Banana Waffles with Blueberries and Walnuts from the AICR

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As one of the foremost cancer research institutes in the nation, the American Institute for Cancer Research leads the way in making evidence-based recommendations that promote lifestyle choices among the public that can prevent the development of some cancers. To this end, every other week their test kitchen offers a new and delicious recipe.

This week: Banana Waffles with Blueberries and Walnuts

Who doesn’t love banana bread or banana muffins? How about banana waffles? Made with white whole-wheat flour and oats, these waffles are delicious and high in filling fiber. Topped with crunchy walnuts and an easy to make whole blueberry sauce, you and your family will go nuts for these waffles.

All purpose white flour, unbleached or bleached, has had its bran, endosperm and germ removed making it less nutritious and low in fiber. On the other hand, white whole-wheat flour is milled from hard white spring wheat (a different variety from the more well-known red wheat) making it perfect for baking because it is more like pastry flour but still has its cancer-protective and health-promoting fiber and phytonutrients. It has a milder flavor than the whole-wheat flour milled from red wheat.

Though these waffles may be made entirely with white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour, if you’re not used to whole grains, using some white flour in the recipe can help you get used to a different flavor and texture. The oats provide fiber in the form of beta-glucan, which lowers cholesterol and helps control type 2 diabetes, and polyphenolic substances that can help reduce cancer-promoting inflammation.

This one mixing bowl recipe calls for mashing a banana and combining with wet ingredients before adding dry ingredients. Like with any quick bread batter, mix gently and quickly to avoid stretching the gluten protein in wheat, which makes for tough waffles.

For a flavorful topping, this blueberry sauce made with whole berries, honey and lemon juice is delicious and beautiful on the waffles. With blueberries as a topping and banana in the waffles you’ll be on your sweet way to eating the recommended 1½ to 2 cups of fruit daily. Save leftover Blueberry Sauce as a topping for pancakes, yogurt parfaits and grilled foods.

Any toasted nut may be added as a crunchy topping with the Blueberry Sauce but walnuts taste especially good with bananas!

Banana Waffles with Blueberries and Walnuts

Blueberry Sauce (see recipe below)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

Instructions

Prepare Blueberry Sauce below.

Preheat waffle iron. For golden brown waffles set browning control on medium. For crisper, darker waffles set browning control to higher setting.

In large mixing bowl, mash banana with fork. Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract and stir together. Add flours, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir together until just combined. Batter will be lumpy.

Spray both sides of waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour batter in center of waffle iron (amount will vary depending on waffle iron size; check manufacturer’s instructions for amount). Cook until waffle iron indicates waffle is done, about 3-5 minutes.

Remove waffle from iron and place on serving plate. Top waffle with walnuts and blueberry sauce and serve.

Waffles are best served when made to order. Cooked waffles may be kept warm in oven or toaster oven set on 200 degrees F. Waffles will lose crispness upon holding. Freeze leftover waffles in plastic storage bag and reheat in toaster or toaster oven.

Makes six 6½-inch waffles.

Blueberry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

In small saucepan over medium heat, warm honey, stirring until thin, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add blueberries and lemon juice. Let sauce sit until ready to use.

Makes 2 cups sauce; eight ¼ cup servings.

Per serving (waffles): 302 calories, 16 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 33 g carbohydrate, 9 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 405 mg sodium.

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