Single-serving vanilla protein waffle (featuring three pulse varieties)
This post was created in partnership with North American Pulses.
I had this grand plan to have our pantry finished and stocked by the time the flooring dudes came in to lay those snazzy encaustic tiles on our kitchen floor. That was four weeks ago. And currently? Our future pantry is littered with a dozen IKEA instruction pamphlets, a garbage disposal (I fought Thom really hard on not having one in the new kitchen) (and I lost), and standards that were supposed to be hung along the studs and lined with sealed planks of wood we have yet to purchase despite the fact that we've been to the home improvement store about 1,827 times. And a lumberyard. Twice. So the pantry? It's a far cry from being finished. But I'm rolling with the punches because if there's one thing this process has taught me, it's that we're almost never in control - or, not in nearly as much control as we think we are.
I suppose this is the point where I tell you I'm the kind of person who almost always has a plan. For EVERYTHING. It's maddening and exhausting and, frankly, not a very healthy way to exist because you spend far more time planning than you do enjoying your life and just letting. shit. happen. So the kitchen renovation? It was a welcome reality check. A reminder that no matter how much I plan or how many ducks I think I have in a row - life is going to throw me a lot of lemons, shit is - undoubtedly - going to hit the fan, and I'm going to be forced to sit back and watch everything implode. And I'm not going to be able to do a thing about it. Except laugh. And maybe cry. But mostly laugh because HAVE YOU EVER RENOVATED A KITCHEN? Is it not the most hilarious and ridiculous and stupid thing you've ever done? I mean, seriously. It takes a special kind of person to think they can 1) endure a kitchen renovation in a 950 square foot apartment and confine themselves - along with their significant other - to 200 square feet of living space for an unknown amount of time and 2) go into a major home renovation thinking they've got everything under control. But then comes the unexpected. The wonky ceiling and the diatomaceous earth and the asbestos and all the other nightmare-inducing things that are typical of a building that was built in the 1920s.. and you start fantasizing about burning the whole thing to the ground. Then you wake up one morning and realize you're a little crazy, and convince yourself to either seek outside help or find a constructive way to deal with the excess energy/anxiety/stress.
Being that I'm both stubborn and cheap, I decided to switch up my weight training method (with a focus on building muscle rather than maintaining it) and just, you know, go all in. And it is no exaggeration when I say it changed my life. It changed my perspective on fitness. On nutrition. It changed the way I sleep, the way I think, and the way I view my body. Through a lot of hard work and determination (and a lot of early-mornings lurking on weight lifting forums and trying to absorb as much as I can on muscle nutrition), I've given myself the greatest gift of all: my health; my spiritual and emotional and physical health.
But back to the nutrition part because I think that's a pretty important component considering nearly every person (on these weight lifting forums) claims that fitness (rather, your overall health and well-being) begins in the kitchen. While old me would have laughed and rolled my eyes at that statement because I can totally out-train a bad diet, I wholeheartedly agree with them now that I've spent some time paying attention to my body and making it a priority to eat mindfully. Rather, eating to fuel my workouts and day to day activities (more protein and carbohydrates and fat), but remembering to allow myself the flexibility to have a doughnut (or three) without the overarching feeling of guilt because ya only live once, folks. And doughnuts are delicious.
Sadly, I'm not here with a doughnut recipe today, but I am here with a recipe for a nutrient-dense waffle that's chock-full of good-for-you fats and protein, and three varieties of pulses (pea protein and chickpeas and fava beans!). Since 2016 is the International Year of Pulses - and since I've been challenging myself to eat pulses at least once a day (have you taken the weekly Pulse Pledge, yet?) - I've found my daily pledge far more attainable when I work pulses (beans, dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas) into my diet first thing in the morning. Some mornings it's a quick protein shake or smoothie and others it's a chickpea scramble or bowl of savory breakfast porridge, but lately my go-to has been this waffle. Partly because it's insanely satisfying, but mostly because the drizzle of pure maple syrup isn't optional.. it's mandatory.
Notes: The maple sugar makes the waffle just barely sweet, so if you'd prefer something sweeter, use sweetened vanilla almondmilk (or double the maple sugar). Protein powders vary by weight (flavored protein powders tend to weigh considerably less than their unflavored counterparts), so if you're not using pea protein powder, make sure you use a scale to ensure you get 13g of protein by weight. If you're using flavored protein powder that's sweetened, omit the sugar as it won't be necessary. If you can't find garbanzo (aka chickpea) fava flour, you can replace it with straight up chickpea flour (find out how to make it at home, here), but the swap will undoubtedly alter the flavor a bit. For anyone who is confused, garbanzo and chickpea are terms that are used interchangeably - chickpea flour and garbanzo flour are the exact same thing. :)
This post is sponsored by North American Pulses. All opinions are my own, and I think we all should be eating more pulses because they're real good for ya (and - BONUS! - they're good for the environment, too).
SINGLE-SERVING VANILLA PROTEIN WAFFLE
3 tablespoons (21g) garbanzo & fava flour
3 tablespoons (24g) buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons (13g) pea protein powder
1 tablespoon (9g) pure maple sugar, optional (see notes above)
1 tablespoon (6g) flax meal
3/4 teaspoon (3g) baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon (10g) sun coco oil (or any neutral oil)
1/2 cup (110g) unsweetened vanilla almondmilk
YOU'LL ALSO NEED
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 small banana, sliced
2-3 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tablespoon crunchy salted peanut butter with flax + chia seeds
1 tablespoon unsweetened flaked coconutPinch of sea salt flakes
First things first: preheat your waffle iron (I use a Belgian waffle maker) (if you use a traditional waffle maker, you may get two waffles out of this recipe). In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flours, protein powder, sugar (if using), flax meal, baking powder, and sea salt. Create a well in the center and add the oil and almondmilk, and mix just until the clumps dissolve. Let the batter sit for one minute (the flax meal will absorb some of the liquid), then give the batter one last stir. Spray the preheated waffle iron with oil then cook the waffle according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Once the waffle finishes cooking, drizzle a puddle of maple syrup into each crevice (I like to add it first so it soaks into the waffle) then slather with peanut butter and top with sliced bananas, strawberries, flaked coconut, sea salt, etc. Eat immediately.
Yield: 1 waffle