

    Hi!
    Tried it this morning… As my kids were insisting on
    Waffles! I really want to get them away from white flour.
    They came out awesome! Love the flaxseed addition.
    I also make a whole wheat bread with flaxseed , sesame
    And ground almonds.. Kids love it!
    Would love to see some health bread recipes for the bread
    Machine… Specially with cinnamon!

  54. 54
    Lauren says:

    Is it ok to make a bunch of these and then freeze them? I really want to do that but since it’s a lot of natural ingredients I don’t know how well it would do after being frozen. Either way I must try this recipe!

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