Well, all that talk last time about my lack of breakfast made me want some breakfast.  And here it is, Saturday – no classes, first day of Easter vacation (Orthodox churches do Easter a few weeks later) – and I’ve got a hankering for waffles.  You heard me.  A hankering.

I have only a couple of cookbooks here with me – the rest are lolling about on my parents’ bookshelf, awaiting my imminent return – and none of them has a waffle recipe, so I did a Food Blog Search and found a recipe on Nook & Pantry that looked worthwhile.  I still had some leftover quinoa, though, and some carob syrup that I found in Greece, so I figured, what the hell, I’m feeling adventurous.  Carob syrup was something I was very surprised to find – I’d always seen it powdered – but I’ve used up almost the whole bottle by just pouring a few teaspoons in a glass of milk, and I didn’t want to finish it off without having done something interesting.  So carob waffles it is! 

Carob, an ingredient often maligned because it was so frequently substituted for chocolate 20 years ago when those loopy health food nuts loved substituting everything.  (Some of them are still substituting tofu for cheese.  It’s never going to work, people.)  Now that we know that chocolate is good for you, though, carob has dropped back by the wayside, but I think it’s about time it found its own niche.  I’m not saying this is the perfect vehicle for it, but I sure liked it well enough, and I think it works. 

At the bottom I linked to a source to buy carob syrup for yourself, and also to a recipe to make it from carob powder, but you’d probably do okay just adding carob powder to a scant cup of liquid (instead of the 3/4 cup in total that the milk + yogurt yields), whisking in enough that it turns a rich brown.  I’m going to tell you now, this is some serious, substantial hippie food – but don’t worry, they’re not hockey pucks.  (Try to veganize them by leaving out the eggs, though, and they will be.)

And thank god I finally finished up that quinoa – I made way too much a few days ago.  I’m finding, though, that I love adding it to things I wouldn’t normally expect it in.  (But really, who expects quinoa yet?  It’s still got a bit of a foodies-only gloss on it that is slowly being rubbed off.)  These little seeds give a fun, not daunting, chewiness, crisping things up just a bit, in all the right places.

I topped them off with grape molasses, another little jarful I picked up in Istanbul and am still trying to use up.  (I did some serious shopping in Istanbul.  Anyone want some saffron?  I’ve got tons.)  These would be fine with cane molasses, maple syrup, fruit syrup, or even date syrup – carob and dates go well together.

Carob Quinoa Waffles
makes 4-6, depending on your waffle iron

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cooked quinoa (preferably a day or two old, so it’s dried out a little)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt or milk
1/4 cup carob syrup
2 tablespoons oil
1 egg, separated, plus 1 extra egg white
nonstick cooking spray

Heat waffle iron.  In a large bowl mix together flour, quinoa, salt, and baking soda.  In a separate bowl combine milk, yogurt, carob syrup, oil, and egg yolk, and stir well.  Pour wet into dry and mix just until it’s barely combined.  Whisk egg whites into soft peaks and fold into batter.  Cook in waffle iron according to its maker’s directions.  Top with butter, fruit, syrup, powdered sugar?

Learn more about carob

Make your own carob syrup (note – I haven’t tested this recipe)

Buy your own carob syrup

 Also: I’m serious about the saffron.  Free.  I have too much.  Leave a comment.  We’ll be in touch.