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Archive for Breakfast

TODAY IN FOOD: It’s Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day

Who thought up this food holiday, you might ask? Why not Blackberry Waffles Day, or Milk Chocolate Chip Waffles Day?

We’re guessing that Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day is the work of nutritionists at the Whole Grain Council or some other group supporting oats—and they’re not wrong.

We need three portions of whole grains daily, and oatmeal waffles are a good start. As for the nuts, while they are high in calories and fat, they contain protein plus the good, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega-3s), which have all been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. (Your body needs two tablespoons of good fats daily.)

  • Waffles are a great way to limit portions of nuts (unlike, say, eating an entire bowl of mixed nuts).
  • Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts are approved by the FDA, since they contain less than 4g of saturated fats per 50g.
  • Walnuts are your best bet—they are more heart-healthy than olive oil and have bone-healthy alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid). But if you must have pecan waffles, we understand.
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    Here’s a recipe to celebrate the day:

     

    Whole-Grain-Waffles-turvs.net-230-ps-sq

    Oatmeal or other whole grain waffles are better than white flour waffles. Nuts add protein. Photo courtesy Turvs.net.

     
    RECIPE: OATMEAL-NUT WAFFLES

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely-chopped nuts
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Optional garnishes: butter, fresh fruit, syrup, yogurt
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    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT a lightly greased waffle iron.

    2. COMBINE the flour, oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in large mixing bowl. Set aside.

    3. MIX the eggs, milk, butter and brown sugar in small mixing bowl. Add this to the flour mixture, stirring until blended.

    4. POUR the batter onto the preheated waffle iron. The waffle iron needs to be hot enough to make a cold drop of water “dance.” When it’s hot enough, add the batter. Close the lid quickly, and do not open during baking.

    TIP: Cooking time varies by waffle iron, setting chosen, if the iron surface is coated (e.g. with Teflon), how much moisture is in the waffle batter, etc. You will need to experiment with your waffle iron. Look for steam escaping from the sides. When the steam stops, the waffles should be finished.

    5. REMOVE the finished waffles with a fork. Top with syrup or fresh fruit and/or yogurt.
     
    HOW MANY TYPES OF WAFFLES HAVE YOU HAD?

    Check them all out in our Pancake & Waffle Glossary, along with the history of waffles.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Rosemary Pepper Bacon

    Winter days beg for hearty breakfasts and brunches, and this tasty bacon recipe is sure-to-please. Put strips of bacon on a baking sheet. Strip leaves from one sprig of rosemary per half pound of bacon and sprinkle them over the meat. Add fresh-cracked pepper to taste and roast at 400°F until crisp, about 10 minutes. Or, you can start with Nueske’s delicious pepper bacon. Either will make your eggs or BLT sing an exciting new tune.- Read about more of our favorite pork products in THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Pepper Bacon
    You’ll love your homemade pepper bacon, but treat yourself to some from a top producer, too.
     

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    NEW PRODUCT: Aerosol Pancake “Batter Blaster”

    When we first saw Batter Blaster, we reacted viscerally: We don’t like things in aerosol cans. And the thought of pancake batter spraying out of one evoked images of aerosol cheese. But, don’t judge a product by its cover: This pancake mix is USDA-certified organic, which means that everything in that can is better than all natural. The main ingredients are filtered water, organic wheat flour, organic cane sugar, organic whole egg solids, organic soybean powder and sea salt. The environmentally-conscious will be pleased to know that Batter Blaster is powered by the more ozone layer-friendly carbon dioxide, not the nitrous oxide propellant that can be found in most aerosol canisters. You can point the nozzle to create any shape pancake you wish: your initials, flowers, squiggles.

      Batter Blaster Aerosol Pancake BatterPancakes shoot from the nozzle of Batter Blaster.
    Beyond breakfast, you can make mini pancake canapés with goat cheese, smoked salmon and fresh dill, or crème fraîche and caviar. An 18-ounce can, good for about 28 four-inch pancakes, retails for $4.99 to $5.99 (one poster to the website claims 12 pancakes). Thirty-two ounces of powdered pancake mix is less than half that. But Batter Blaster is no muss, no fuss and lots of fun. Because it is a refrigerated product, there are currently no mail orders, and it is only available on the West Coast and in Meijer Stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. The company anticipates national distribution by July 2008, so get your nozzle finger ready. In the interim, read about our favorite pancakes and waffles in THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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    TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Croissant Day

    Is there a person reading this who does not enjoy a buttery croissant? (Alas, not all are made with butter…but avoid buying croissants at inexpensive delis, and eagerly seek out new bakeries to see what they have to offer.) Our only complaint is that the flaky puff pastry that is so delightful in the mouth invariably ends up all over our place setting and our clothing. We admire people who can eat one neatly. A good croissant already contains so much butter that it needs no more embellishment. If you get one from a top baker who uses the best butter, enjoying each bite without the interference of additional butter or jam is, in our opinion, the way to go.
    Making croissants by hand is very labor-intensive. Much of what is available today is factory-made, pre-formed and frozen, delivered to the bakery, food store or restaurant and “baked on our premises.” In the 1970s, the croissant evolved into a fast food, filled with everything from broccoli to ham and cheese (and in many cases, lowering the quality of the puff pastry itself).
      Croissants
    Hold the butter: A truly fine, fresh croissant is buttery enough.
    There are several stories about the invention of the croissant, but all appear to be legends. According to the Oxford Companion To Food, no recipe for what we know as the croissant appears before the early 20th century. It thus seems highly unlikely, for example, that the croissant was invented in Vienna in 1583 to celebrate the defeat of the Turkish siege of the city. Bakers, who were up in the wee hours making the city’s bread, are said to have heard the enemy tunneling under the city and were able to warn the army, thus saving Vienna from siege. In honor of the victory, the bakers created the croissant, the shape taken from the crescent emblem on the Turkish flag. (Eat this!) Such a heroic story; you will find it just about everywhere you look for “history of the croissant.” But one of the ways that food historians try to determine the truth is by looking at old recipe books. There are enough cookbooks from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries to deprive bakers of their most famous moment in history, alas.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Cocoa Garnishes

    Hot Chocolate
    For another variation, add chocolate confetti curls to your hot chocolate.
      Place cute character cookies (the gourmet version of animal crackers) on the whipped cream topping of a cup of hot chocolate. Look for small, lightweight cookies with interesting shapes in your specialty food store. But don’t stop there.


    – See 25 ways to spruce up your hot chocolate. You’ll also learn the difference between cocoa and hot chocolate—they aren’t synonymous.

    – You can also read the difference between natural and dutched chocolate.

    – See reviews of more than 70 brands in the Cocoas & Hot Chocolates Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

     

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