Waffles you can feel good about {Coconut & Vanilla Bean Waffles}

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Waffles. I love them. I have a basic recipe that I’ve used for years, but since I’ve been learning about food and what is actually healthy {and even redefining my definition of healthy}, I’ve been revamping my old recipes to fit this new definition.  The recipe that I used to use called for refined sugar and vegetable oil, but I have replaced those yucky ingredients with coconut palm sugar and coconut oil.  I have also changed the type of all-purpose flour and baking powder that I use.

Now, I definitely don’t recommend eating these every day.  I have these, maybe, once a month, and always on Pancake Sunday.  This recipe is simply a healthier approach to waffles.  Next time you are craving a fried, doughy cake drenched in maple syrup, instead of reaching for that box of mystery ingredients, try this recipe! Your body will thank you!

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Coconut & Vanilla Bean Waffles

Makes six 7″ waffles.

1 3/4 cups unbleached, unbromated flour (Bob’s Red Mill is a good one)

2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar

1 tablespoon non-aluminum baking powder

1/4 teaspoons salt

1 3/4 cups almond milk (or your choice milk)

2 eggs

1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil

1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)

Plug in the ol’ waffle maker or preheat your stove-top waffle iron.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix milk, eggs, & coconut oil together. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and use the tip of a small knife to scrap the beans out. Add them to the milk mixture. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined. The mixture will be slightly lumpy.

Butter your waffle iron, if needed, then spoon about 3/4 cups (depending on the size of your iron, mine is a 7″ iron) onto the iron.  Cook them however you normally cook waffles, top with pure maple syrup, and enjoy!

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Come back tomorrow to see what I do with these little cuties:

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Oh, and don’t forget about my current giveaway from MilkNMore! It ends on the 31st at midnight. Have a great Tuesday!

Sweet Potato & Vanilla Risotto

Fall weather is setting in for most of the US, but it’s still pretty warm here in Arizona.  I’m okay with that because I can still turn my AC to 65, put on a sweater, drink some hot tea, and make yummy Fall meals like this one!

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This recipe was adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’s Giada’s Kitchen cookbook.  I loved her Butternut squash risotto, but I love sweet potatoes and carrots, too! Also, I needed to add some meat to the dish for my husband, so I added shredded chicken and exchanged the vegetable broth for chicken broth.

Sweet Potato & Vanilla Risotto

4 cups chicken broth

1 vanilla bean

2 cups sweet potato, chopped into 1 inch cubes

1 cup chopped carrots

2 chicken breasts, cooked (I boiled), then shredded

2 tablespoons butter

1 small sweet onion

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped chives

salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, heat chicken broth over medium-high heat. Split vanilla bean down the middle, remove seeds with a small knife, then add seeds and bean to the broth. When the broth comes to a boil, add the sweet potatoes and carrots. Turn the heat down to medium, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender (carrots will still be firm to the bite).  Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, but keep the broth simmering over low heat.

In the meantime, grab another large saucepan and heat the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped onion an cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Pour in the wine and simmer until the wine is almost evaporated.  Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and simmer until the liquid is almost completely evaporated (3 to 4 minutes). Continue to do this, while stirring the rice, until the broth is gone (discard the bean pod).  The rice should be tender and the mixture should be nice and creamy! If you like your rice a bit more tender, you can heat a little more broth and keep adding until the risotto is to your liking.

Gently stir in the vegetables, chicken, parmesan cheese, and chives. Taste to see if you need to add salt and pepper. Top with another sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a little bit of chives. Enjoy!

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You can totally leave the chicken and exchange the chicken broth for some vegetable broth to make this a meatless or vegetarian meal. Have a great Tuesday, everyone, and tune in tomorrow for a delicious dessert!