What quantifies a great start to a morning? Maybe it’s waking up fully rested, having a quiet moment to meditate, or simply hearing your favorite bird sing outside just as you open your eyes. Most of us would also tack on that a great morning includes feeling energized (hence, coffee’s enduring popularity), and having something to look forward to. And that’s where one of my favorite recipes, chocolate waffles, comes in.
Made with real cacao (two forms, in fact — nibs and powder — to maximize flavor) as well as a natural ingredient set (that can easily go gluten-free if you’re of the preference), these superfood waffles cash in on a wildly delicious aromatic chocolate flavor. Plus, with plentiful fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and good fats, a breakfast like this is ready to make sure you start the day feeling fantastic. I don’t know about you, but if I knew chocolate waffles were on the breakfast menu, I’d be the first one out of bed.
Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these waffles feature a well-rounded chocolate flavor thanks to two forms of cacao: cacao powder (to infuse with the batter) and cacao nibs (to offer little condensed bursts of chocolate flavor). If desired, you can easily make them gluten-free by using a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, as well as gluten-free rolled oats.
MAKES 4 WAFFLES
½ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoon cacao nibs
¾ cup whole wheat flour, or gluten-free all-purpose blend
3 tablespoons cacao powder
¼ cup coconut sugar
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil or safflower oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a food processor, combine the oats and the cacao nibs, and process for 30 seconds to grind the ingredients down. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and add the flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined.
Heat the waffle iron on a medium-low setting. Once hot, spray lightly with cooking spray. Pour in a generous ½ cup of batter per waffle, and smooth out to cover the surface. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until waffles are crispy on the outside. Serve immediately, or store in an oven warmed to 250° F while making the remaining waffles.
Serving suggestion: Serve warm, with fresh berries, coconut whipped cream, and maple syrup on top.