Every Sunday morning, my little family comes downstairs (or “downdairs” as the toddler says) and heads to the kitchen. My husband starts working on a batch of French press coffee (if we don’t have any cold brew in the fridge), and the kid and I start working on breakfast. In the last month or so, Juni has really gotten into cooking with Mama, and it makes my heart so happy.
When I tell her we’re going to make pancakes or waffles or French toast or whatever we’ve decided on for breakfast, she climbs up on a little stool that we keep at the end of the kitchen island, puts on her apron (sometimes), throws her hands in the air and yells “BOOGIE CITED!!!” (Boogie=one of her many nicknames. Cited=excited). It’s maybe the cutest thing ever in the history of ever. Not that I’m biased or anything.
Cooking with a two year old requires a certain level of patience that I just didn’t even know was possible before I had a kid. When Juni “helps” make waffles, flour goes everywhere (she looovvvessss sticking her hand in the flour container), milk splashes out the side of the bowl while she stirs, and more than once I have to remind her to only lick the spoon after we’ve finished mixing everything. If it wasn’t so much fun, it would be incredibly frustrating—which I think could be a campaign slogan of sorts for parenting as a whole.
She isn’t quite old enough to do the more dangerous stuff—cutting or cooking with heat mostly—so once the mixing stage is done, she normally climbs down off her stool and goes back to playing with her trains (the girl is obsessed with Thomas & Friends Minis—it’s a thing). When she comes back to the breakfast table later, I have to remind her that she helped make what we are eating, and if you look closely, you can see just a little bit of pride on her face. That and a whole lot of maple syrup.
This waffle recipe actually comes courtesy of my oldest sister, who is known countrywide as maybe the best waffle maker on the planet. Because I can’t leave well enough alone, I take her amazing waffle recipe and make it with white whole wheat flour. You’ve heard me sing the praises of white whole wheat before, but just in case someone hasn’t heard about it, I gotta go over it again. White whole wheat flour (I really like Bob’s Red Mill Ivory Wheat Flour or King Arthur Flour’s Organic White Whole Wheat) is a 100% whole grain flour—just like whole wheat flour.
The difference is that white whole wheat flour is ground from a lighter, milder flavored wheat berry. It results in a lighter color, texture, and flavor. Is it all-purpose flour? Nope, but it’s a nice halfway point between all-purpose and the nutty, heavy taste of whole wheat flour. It’s a GREAT flour to use if you are trying to get more whole grains into your family’s diet, but they are struggling with the (admittedly cardboard-y) taste and texture of regular whole wheat flour. You used to only be able to get white whole wheat flour at speciality stores or by grinding it yourself, but in the past year or so, most major supermarkets have started carrying it. Check your baking aisle!
These pumpkin waffles are not only 100% whole grain, but they’re still fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside (just like a good waffle should be!). They are tinted orange and spiced with the perfect flavors of Fall—cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and a heavy hand of pumpkin. You can serve these up decadent style with whipped cream and maple syrup, or slather them with Greek yogurt and fruit for a healthy, autumnal breakfast.
Like all homemade waffles, these babies will freeze wonderfully. Just let the pumpkin waffles cool completely on a wire rack, then transfer to a plastic zip-top freezer bag. To reheat, just pop the waffle into the toast or toasted oven until warm and crispy. Enjoy!