Oatmeal gives waffles a boost

Jackie Burrell, Contra Costa TimesJanuary 23, 2013 

You can have your waffles and eat healthfully, too. At least you can when you've packed them with toasted oatmeal, buttermilk and a hint of cinnamon.

Packed with antioxidants, high-fiber oatmeal fills you up, warms your soul and makes your heart (and other body parts) happier and healthier.

Health issues first prompted food writers Weinstein and Scarbrough's efforts to incorporate more whole grains into their diets, but they soon discovered the delicious benefits of farro, freekeh, bulgur, oats and groats (the latter, they say, "taste like oatmeal squared.") The beauty of whole grains for breakfast, Scarbrough writes in the duo's new book Grain Mains (Rodale Books, $24.99, 232 pages), is that "lunchtime rolls around without a hunger pang in sight. We can't think of better morning news than that."

As for those toasted oatmeal waffles, they're the creation of San Francisco food writer and pastry chef Dawn Yanagihara, whose new book Waffles (Chronicle Books, $16.95, 108 pages) is devoted to everything crisp, golden and pocked with those signature imprints.

Here, rolled oats are toasted first, an idea that a colleague at Cooks Illustrated magazine first came up with a decade ago to add a light nuttiness to your basic porridge.

Buttermilk is added to the still-warm oatmeal mixture, along with melted butter, eggs, flour and brown sugar, before the batter is baked in a waffle iron, forming a crisp exterior shell for the tender, custardlike interior.

OK, so melted butter and brown sugar aren't exactly health foods. But a toasted-oatmeal waffle is much better for you than ice cream.

Just go easy on the syrup.

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