It can be tough having children with very different dietary needs and preferences. When we are planning meals/snacks/treats we are always trying to balance nutrition, convenience, cost, allergens, and feelings. Most of the time we buy and cook things that everyone in our house can eat. Cooking “Colin Friendly” saves time but I also like to think it keeps Colin from feeling “left out” more than he has to. He is definitely aware of what he can and can’t have, and is also aware of what his sister is eating. If Colin had been our first child, we’d always have been eating the Colin Diet and Hannah wouldn’t even know what we are NOT eating. But she was born first and knows what is missing from the table.
For the longest time after Colin was born, I held out on purchasing those Oh So Convenient Eggo brand Nutri-Grain wheat waffles, even when Hannah asked for the 100th time if we could buy them. I don’t know why she loves them but she does. Is it that they are circles? Who knows. I was making homemade waffles and enjoying our lack of processed foods. But as time has gone by, the kids appetites have increased and time seems to be decreasing. I finally gave in and bought Hannah her frozen waffles. I won’t lie- they make the before school breakfast debate a lot easier. I top them with a smear of peanut butter, chopped fruit or even a slice of Canadian bacon for a quick breakfast sandwich and she is good to go.
So Hannah was happy with her waffles but Colin wanted in on the Eggo fun so I needed to have something quick on hand for him. Why not freeze our Colin-safe waffles in individual potions? So I began making a full batch of waffles once a month on a Sunday morning. Whatever we don’t eat get’s quartered and frozen. These frozen waffles are “Colin’s Eggos.” I pop a frozen quarter into the toaster and then breakfast is ready in a jiffy. Our toaster has a “Frozen Food” setting that works well but if I forget, I just toast it twice on a very light setting.
It is so nice to have another “Go-To” breakfast option for Colin. Colin is happy with his waffle, Hannah is happy with her Eggo, and we get through our morning rush with a little less drama. That makes me extra happy.
Dairy Free Waffles
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (*see note about alternate flours)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups rice milk (others will work, rice is our favorite)
1/2 cup canola oil or other neutral oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat your waffle maker. Spray with oil/grease with canola oil if needed.
2. Combine the dry goods- In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Combine the wet goods- In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
4. Mix it all up – Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
5. Pour waffle mix into waffle maker. Check with your waffle maker instructions/use a little trial and error. Mine takes a hefty 1/3 cup of batter. Cook according to your waffle maker’s directions. If waffle top and bottom separates try cooking it slightly longer or thicken batter with 2 -4 tablespoons flour.
** Using alternate flours: I love to use 3/4 cup almond flour in place of 3/4 cup AP flour. The end result is even crispier. Sometimes I have to add 2-3 tablespoons of extra AP flour to thicken the batter when using almond flour. I’ve used also made it with whole wheat pastry flour, using half of the AP flour and half whole wheat pastry flour. I have to be better about greasing my waffle maker with these alternate flours, especially almond flour.