Heart Food; In More Ways Than One
For Valentine’s Day I thought it appropriate to post about one of Norway’s more popular and well known foods: our beloved heart shaped waffles. Soft and sweet, these are not eaten for breakfast, but rather as an afternoon treat or served with coffee at night (0r any time of day) when guests come over. There is something magical about these waffles; they don’t fill you up quite the way Belgian or American waffles do, they are more dainty and elegant, as if they belong at a proper English high tea. Simultaneously, they are incredibly casual and inviting; I guess you could say they are just irresistible all around, and everyone I’ve served these to have been ooh’ing and aah’ing and conversations have been known to go on forever about these creations. You see the waffles served everywhere in Norway; at cafes, bazaars, on the ferry crossing the fjord from one town to another, and if you ever visit a famous Norwegian “seaman’s church” outside of Norway you will see them offered for free with a cup of coffee, as a way to comfort Norwegians abroad by providing a familiar and typical flavor.
I’ve posted about our waffle traditions in more detail before, and you can access that post here.
Since I’ve changed lifestyles in 2014, I wanted to post a recipe that omitted dairy and eggs in the waffles, and I’m happy to report that you won’t miss this at all in this batter. I’m always amazed at how fluffy and light batters are when not including eggs, and the additional benefit is that by omitting diary and eggs is that you greatly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease ,diabetes, cancer and heightened cholesterol.
Try this incredibly easy recipe that is packed with flavor – I love the addition of cinnamon and cardamom to the batter. To bake these you’ll need a special heart shaped waffle iron – luckily these are easy to come by and you can buy one on Amazon for instance, although it may be difficult to come across an old school one like the one I have:
Don’t despair – your waffles will taste just as good in a more modern iron! I love dabbing some coconut oil or butter on top of them if I don’t have any jam… sooo delicious and sure to please your Valentine! Hope you all enjoy the day and feed your loved one something special tonight… how about these Norwegian hearts???
HEART SHAPED WAFFLES
1 1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup rape seed oil or vegetable oil (not olive oil)*
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsps sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Combine everything in a bowl and let rest for 1/2 hour before baking according to your waffle iron’s instructions.
Serve warm right away topped with butter, jam, plant based cheeses or cheese of your choice or my favorite: (vegan) sour cream and strawberry jam!
*If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has experienced a surge in popularity since around 2008. Although technically the same as canola oil, what you see in stores today sold as canola oil has been tampered with and blended with other kot so great oils, somtry to purchase true rapeseed oil from a health food store. Rapeseed oil Is produced from the bright yellow rape plant that grows freely in Norway. Best cold -pressed, the oil can then be used drizzled as salad dressing, or heated to fry or bake. It’s low in saturated fat, so has been hailed for its health benefits and also has other nutritional bonuses – it contains omegas 3, 6 and 9, which reduce cholesterol and help to maintain healthy joint, brain and heart functions. As it is high in mono-unsaturated fats, it is one of the only unblended oils that can be heated to a high frying temperature and not spoil its antioxidants, character, color or flavor. Homegrown rapeseed oil has been heralded the ‘Norwegian olive oil’ but its flavor is more earthy and nutty than fruity.