Rarely have I had as much fun developing a recipe as I did this one! It started out as “chaffles” – mozzarella cheese & egg waffles, a tasty creation that’s all the rage in the keto community. They sure are tasty and supply plenty of protein, fat and calcium; however, many of my clients don’t tolerate dairy, so I felt the need to take them back to the drawing board.
Many, many tweaks and batches later, these waffles were born. They are dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-yolk-free (of interest to anyone with ovarian or prostate cancer) and can even be entirely egg-free (by using an egg substitute like JUST Egg).
Best of all, they are light, crispy and delicious, and contain only 1 g net carbohydrate per waffle (as compared with a major commercial brand whose toaster waffles weigh in at 14 g minimally-nutritious carbohydrate from refined flour). If you don’t have a waffle maker, the batter can be used to make equally delicious, light and fluffy pancakes.
Moreover, you can vary their flavor endlessly! For instance, replace almond flour with hazelnut four, add 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa and ½ tsp vanilla extract and you get “Nutella”-waffles; top with vanilla skyr and low-carb jam and you’ll go straight to heaven.
If you prefer savory breakfast foods, try adding dill and bagel seasoning to the batter and topping the waffles with sour cream and smoked salmon or salmon roe. Or add chopped, fresh rosemary, garlic powder, chopped olives and grated Parmesan for a Tuscan focaccia flavor (delicious topped with burrata cheese and prosciutto).
The possibilities are endless.
- ½ cup egg whites equivalent to 4 egg whites
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt I use 2%
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ cup almond flour finely ground; other nut flours work, too; I love hazelnut flour with cocoa & vanilla.
- 3 tbsp ground flax seed Trader Joe’s or Spectrum’s, which were found in a Jan 2023 ConsumerLab review to have the lowest levels of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal
- 1 tsp psyllium husk powder psyllium powders are very variable; I use and love NOW Foods' psyllium powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- ¼ cup water
- ghee or olive oil spray
- powdered sugar
- Combine all the ingredients (except for the ghee or olive oil) in a bowl and whisk to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the batter to thicken. It should have the consistency of a light cake batter; adjust if necessary. (Different types of flax meal absorb different amounts of moisture; the brown flax meal I use here absorbs more water than golden flax meal. Experiment with the one you use until you’re happy with the consistency of the dough and the texture of the waffles/pancakes.)
- While the batter is thickening, preheat the waffle maker. If making pancakes, warm a large skillet over medium-low heat.
- Spray the surface of the waffle maker lightly with olive oil (I use a Misto sprayer) or spread a little ghee over the surface with a small spoon. Spoon the batter into the center of the waffle maker (no need to spread it all the way to the edges of the waffle maker; the act of closing the lid will spread the batter out evenly). Close the lid.
- Let the waffle bake for at least 2 minutes before opening the lid. The waffles should be ready when there is barely any steam emerging from the crack between base & lid.
- If you plan to eat them right away, bake them until they are golden-brown and crispy (around 3 minutes); if you plan to refrigerate them and toast them up later, bake until pale golden (2-3 minutes) as they will darken further when you toast them.
- Remove waffle from waffle maker and place on a cooling rack for 30 seconds to crisp up before eating. Add whatever topping strikes your fancy; I love Greek yogurt & berries and a dusting of powdered sugar (which looks like much more sugar than it really is: 1/2 tsp powdered sugar is equivalent to 1 g sugar!).
- If you plan to store the waffles for later, let them cool completely on the rack before refrigerating them in an airtight container or ziploc bag. These waffles keep for 3-4 days in the refigerator. They freeze well, too.