Banana Chocolate Chip Waffles

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I believe we’re in the sixth week of our new shelter-in-place lifestyle (or has it been longer?), with plenty more to come. On the bright side, the cats could not be happier with the 24/7 attention. Jonji has been on a research block for the past week and half, which means he is now working from home with me until next week. We make a concerted effort to take more walks around the neighborhood, do workouts in our living room (without disturbing the downstairs neighbors too much, which adds to the challenge), and eat healthfully. Without people to share with, I haven’t been baking too much for fear of eating too much sugar ourselves. However, I did make these waffles three weekends in a row last month, and I regret nothing.

One such occasion was when my parents, Emma, Bailey, and Poppy came over for brunch, before things got extra serious. We had to feed Poppy something at the table with us because she was getting jealous of our meal, and I don’t blame her! Bailey said these taste like banana bread in waffle form, and I don’t think she’s wrong. That being said, the banana flavor isn’t super strong, so don’t be put off if you don’t love banana bread.

These waffles are actually super quick to make, and they don’t contain any added sugar besides that which is present in dates and a banana (well, not to mention the syrup added on top, but that’s a critical element). Eat a couple of them, stacked, with plenty of butter and maple syrup dripping down the sides. Top with sliced strawberries and freshly whipped cream, if you’d like to feel extra happy.

Banana Chocolate Chip Waffles

makes 6 standard waffles • adapted from Jamie Oliver’s The Ultimate Veg

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 ripe banana (or 1 frozen and thawed)
4 dates (I like Medjool), pitted and cut into chunks
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or milk)
1/4–1/3 cup chocolate chips

If using an immersion blender: whisk the flours, cinnamon, ground ginger, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the banana, dates, eggs, and buttermilk. Blend together, making sure to turn the bowl and move the immersion blender around to get every bit of date and banana mixed in. Blend until completely smooth, then add the chocolate chips and stir a couple of times.

If using a standard blender: whisk the dry ingredients together, then add to the blender along with the banana, dates, eggs, and buttermilk. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and mix in the chocolate chips.

Preheat your waffle iron. When it’s hot, spray with a little cooking oil (I like Spectrum’s coconut oil spray). Using a large ladle (if I had to guess, one with about 1/3–1/2 cup capacity or less) and making sure to pick up some of the chocolate chips, carefully pour waffle batter onto the hot iron, then close immediately. Cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions or your intuition, until they’re a nice golden brown and spring back when poked—mine takes about 5 minutes. Use a fork to pick up the waffle and set aside in a warm spot. (If eating soon, place fresh waffles in a baking dish covered with a dish towel. If you have a lot to make, heat your oven to 300°F and stack waffles in a baking dish in the oven as soon as they come out of the waffle iron.) I like to butter the waffles as soon as they’re out of the iron for maximum melting effect—if you have a kitchen helper, put them to use and get them buttering.

Repeat the cooking process until all of your batter is used up.

Serve with butter, sliced strawberries, a little whipped cream, and maple syrup (but they’re incredible just with the butter and syrup). Enjoy!

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