When I found out I had celiac disease (about three years at this time), I gradually went to eating fewer and fewer grains and flours. I basically ended up eating a Paleo-type diet by accident. I just felt better and lost weight more readily not eating any flours. ANY. Of course, it turned out a lot of people were already smart to eating unprocessed foods, cutting out the gluten, and eating coconut oil. Somehow I had navigated to the same place just by individual experimentation. I saw a lot of improvements in my health overall and continual weight loss. Granted, a breast cancer dx doesn’t sounds like an improvement but we don’t know that my diet didn’t help prevent the spread of what I did have. Also, as a sufferer of dermatitis herpetiformis, the celiac skin disease, I found it necessary to limit my iodine intake but then iodine deficiency is a big risk factor for breast cancer along with being an older mother, only breastfeeding one child, working in smoky bars in my youth, past obesity, and a few other risk factors. Was I low in iodine for a couple years? Probably. Don’t try this at home, kids, even if the doctors don’t listen to you and won’t do the tests. (Decades, fer feck’s sake, DECADES I tried to get help with my skin…!)
Fast forward to me getting into a normal weight range so my body started handling some refined foods (any flour is technically refined, “whole grain” or not) with a little more flexibility, also being a HUGE fan of buckwheat, I started looking into working with buckwheat flours last year. So much so that when I set up this blahg, I chose the name “buckwheatgf” (just “buckwheat” was taken of course….) Buckwheat has potential nutritional benefits that I’m extremely interested in now. Mammary tumor reduction? Hells yeah! Lower blood glucose levels when cancer loves glucose? Double hells yes. I’m also a fan of Stephan Guyenet, a neurobiologist/obesity researcher who is a staunch proponent of soaking and fermenting grains and legumes to improve nutrition and digestibility, of “traditional eating” (think foods our great-grandparents ate), and who writes wonderful reviews of medical studies in these regards. All these factors led me to thinking of soaking or fermenting the buckwheat.
So, buckwheat is delicious! Ok, if you don’t already like little savory buckwheat blinis with sourcream, caviar and dill on them, or soba noodles in dipping sauce, you might be skeptical but I have always liked buckwheat (and liver and onions too). Inspired by this recipe, I worked out a way to make something similar while meeting my particular needs and working with what I usually have in my kitchen. This recipe achieves some really nice foodie affects: the texture of all the flours is more delicate and moist because of the long soak, the almond flour is less “grainy” like it usually is in almond flour recipes, and these have a sourdough flavor too. I love it!
(added 12/16/12 – See the new version of this recipe I’ve been using for months in the Belgian wafflemaker here.)
Nourishing Buckwheat & Almond Waffles
At least 12 hours and up to 24 hours before you want to make waffles, thoroughly mix these first four ingredients in a bowl, cover and keep on your countertop:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup almond flour
1 cup yogurt (that’s plain yogurt, full fat ideally)
1 cup water
When it’s time to make the waffles, heat up the waffle iron.
Mix the next ingredients into the bowl of soaked flours:
2 extra-large or jumbo eggs (or 3 medium or large*), whisked
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
Now you can make waffles (or pancakes I’m sure). I butter my waffle iron even though it’s “non-stick”, so do as you need to with yours. If your batter is a little too thick, add water a teaspoon at a time until you reach desired thickness. Conversely, if it seems too thin, I recommend adding a teaspoon of arrowroot starch at a time until desired thickness.
My current waffle iron takes a third cup of batter in each side – mine makes two 3.5 inch by 4 inch waffles. I am excited to tell you that I ordered a Belgian waffle iron (via my credit card rewards, I have obtained more good kitchen appliances this way…) and when it arrives, I’ll try to get some pretty photos. (How do all these food bloggers get such pretty photos?!?!)
*I use 2 duck eggs from a lightweight breed but these tend to be larger than chicken eggs. Local free-range chicken eggs I can get are generally much smaller and definitely a ratio of 3 chicken eggs to 2 duck eggs is applicable for those. Store-bought eggs of extra-large to jumbo come closer to the size of my duck eggs.
edit 8/1/12: My Belgian waffle maker arrived last night. I was so excited that I put some flours to soaking before bedtime. I cleaned, heated, and treated the new waffle iron this morning and finished up my batter, poured it in, flipped it. I almost cried (but didn’t!) when the timer went off and I opened up that wafflemaker and my waffle stuck to the iron and completely split in two! ugh! I turned it off because I had a big cleanup ahead of me. I plugged in my cheap ($10), old waffle iron and the result was not as bad but the waffles were still too delicate and coming apart a bit. So I figured somehow my batter was thin (was it humid yesterday? did I space out while measuring and add too much water?) so I added a teaspoon of arrowroot and sure enough got waffles that didn’t completely fall apart.
Little Waffle on the Prairie
Dang it was good! So, I think besides whether I messed up my liquid measurement last night, I also used Bob’s Red Mill buckwheat flour but previously had been using Dakota Prairie buckwheat flour. I suspect some difference in starch content. I will play with this recipe some more to see if I can get a more universally useful one, maybe a bit of coconut flour or something. Plus, I want the big damn pockets of the Belgian waffle!