When Store Shelves are Bare, Make Oat Flour!
Its Easy to Make Oat Flour Waffles
One of the many challenges in the time of “shelter in place” is going shopping. I can accept that we have to douse ourselves with sanitizer and stay six feet apart at all times. That’s not the problem. Panic-buying has taken over in many places, and large numbers of us have let our anxieties manifest in toilet paper and sanitizer hoarding. It’s time to take a breath. Your store has a truck coming with more supplies.
Unfortunately, the sense of panic, combined with with so many people staying home and baking, has created a rush to stock up on flour. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve gone to shop several times, to find the wheat flour shelves completely bare. If this happens to you, you can always look for other options, like making your own oat flour. Rolled oats seem to be easy enough to find, compared to wheat flours, so if you are resourceful, you can make it work with freshly ground oat flour. If you are avoiding gluten, Bob’s Red Mill sells gluten free rolled oats, which work really well.
If you are thinking, “whoaaa, I don’t have a grain mill, or whatever…” don’t click away. All you need is a blender or mini-chopper. I have a high powered Vitamix, but you don’t have to have that much power. Rolled oats are soft and easy to grind. I used old-fashioned, thick rolled oats and they buzzed up into a fine flour in a few bursts. If you are working with a less fancy appliance, just go longer. You can judge the flour by looking at it, it’s not tricky.
No Eggs? Try Chia
Once you invest a few seconds in grinding the oats, you are almost to waffles! Chia seeds are one of the ingredients in the cereal section that isn’t wiped out- and if you haven’t already tried chia, this is a perfect time. Buy a bag of these healthful, high fiber, high protein, omega-rich, nutrient-dense seeds, and start sprinkling them into foods you already enjoy. For this recipe, they are going to function as an egg replacer. The teensy seeds have a particular combination of fiber and starches that combine with liquids to form a thick, gluey substance. Unlike flax seeds, which have a hard shell that has to be ground or cracked for the liquids to get to the contents of the seed, chia has a permeable coating that releases its magical goo without any intervention.
Oat Flour Waffles in Minutes
All you need to do it mix the chia seeds with the almond milk and other liquids, and let it stand while you pulse the oats in the blender. The mixture will thicken, and be ready to make your gluten-free, flourless waffles hold together.
I wanted to keep this recipe hard-core pantry, and not doll the shot up with fresh berries from California. Many of my friends are avoiding raw, fresh berries anyway, out of Corona virus caution. So, I went with canned Mandarins, one of the better canned fruits. The little sections keep their shape and texture better than something like a pear, and look pretty on a plate.
These are trying times, and you do need to stay home. If you have oats, you don’t have to make a trip to see if any flour has arrived at your local market. The big benefit is that these are toasty-oat flavored, crispy-tender waffles that deliver a huge dose of comfort.
Oat Flour-Chia Waffles
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 cup mashed bananas
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 11/2 cups rolled oats divided- only grind one
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- oil for waffle iron
- 1 can mandarin oranges, sliced peaches, or other fruit
- Combine almond milk, chia, banana and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl and let set for a few minutes to clabber. Then add avocado oil, maple syrup and vanilla and whisk. Set aside.
- In a blender, place 1 cup of the oats and grind to a powder, stopping to scrape down as needed. Add the baking powder and salt and pulse a few times to mix. Add the liquid mixture and process briefly to mix, and use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the blender container to make sure all the oat flour is mixed in. Blend briefly. Add the remaining 1/2 cup oats and pulse just to mix in. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes for the oats to soak. The batter will thicken.
- Set your waffle iron to a darker setting, for a crisp waffle. Preheat the waffle iron according to manufacturers instructions, for about 5 minutes. When hot, open the iron and oil lightly. Measure 1/2 cup batter and pour into the middle of the iron, and close the top. In about 2 minutes, when the waffle is browned and crisp, transfer the waffle to a plate or a cooling rack. Continue until all the waffles are done.
- Serve waffles hot, with fruit and maple syrup.