Super Digestible, Nutrient Rich, Healthy Waffles

by Sarah Breakfast, RecipesComments: 57
Mickey Mouse Waffles!

One of the holiday traditions in our home is eating waffles on Christmas morning after all the presents have been opened.    In past years, I have always used the waffle recipe from Nourishing Traditions cookbook.   I dutifully soaked the freshly ground, whole wheat or spelt flour in buttermilk, yogurt, or kefir the night before and whipped up the batter in the morning.

While the NT recipe is delicious, my husband always felt like the waffles were a bit heavy on his stomach and didn’t find them all that easy to digest even when soaked overnight in some sort of cultured dairy.   I even tried soaking for a full 24 hours one year, but this did not seem to improve the digestibility at all as compared with an 8 hour, overnight soak.

This time I tried something different.   I followed Rami Nagel’s suggestions on how to prepare wheat for optimized digestibility. Rami is the author of Cure Tooth Decay fame.  The method I used was based on a conversation Rami and I had at the Wise Traditions 2010 Conference last month.     That conversation really set me back on my heels as Rami told me that whole grains actually contribute to cavity issues and that soaking flour in cultured dairy really does not break down the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients or improve digestibility that well according to his research.   Soaking in water plus an acidic liquid such as lemon juice, vinegar, or liquid whey apparently breaks down these little nasties much much better.

According to Rami, “Calcium when souring reduces how much phytic acid is removed.  So if a grain is soured with too much calcium, such as milk or yogurt, not as much phytic acid will be removed.”

Below is the recipe I came up with using Rami’s suggestions for super digestible, nutrient dense, healthy waffles.

The verdict?   The kids said the waffles tasted the best ever and my husband said they were very light and easy on his stomach!   In fact, he said that waffles prepared this new way were as easy to digest as his typical, non grain based breakfast.

Looks like I will be preparing my waffles using this new and improved method from now on!   One other tip from Rami to keep in mind is that when soaking grains, the temperature needs to be kept at 70-85F otherwise phytic acid breakdown will be hindered.

Want to try this even more digestible, traditional waffle recipe on your family?       Here’s how I incorporated Rami’s suggestions using the Nourishing Traditions’ basic waffle recipe as a guide:

Super Digestible, Nutrient Dense, Healthy Waffles


Approximately 4 cups freshly ground flour (sources)

2 cups filtered water

2 TBL lemon juice (fresh is best but not necessary) (sources)

2 pastured or free range egg yolks, lightly beaten

2-4 TBL Grade B maple syrup (sources)

2 TBL melted butter (sources)

1 tsp vanilla extract (sources)

1 tsp plus pinch sea salt (sources)

4 egg whites

coconut oil (to oil the waffle iron) (sources)


Sift 4 cups of fresh flour to remove most of the bran.    This should result in about 2 1/2 cups of sifted flour.    Add the discarded bran to your compost pile or feed to your chickens or other birds.

Mix 2 1/2 cups of sifted flour with 2 cups filtered water plus lemon juice.    Cover with a cloth secured with a rubber band and let sit on the kitchen counter for 8 hours or overnight.

After soaking is complete, drain off any excess water that has come to the top.   Blend in maple syrup, egg yolks, vanilla, salt, and melted butter.

In a separate bowl, add pinch of sea salt to egg whites and whip them until stiff peaks form.    Pour whipped egg whites into batter and blend until smooth.

Cook in a hot waffle iron oiled with coconut oil.

Serve with plenty of raw, grassfed butter and Grade B maple syrup.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (57)

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  • Mark

    I soaked flour, water, & apple cider vinegar over 24 hrs,for pancakes, & let it out for closer to
    34 hours.The yellow color that appears in some areas on top & the sour smell is leading me
    to ask you if it is edible.What is the longest time you have left flour soaking ? The temp was
    probably less than 65 degrees .I think I will simplpour off that top layer with the excess water & give it a try.Thanks so very much for all the great info you share.


    May 26th, 2013 8:15 pm Reply
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  • Ashley

    Hi- I’m loving your blog! I’m pretty healthy but still have some changes to make. As of right now, I use bobs red mill unbleached white flour. So I would like to change that, because I have also read- cure tooth decay and I now realize it’s just dead and contributes to my tooth decay.
    So, I saw where you have resources- where you can buy flours. So, what do u do? Or you might already have a tutorial for this. But do you grind the fresh grains and get your flour that way (is that what you mean by freshly ground flour in this recipe? Or do you buy already freshly sprouted flour?
    I guessim just confused, cause I’d like to eat fresh flour, but I also would like to buy things in bulk and follow your tips from your other post on how to save money.
    If you can just help guide me into choosing the right flour and how to properly handle it, I would greatly appreciate it :)

    October 24th, 2012 12:32 pm Reply
  • marina

    I have made this recipe about 4 times now, and it never seems to disappoint, even my picky husband loves them. I just make them with store organic spelt flour!

    September 23rd, 2012 9:44 pm Reply
  • Marina Bershadski via Facebook

    thanks for tomorrow’s breakfast idea, Sarah!

    August 11th, 2012 11:10 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @regina I have never made this with store flour. I imagine it would taste very different though.

    August 11th, 2012 3:07 pm Reply
  • Regina Normandy via Facebook

    Unfortunately, I don’t have my own grain mill…I tried making this recipe with store-bought whole wheat flour, and I think I did something wrong…it tasted wierd, (but I really think I did something wrong). My question is…can/should you soak store-bought flour the same way as freshly ground flour? Until I get a grain mill I’m going to have to use store bought…

    August 11th, 2012 2:01 pm Reply
  • Jeff

    When I make Liege Waffles, I make my own pearl sugar. Quite fun. I take my weekly fratsrutions out on poor sugar cubes! If you’re feeling french one day, you should try a Ge2teau Breton. Lots of butter, but lots of delish’!

    May 21st, 2012 8:24 am Reply
  • Betheney

    Just thinking…but could you use a heat pad on low covered with a dish towel to keep temp warm enough in winter months?

    April 2nd, 2012 8:26 pm Reply
  • steve

    I sifted using a nut milk bag (paint strainer) because I didn’t have anything else and it really took out a lot of bran. Isn’t that the healthiest part? They turned out great and all but do we really need to take the bran out?

    February 11th, 2012 2:09 am Reply
  • Dani

    My south Louisiana kitchen was 69 degrees this morning. My husband hates the central heat at night. I went around my kitchen trying to find the warmest spot. Inside my oven was as cold as the room. My empty microwave was warmer! Maybe another use for many now dormant microwave ovens. Putting something warm in an ice chest made me think of it.

    January 3rd, 2012 1:03 pm Reply
    • Gloria

      I know this is a waaay old post, but in winter I put a hot water bottle on the bottom shelf of my oven and my kefir and soaking stuff on the top shelf. In summer I do the same with freezer blocks. The oven is a perfect thermal cabinet when not in use as a cooker.

      March 28th, 2015 5:51 am Reply
  • Angle Cummings

    One question before I get rid of my waffle maker. I see from the picture that the waffle maker you use is non-stick. I thought this was a no-no. I have mine set out to go to goodwill. Is this type of coating OK? Thanks, Angie

    October 29th, 2011 12:11 pm Reply
  • Kelsey

    So this is an old post… but when I sift my flour, none of the bran gets left behind. Is there a different way of sifting? I’m a little confused, and no one else seems to have mentioned this… Thanks!

    August 14th, 2011 2:02 pm Reply
    • Aimee

      We had the same issue until we got an ultra fine mesh strainer. It works beautifully.

      September 8th, 2011 3:20 pm Reply
  • Beth


    When soaking, is it okay to use a loose fitting lid instead of the towel and rubber band? I have them for the bowls I typically use for this. Didn’t know if there was a particular scientific reason.


    February 2nd, 2011 12:16 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      You can use a lid.

      February 2nd, 2011 1:50 pm Reply
  • Melissa

    We use a fantastic waffle recipe that is made of oats, water, coconut milk, raisins, flax seeds, cinnamon, and grapeseed oil. Lately, I have been adding cashews, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Really, you can add whatever you like. You just blend all the ingredients in a blender and then pour on to the waffle maker. Then we put real butter and honey to top it off. Yummy!
    If you would like, I can post the recipe.

    January 13th, 2011 4:31 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Love it! Please do post, Melissa or send to me by email with a picture and I can put up as a guest blog.

      January 13th, 2011 5:22 pm Reply
  • pharmacy tech

    nice post. thanks.

    January 9th, 2011 3:08 am Reply
  • kristen

    another option for non-teflon waffle irons is to try to find an old one (before they started using teflon, but after cast iron) on ebay. i got mine for less than $20 and it was used very little. not sure how great the metal is, i think it’s either aluminum or some kind of stainless blend or something, but whatever it is, it’s better than teflon to me, and easier to use than the cast iron ones over the stove. those early electric appliances are like energizer bunnies – they never wear out!

    January 8th, 2011 4:31 pm Reply
  • christi

    Thanks so much for the reply, Sarah. Yes, there is always soooo much to learn…and adjust. I think I’ll give your cereal recipe a try today!

    Thanks again!

    January 2nd, 2011 2:59 pm Reply
  • christi

    Hi, Sarah. I love your blog; you always have such informative posts –thank you!

    I just watched your homemade cereal videos and was wondering if what you’re saying here would apply to the soaking for your cereal. Meaning, are you planning to stop soaking your flour in soured milk and start using water with acidic medium (lemon juice, liquid whey, etc.)?? Just curious before I get started making it myself.

    Many thanks!

    January 2nd, 2011 12:19 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Christi, yes – I do plan to start sifting the flour for my cereal and soaking in water plus lemon juice or whey instead of clabbered milk. We are always learning, aren’t we!

      January 2nd, 2011 9:53 am Reply
  • Joy

    I want to try this, but have just gotten home from vacation. I have a question about sifting the flour to remove the bran. When I grind white wheat in a NutraMill, it all has the same consistency, so how does the bran separate out? Since no one else questioned this, maybe I am missing something very obvious. I will try sifting my flour, but I think it will all go through the sifter.

    Thanks for all your information – it is greatly appreciated. I keep going back to articles you have written when I start questioning. Thanks again.

    December 31st, 2010 9:40 pm Reply
  • Sandrine Hahn

    The Nourishing Our Children campaign’s Facebook supporters had ideas for non-teflon waffle irons:

    December 29th, 2010 1:46 pm Reply
  • WordVixen

    When I started soaking flours, my husband was convinced that looking at raw milk would kill him (he has since tried it twice- the first time being straight cream since he didn’t know to shake it… his reaction was priceless!), and I’m rather uncomfortable with using pasteurized dairy even if cultured. So, I used coconut milk with whey. It makes for a rather heavy pancake, but OMG so good! Neither of us ever liked pancakes much, but these are a super special treat every few weeks or so.

    I don’t think coconut milk has much if any calcium, so I guess that’s ok? Even if it’s not, it’s the best pancakes I’ve ever had, and we only have them occasionally.

    December 27th, 2010 6:14 pm Reply
  • April@The 21st Century Housewife

    I learned so much from this post, not least of all how to make nutritious waffles which is wonderful! Thank you!

    December 27th, 2010 8:39 am Reply
  • Kathy

    I was wondering, could we use apple cider vinegar instead of the lemon juice in this recipe?

    December 27th, 2010 7:46 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Yes, cider vinegar is fine as a sub for lemon juice.

      December 27th, 2010 9:29 am Reply
  • Alina

    Hi Sarah,
    I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
    I would like to get away from grains/flour a little bit and see what happens. I
    have a weakness for bread though. Would you know of any good recipes that would be
    good substitutes for bread? Maybe even something that I can make sandwiches
    with? Really anything without grains would be great even if I cannot make sandwiches
    with it but I would prefer it to be savoury.
    I have seen a lot of recipes using flax seed meal and nut flour. I worry that
    once baked the nut flour and flax meal might not be very healthy because of the
    heated up, delicate oils. Especially flax seed, which I know that you are not
    supposed to cook with. It just seems like a waste to me to damage these flax and nut oils
    like that but maybe there are not that many substitutes? Do you think that it is OK to use flax seed flour and nut flour when baking? Would you know to what extent the oils get damaged?
    Thank you very much for your response.

    December 27th, 2010 2:24 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Alina, flax, brazil nuts and walnuts should not be heated as the oils are too delicate but almonds, macademias, peanuts and most other nuts can be.
      I have a recipe for coconut flour bread on this blog (click on categories and select “recipes”) that you might like as a substitute for bread. Not good for sandwiches though. Most folks I know who are grain free use lettuce as the “bread” for the sandwich wrap.

      December 27th, 2010 9:28 am Reply
  • Amy

    I always make my waffle/pancake batter using a sour dough starter, letting it sour 12 to 24 hours. According to your research would this remove as much phytic acid and as many anti-nutrients as the lemon soaking?


    December 26th, 2010 8:40 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Souring is as good as soaking .. a most excellent method for reducing antinutrients! Thanks for adding this idea!

      December 26th, 2010 8:46 pm Reply
    • Mandi

      How do you do this with whole grains? I have only seen it made with white flour.

      July 25th, 2012 12:23 pm Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Hey All, just got an email from Rami Nagel who read my blog post and had a clarification. He writes
    “Calcium when souring reduces how much phytic acid is removed. So if a grain is soured with too much calcium, such as milk or yogurt, not as much phytic acid will be removed. I am not sure if the calcium content of real buttermilk, would be to high to make an excellent fermentation. Maybe 50% buttermilk / 50% water? The other tip is that when soaking / souring grains, they need to be kept 70-85 degrees F. So most people’s kitchen counters are not that warm overnight especially in the winter. ”

    Since I live in FL, my kitchen is pretty much always 70F or above, so those of you in colder climes will need to take this into account when soaking your grains.

    December 26th, 2010 7:02 pm Reply
  • LeaG

    Why dud you use lemon juice instead of whey? Do you think whey would work as well? Same amounts? Thanks for this! I recently got my first waffle iron and have been excited to try some soaked recipes and this one looks great!

    December 26th, 2010 12:20 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi LeaG, I used lemon juice as I thought this would make for a better tasting waffle than water/whey which can produce a rather sour tasting result. I’m also out of whey at the moment and the lemon juice made an excellent stand in. I also wanted to post a non-dairy alternative for folks allergic to dairy.

      December 26th, 2010 12:24 pm Reply
  • Sandrine Hahn

    Hi Sarah,
    Do you have a recommendation for a waffle iron that is not coated with teflon?

    December 26th, 2010 12:16 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Sandrine, I don’t know of one that isn’t made of teflon. The best protection and the method I follow is to coat the waffle iron with coconut oil before cooking each waffle. The oil protects the teflon from overheating and giving off any fumes etc. I always use wooden utensils when using my waffle iron (never use metal) so that there are no nicks, chips in the teflon. And, it gets a wipe down with a damp cloth and mild soap after use.

      December 26th, 2010 12:22 pm Reply
      • Sandrine Hahn

        Thanks, Sarah. I appreciate all of the tips, yet I am still not inclined to use teflon so … I’ll search for alternatives and let you know what I find!

        December 26th, 2010 12:39 pm Reply
        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

          Please do let me know what you find out!! :)

          December 26th, 2010 12:53 pm Reply
        • maria

          you could try to find the old cast iron wafle iron maybe try Lehmans web site

          Hope this helps


          December 26th, 2012 7:00 pm Reply
          • michelle

            I have a wonderful cast iron waffle maker and it makes the BEST waffles ever. It was inexpensive and is fun to use, the waffles have a crispy outer crunch and a soft fully cooked interior. I bought mine on Amazon, and the brand I bought is Rome. I think I paid 12 bucks for it. Go get your self one, you wont regret it!

            January 2nd, 2013 8:58 pm
    • Carla

      You can sometimes find cast iron ones. Mine has cast iron plates but it is kind of old (heavy as heck!). When I decided I wanted a new one so I could make more at a time, I was shocked they were all non-stick, teflon coated, which stink when being used (the one I did buy, I brought back before even using because it was so stinky).

      December 26th, 2010 5:38 pm Reply
      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

        Mine never stinks, but I take great care to keep it coated with oil at all times to keep it from giving off fumes. I only have teflon on this one appliance .. I never use it for my cooking pots and pans of course. I wish I could find a titanium waffle iron. If anyone knows of one, please post!

        December 26th, 2010 6:56 pm Reply
    • Chris

      Here is a link to some cast iron waffle makers. I don’t have one but looking into getting one. Just scroll down a bit. Hope this helps!

      December 26th, 2010 7:57 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      We use a seasoned cast iron waffle iron. They are available on Amazon.

      May 6th, 2012 12:06 am Reply
  • Jamie

    Thank you for posting on Rami Nagel’s suggestions and research on your blog. I regret that I wasn’t able to attend the Conference and hear him personally because it sounds like he did a great job presenting. I actually read his book and have to respectfully say that the information it offered is much easier to apply as introduced on your website than directly from the book. So thank you for making it available and user-friendly!

    December 26th, 2010 11:47 am Reply
  • carol

    So how to do this?
    Also should we make our almond flour this way also?

    December 26th, 2010 11:18 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Carol, almonds are prepared differently as they are not starchy like grains. Almonds should be soaked/dried before grinding into flour.

      December 26th, 2010 11:26 am Reply
      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

        Oh, and soaking almonds required soaking in salt water NOT water plus lemon juice as described in this recipe. See my almond flour pancakes recipe for details.

        December 26th, 2010 11:27 am Reply
  • Mara

    I don’t really understand. If you remove the bran, then what is the need for soaking? Also, fully fermented yoghurt, buttermilk, kefir, etc are acidic liquids. So what’s the difference with soaking with water and lemon? Did you really find the lemon soaking tastier? Did you add extra maple syrup to disguise the taste? There is another way which we used to do for cereals and nuts. Soak in the medium of your choice the whole grain, dry it and grind into flour without needing to presoak. Would that be good according to Rami? Sorry for the many questions but I’m concerned!

    December 26th, 2010 11:08 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Mara, Rami says that the acidic nature of the cultured dairy just doesn’t break down the antinutrients as well according to his testing. Perhaps there isn’t enough liquid – not sure the reasons yet. Rami fully discusses this issue in his new version of Cure Tooth Decay which has just been released. I haven’t read it yet .. I got the executive summary during our conversation at the Conference. There are antinutrients in the starch portion as well which need to be broken down through soaking and sifting does not remove all the bran, so soaking is still definitely required.

      Soaking/drying the actual wheat kernels before grinding into flour is not the same and would not break down the antinutrients sufficiently according to what I understand from Rami. Traditional cultures he studied sifted and soaked the actual flour, not the grain itself before grinding.

      Soaking with the lemon juice results in a very tasty less sour waffle than when you soak in cultured dairy. You can leave out the maple syrup for sure if you like. I just do this as my kids like to eat the waffles with no maple syrup for dipping and also we sometimes turn the waffles into crispy waffles by drying out in the oven and having a little sweetness already in there works well.

      December 26th, 2010 11:23 am Reply
      • Mara


        December 27th, 2010 7:02 am Reply

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