Friday, April 04, 2008

Sweet Potato Waffles

Since we've started getting sweet potatoes in the farm box (around November or so), I've been wanting to make waffles. We tried these last year and they were delicious. Not only does the flavor of sweet potato go really well with brown sugar and cinnamon, but it adds interesting texture, and the moistness of the potato helps keep the waffles from becoming dry. Besides, since sweet potatoes are vegetables, I feel slightly more virtuous eating sweet potato waffles than regular ones, despite their still-dubious nutritional value (see below).

I used this recipe from Alton Brown as my guide, with a few modifications. After steaming 1.5 cups of sweet potatoes in a glass dish in the microwave, I just mashed them up with 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, the grated rind of one large satsuma (probably less than the suggested 1 Tbsp), and 2 eggs (rather than the six egg whites suggested by Alton). In a separate bowl, I mixed together 2 cups flour, 1 Tbsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. I added the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stirred just until everything was wet - it's important not to overmix or the batter can become tough. The batter is super thick, almost like a dough, but it cooked up fine.

We have a relatively inexpensive two-square Belgian waffle maker that takes about 1/4 cup of batter per waffle and cooks them up in about 5-6 minutes. Other types of waffle makers will operate differently, obviously. :) If I could go back and do my waffle iron purchasing over again, I'd probably get a large round one rather than the two-square, since it's easier to get the batter to spread and cook evenly in a round iron. But c'est la vie.

I decided to top the waffles with a little bit of apple - cut up one large apple into thin slices, melt 1/2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan and sautee the apples. Add 1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon and cook until the apples are nice and soft. The waffles are pretty moist, especially with the juicy and buttery apples on top, but maple syrup (and/or whipped cream) would still be a welcome addition.

Time: Overall, this took me about 40 minutes to get together: 20 minutes to cut up /steam the sweet potato and mix the ingredients, and then another 20 for the four 'batches' of waffles to cook (while I made coffee and the apple topping). Not an insignificant investment of time, but not bad for a fancy schmancy breakfast.

Dishes/kitchen mess: As someone who owns a food processor, stand mixer and pizza stone but no dishwasher, I often find myself evaluating recipes based on how big a pile it will leave in the sink. This one dirties two large bowls and a waffle iron (plus a small saucepan for the apples) and involves some chopping as well, so I'll give it a 5 out of 10 on my arbitrary kitchen mess scale.

Nutrition Info: 227 calories per waffle (6g fat/37g carbohydrates/6g protein - more here). The sauteed apples add another 77 calories (2g fat/15g carbohydrates/0g protein - more here). Maple syrup and whipped cream both up the calories considerably, too.

So, okay, it's not health food, but there IS a lot of vitamin A (150% of your daily value in two waffles!) and hey, there's nothing wrong with a sweet breakfast treat once in a while. Especially if you have a couple pounds of sweet potatoes lying around.

1 comment:

Sophie said...

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