spiced apple buttermilk waffles

Spiced Apple Buttermilk Waffles

I was interested in trying whole grain white wheat for these waffles because of it’s milder flavor and lighter texture. I felt that whole grain red wheat would yield too dense of a product and wanted these to be as close texturally to a waffle made with refined flour as possible. And, according to the Whole Grains Council, whole grain white wheat is just as nutritionally beneficial as red wheat.

Wheat can be somewhat of a controversial ingredient and hard to understand. Some argue that today’s wheat is hybridized and really isn’t wheat at all (compared to the wheat of our ancestors) because of all the generational changes for better commercial farming. Others claim that as long as the wheat is 100% whole grain, it is 100% safe and offers many nutritional benefits. Still others claim that “newer” varieties of wheat, such as white wheat, are genetically modified and should be avoided. Unfortunately, the landscape is cluttered with differing opinions.

When doing research for this recipe, I came across the site for the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) outlining the U.S. wheat supply. According to their site, there is no commercially grown wheat in the U.S. that is genetically modified (GM). Wonderful — white wheat made sense for the test recipe. In the end, I ended up choosing  King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat because as an added bonus that they do not support or use GM wheat in their products.

White wheat appears on the surface to be a good alternative for those who want to eat more whole grains but are hesitant because of the dense nature of whole grain red wheat. Time will tell on its nutritional benefits. One thing I do know, it makes a delicious waffle. Try them for yourself and you be the judge.

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Instructions

  • 1. For the apples
  • 2. Melt butter in medium skillet over moderate heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey. Stir to combine and coat evenly. Saute apple mixture until soft and golden; about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • 3.
  • 4. For the waffles
  • 5. In a small bowl, combine neufchatel cheese, lemon zest and honey. Stir to combine until lightly whipped and smooth. Set aside.
  • 6. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, maple syrup and eggs. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in reserved apple mixture.
  • 7. Preheat waffle iron to the manufacturer's instructions and brush with canola oil. Spoon batter (about 1/2 cup) onto center of hot waffle iron (amount will depend on size of waffle iron); dollop batter with 4-5 small teaspoons of neufchatel cheese. Close waffle iron and bake until golden brown; about 3-5 minutes.
  • 8. Top finished waffles with toasted walnuts, any leftover neufchatel cheese and maple syrup to serve.