Veganism is a plant-based diet that reduces or eliminates meat and dairy products. Many adopt the vegan diet for health reasons or as a socially conscious lifestyle choice. Whether you’re going vegan to get healthy or for ecological purposes, there’s no reason to say goodbye to your favorite recipes altogether. Many of your traditional favorite foods can be adapted with vegan substitutes without compromising flavor and texture.
In the case of the Belgian waffle, all you need to do is substitute your dairy and eggs with other ingredients. A common substitute for butter is coconut oil, which usually follows a 1:1 ratio. This simply means that if a recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of butter, you can add 2 Tbsp (the same amount) of coconut oil. Other butter substitutes include vegetable oil and sunflower oil.
Quick and easy egg substitutes can be a little harder to come by, so this usually involves adding a balanced mixture of baking soda, oil, water, and salt. The effect of this mixture is to add volume (as an egg would) as well as to maintain proper moisture levels. If you’re looking for a quick and clever egg substitute, you should try this “chia egg” recipe by Vanessa at Vegan Family Recipes.
To make one chia egg, simply add 1 Tbsp of chia seeds to 3 Tbsp of water and let sit for 15 minutes. You will notice that a gel forms around the seeds, making it a perfect stand-in for an egg. This entire mixture will replicate the consistency of the egg, adding cohesion, moisture, and volume to your batter. Chia seeds are also considered a “superfood,” which means that they contain a proportionally large amount of vitamins and nutrients for their caloric value.
Looking to add more healthy ingredients to your waffle? Try incorporating whey protein, flax seeds, oatmeal, or whole-grain flour for added nutrients. These ingredients are considered “whole foods,” which means that they have been minimally processed and do not contain additives. This preserves the natural nutritional value in the raw products, rather than refining them and adding unnatural preserving agents.
It is important to note that not everything vegan will also be gluten-free. If you or someone you’re cooking for has a wheat intolerance, make sure your vegan recipe also excludes wheat flours that may contain gluten. In many cases, adapting your vegan recipe to also become gluten-free simply means substituting rice flour and gluten-free baking powder. For help making your recipe vegan and gluten-free, see below.
For more specifics on how to make a protein-infused waffle, see this recipe by Kristine from Busy but Healthy.
The beauty of making eggless waffles is that you don’t need to whip any egg whites, which saves you an extra step! On top of meeting any strict dietary restrictions, this recipe can be adapted to make your waffle pack a serious nutritional punch. Whether you’re hosting guests with dietary sensitivities or simply want to sneak some extra vitamins into your diet, the gluten-free vegan waffle is a smart and helpful option.
You don’t need to be a strict vegan to benefit from a healthy vegan waffle!