makes about 10/ 4” waffles  (can be wheat-free and soy-free)

 From my book “The Fiber for Life Cookbook”


You can make wholegrain waffles from an ordinary waffle recipe—but why spoil a good thing with all those eggs and melted butter?  Try these crispy, ultra-nutritious homemade waffles.

          This recipe was inspired by the simple and unusual Soy-Oat Waffles and variations devised by Edyth Young Cottrell in her ground-breaking book of vegetarian cooking according to Seventh Day Adventist principles,  "The Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Cookbook "(Woodbridge Press, Santa Barbara, CA, 1987).  Her recipes are basic,  but revolutionary.

         I prefer the texture of a batter containing some baking powder (she does not use any leavening) and more flavoring, and added fiber-rich flaxseeds and bran in  my version.  I’ve also specified the beans and grains which I think give superior flavor and texture.

         It’s a great recipe for anyone with food allergies because there are so many choices.  (Don’t use spelt flour , though—it makes a very heavy waffle.)   Of course, there’s no dairy or eggs to worry about, and you can totally avoid wheat or gluten of any kind, if necessary.  If you can’t eat soy, you can use chickpeas.            

         Don’t be put off by having to put the soybeans (or other beans) on to soak the night before.  This takes just minutes before you retire for the night and then, in the morning, the batter is quickly made in the blender while the waffle iron heats up.  These waffles take a little longer to bake than ordinary waffles (about 8 minutes), so you might want to make them ahead of time, or have two waffle irons going at the same time.  They can be reheated quickly in a very hot oven for a short time (you just want to crisp and heat them, not dry them out), or in a toaster.          

         These waffles are inexpensive and low in fat, but  contain high-quality protein, fiber and other nutrients—a great way to start the day!  They can also be used as a lunch or supper dish, topped with chile or creamed vegetables, etc..  Keep some ready-made in the freezer for quick toaster snacks—they are great eaten out of hand with a little low-sugar (ultra-lite) jam.  My favorite version is made with soybeans and half wholewheat flour, half stoneground cornmeal.

         NOTE: And, don’t worry, no one will suspect that there are beans in these waffles!  


1/2 c. dry soybeans OR chickpeas OR white kidney beans (or Great Northern or cannellini beans)

2 1/4 c. water

1 1/2 c. rolled oats  OR 1 1/4  c. wholewheat flour, brown rice flour, or  stoneground cornmeal, or a mixture

1/4 c. wheat or rice bran

2 T. unbleached sugar OR maple syrup, brown rice syrup,  or fruit concentrate syrup

3 T. flaxseeds

1 T. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

OPTIONAL FLAVORINGS:  You can add  about 1/2 T. of vanilla, lemon, or orange extract, if you wish.  You could also add some grated (organic) citrus fruit zest.  You can substitute fruit juice for some of the water, if you wish.  You can add 1/2 c. finely chopped toasted nuts or unsweetened shredded coconut.  **********************************************************                

         The night before:  

Soak the soybeans or chickpeas  in plenty of water.  The beans can soak in water in the refrigerator for up to a week with no fermentation, if you aren’t sure when you’ll make the waffles.            

In the morning:        Drain the beans.  Place them in the blender along with all of the other ingredients.  Blend until smooth and light and foamy.  This may take several minutes.              

         Let the batter stand while you heat up your waffle iron.        

NOTE: Even if you have a non-stick iron, this recipe will work better if you spray the grids well with oil from a pump-sprayer or with a commercial non-stick spray. If you have an older iron, you may have to grease it with vegetable shortening (you can sometimes find a non-hydrogenated version at health food stores) to keep the waffles from sticking.  If using that much fat is a problem, then you should probably get a newer, nonstick waffle iron—there are some very inexpensive models.  

         When the iron is hot,  pour on about a heaping 1/3 c. of batter for each 4” square waffle . Close the iron and set the timer for 8 minutes.  Don’t check before 8 minutes is up.  If the iron is hard to open, let it cook a couple of more minutes.  (I also have a newer round Cuisinart Classic waffle iron and use about 2/3 c.of batter in that one and cook for only 7 minutes.)

COOKING NOTE:  Spray the iron with pump-spray oil or commercial cooking spray before you make each batch of waffles.

         Blend the batter again briefly before pouring out each waffle.  If the batter gets thicker on standing, add a LITTLE water, just until it’s the consistency you started out with.                  

         The waffle should be golden-brown and crispy.  Serve immediately, or let cool on cake racks.  When they are cool, they can be frozen in plastic bags or rigid containers.  Serve with your favorite toppings.

         If you don’t use up all of the batter, and you don’t want to cook the waffles ahead of time and freeze them, just refrigerate the batter in the blender with the lid on.  You can re-blend the batter (adding a tiny bit more water if the batter has become too thick) just before cooking the waffles.

VARIATION USING WHOLE WHEAT KERNELS OR BROWN RICE:  If you prefer, you can soak  1 c. wheat kernels (soft or hard wheat), or brown rice, in the 2 1/4 c. water overnight.  In this case, drain the beans, but NOT the grain.  Use the water you soaked the grain in for the waffle batter.  DON’T USE SPELT—it makes a very heavy waffle, IN MY EXPERIENCE.

Nutrition (per 2 waffles made w/ white beans & oats): 200.4 calories; 11% calories from fat; 2.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 385.8mg sodium; 778.8mg potassium; 35.8g carbohydrates; 6.4g fiber; 3.5g sugar; 9.6g protein.