Friday, August 21, 2015

Pumpkin Waffles

"But guys, the plague of pumpkin and pumpkin spice everything hasn't even started yet!  Don't you want to wait until our nostrils and taste buds are assaulted by pumpkin spice Doritos, tampons, and toothpaste?!"  Ummm, how 'bout no.  Ubiquity breeds contempt, and in the fall, nothing is more contemptuous than the siege of pumpkin spice commodities that have NO RIGHT BEING PUMPKIN WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?  At any other time of year though, load me up, mofo.  These have an amazing crispy outside and a creamy pie-like inside, good with or without syrup.  To make them non dairy-free (dairy filled? pro-dairy?  legend-dairy?), just replace soy milk with regular.  Hypothetically could also be pancakes, though may rip a hole in the space-time continuum.  You have been warned.

Pumpkin Waffles

Makes 4 servings (1 waffle) at 315 calories / 15 g fat / 40 g carbohydrates / 6 g protein

Wet Ingredients
3/4 cup soy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 sugar or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

  • Start by pouring your milk substitute into a measuring cup. Add the apple cider vinegar to the milk and let it sit a minute. This adds a more buttermilk taste and interacts with the baking powder to give the lift you are missing from no eggs. Don't worry it won't taste like vinegar.

  • The next part couldn't be easier, plop in the flour first and the put all the dry ingredients after. Separate bowls and sifting is for people who don't have a stack of tumblr to read or daily quests to burn through.

  • Mix up the ingredients with a whisk. Avoid going at it like Ryu on a compact car, just enough to get it smooth, one or two times past just incorporated. You'll get something a little thicker than your standard batter. 
  • Waffle makers differ in how they cook, so follow your specific instructions/experience, but there are a few universal truths (no, no not the kind from the Church of Universal Truth). Give your iron plenty of time to heat up, use a generous amount of cooking spray on all the inside surfaces, then pour the batter in a gentle circle around the center of the iron. After that, press the iron down and let it cook without messing with it. 

  • How long do you cook it? If you have an expensive maker it will probably tell you with temperature sensing technology and on-board emf detectors when your waffle is done to precise crispness. If you're like me you have the thrift store model that's seen three generations of service. The best indicator, other than trial and error, is that the waffle is usually done enough when the wispy phantasmal steam has been fully exorcised from the interior. I was the old priest, Munchkin was the young priest.
  • Plate the waffles and try not to eat the first one before you have cooked the others. 

Vegan Superpowers 

There is some debate as to whether granulated sugar is truly vegan as some companies use bone char in the refining process. If you'd like to avoid that in your diet you can substitute maple syrup.

From a more general health standpoint you can improve the recipe by buying organic canned pumpkin to avoid problematic BPA interior can linings--I doubt you will gain much in terms of pesticide reduction. You can also cut the oil out of the batter and reduce the sugar at the cost of floppier waffle (you nearly halve the calories and almost all the fat), but I'd keep the spray on the waffle iron unless you want a catastrophe on a Battle of the Blackwater scale.

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