Most mornings in winter I am up in the dark, letting the dogs out in the frigid temps, brewing coffee, and heading out the door to skin up the ski mountain at sunrise before the resort opens at a more civilized 9am. I love the early morning routine of winter though: watching the sky change from dark to pink to blue, and spending the early hours with dear, fellow uphillers. My temperature perception has changed dramatically due to now living in Crested Butte and reaching 11,500ft before the sun hits the corduroy. The negative temperature mornings are making me markedly tougher. I am grateful now for zero-degree morning. A single digit morning is cruiser, I’m not even bringing a jacket. A double-digit morning? Beach temps!
On the mornings described above, I eat a banana with peanut butter or a Wolfpack alongside my coffee. It's my ritual. I don’t even question it, and look forward to it the night before as I pack up my things like an elementary school kid excitedly preparing their backpack for the next day.
On mornings I sleep in though, I make waffles.
This is not exactly your standard waffle recipe and I hope you love all the unique ingredients that make it wintery, extra nourishing, and special! For starters, I grind oats into flour rather than using wheat flour since I find the oats all the more satiating. (And come on, oats can do anything in my world). Be generous with your spices- cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger are my baking favorites and the ginger especially shines here. Chia seeds help bind the batter and make it extra fluffy, also providing for a substantial meal. It's super simple to grate a zucchini right into the batter, boosting your veggies for the day, and adding some fun speckled color. Applesauce is the natural sweetener here, unless you have some leftover holiday apple cider in your fridge still?! In my opinion, if you're dosing waffles in maple syrup anyway, you do not need much added sweetened in the actual batter. All these flavors together really turn up the wintery charm.
Finally, one extra timely tip that pays off here is separating the eggs and whisking the egg whites until stiff and fluffy. Embrace the process if you're making these on a slow winter morning anyway. It is really worth it I promise! Make sure you are using eggs from happy, healthy chickens.
Ginger Zucchini Winter Waffles
Makes 8 waffles
1 1/2 cups of oats, ground to flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp pink or sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger powder
3 organic eggs, SEPARATED
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 c unsweetened non dairy milk (can sub water)
1/2 c applesauce or apple cider, unsweetened
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons melted butter, more for cooking (can be substituted for coconut or olive oil)
1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 small or 1/2 medium to large zucchini)
Preheat waffle iron to medium setting.
Grind oats in a food processor/blender until flour is achieved. Transfer to large bowl and stir in other dry ingredients.
Using 2 medium bowls, separate the eggs. Set the whites aside for now. Beat the egg yolks, then add chia seeds, and liquid. Stir occasionally to avoid clumping while chia seeds soak. Melt butter in a warm skillet, then add to wet mixture.
Grate zucchini and add to wet ingredients, mix thoroughly.
Whisk egg whites on their own until they are stiff. "Stiff peaks" should stand up when you lift the whisk! An electric mixer is ideal, or even a handheld latte frother. By hand will do, although they will not get as stiff- hand whisk about 5 minutes.
Add wet to dry and fully mix. Then softly fold in egg whites, 1/3 at a time.
Batter should be thick and fluffy, especially now having added the egg whites.
Using a full 1/2c measuring cup, pour batter into waffle iron. Grease waffle iron with butter, both sides, before each cooking.
Enjoy with warm blueberry compote, fresh fruit, maple syrup, more applesauce, chia jam, yogurt, butter, peanut butter… your favorite toppings!
Tag @spring_energy with your waffle pics! #NatureUp
By: Kelly Wolf