Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of interviewing local nutritionist Tara DelloIacono Thies as part of the DPMR webinar series (if you missed it live, you can watch it here). There were a number of valuable nuggets regarding fueling for running adventures, including some discussions on the use of real food as fuel during runs. Tara specifically mentioned waffles, as well as beet juice. Both come together in the recipe below for Sourdough Whole Wheat Beet Waffles/Pancakes, which I originally created for a red-themed breakfast on Valentine’s Day morning. The whole family loved them so much (even my husband, who claims he hates beets), that they have become a staple – there’s always a stash in the freezer at our house! This makes it easy to use them as fuel on runs and are especially delicious when sandwiching almond butter and honey or maple syrup. Not only does the recipe utilize beet powder (so you get some nitrates), but it is based upon whole wheat flour and sourdough starter, both of which make gluten more digestible and help improve the gut microbiome, which should decrease GI distress. It seems like everyone has jumped on the sourdough bandwagon (including Kelly Barber, discussed in his Member Highlight from last month), so if you don’t have a sourdough starter already, you probably know someone that does. And if you don’t, contact me (Renee@DonnerPartyMountainRunners.com), and I’ll share some of my multi-generational family starter.
Yield: Makes about twelve Belgian waffles. Double or even triple this if you want a lot of leftovers for the freezer!
- 1 cup milk or a rich non-dairy milk (I use Ripple Unsweetened Plant-Based milk)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (or coconut oil for vegan version)
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 cup whole wheat sourdough starter (see note 1)
- 4 tbsp. brown sugar, coconut sugar, sucanat, or similar
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tbls cinnamon (or more to taste)
- 1/3 cup beet root powder
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg whites (use flax eggs for a vegan version)
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- The evening before you plan to make the waffles, in a small pot, heat the butter/oil over medium heat. If using butter, continue until the butter melts and begins to brown. Add milk and bring to simmer. Remove from heat and add cold water. Let the mixture cool completely. If you stick a finger in it, it should not feel warmer than your finger.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled butter/oil+milk+water mixture, sourdough starter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, beet powder, and vanilla. Add flour and wisk/stir until no large lumps remain. Batter should be the consistency of very thick pancake batter, almost like muffin batter (see note 2). Add more water/flour as necessary.
- Cover the batter with a damp cloth (linen works really well) and let it rest overnight in an oven with the door ajar (so the light remains on to keep it warm, but if the door is closed, it will get too hot).
- In the morning, beat together the eggs and baking soda then add into the batter and stir completely.
- Cook in waffle iron for waffles, or on griddle for pancakes. Freeze leftovers.
- The starter needs to be thoroughly fed and ready for use and should be the consistency of really thick pancake batter (don’t forget to reserve some to keep for next time!) Check out this site if you need instructions: https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/feeding-and-maintaining-your-sourdough-starter-recipe
- If you are making pancakes, batter should be runnier. Aim for a thick pancake batter consistency.
- To get a performance boost from nitrates, you are going to need a lot more than one waffle will offer. Supplement with beet juice or other beet-rich foods (for details, check out this Science of Ultra podcast).
- Originally based upon a recipe published in Saveur magazine.
Approximate Nutrition Facts for 1 Belgian Waffle (about 3 ounces)
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 2 g||4 %|
|Saturated Fat 1 g||5 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 4 mg||1 %|
|Sodium 49 mg||2 %|
|Potassium 150 mg||4 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 30 g||10 %|
|Dietary Fiber 4 g||16 %|
|Sugars 7 g|
|Protein 5 g||11 %|
|Vitamin A||1 %|
|Vitamin C||0 %|