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Strawberry Valentine’s Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

February 8, 2022

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with super yummy naturally flavored strawberry waffles that are gluten free, dairy free, and packed with protein!

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

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A fun, new kitchen toy, and a special Valentine’s Day treat

Earlier this winter, I noticed these adorable mini heart waffle makers on sale right around the same time that I created the Hot Cocoa Waffles with my mini snowflake waffle maker. I enjoyed creating that recipe so much, that I decided I needed to come up with a Valentine’s day flavor for the heart shape, and it has been fun to play around with!

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

One of my favorite ways to naturally flavor and naturally dye!

I just love using freeze dried fruit for naturally flavoring and dying food! The process for freeze drying is very simple, and does not ruin the integrity of the fruit. The fruit is place in a freezer, untouched, until it dries out – it’s that simple! The result is a super dry, crispy fruit, that blends into a fine powder or crumbles into a fun sprinkle topping. I get my freeze dried fruit at Trader Joe’s typically, but you can get them online and price compare, and they are in many grocery stores now. I have also freeze dried my own in the summer when berries are in season, and it is so easy!

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

Let’s talk about waffle color!

So my first attempt at making these waffles made me a little disappointed – I really wanted them to turn red – or at least pink! I do think that freeze dried raspberries might turn them a bit more of a color, but in order to have bright color, you’ll have to use a natural dye. All of my natural dyes are still packed away in storage (yes, we are still waiting for our house to be finished!), so I just stuck with the freeze dried fruit, and also used it crumbled on top for color!

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

The Method :: The Fluffy Egg Whites

If you are familiar with my other waffle recipes, you know this is a part we don’t skip! Yes it’s an extra bowl, and a few extra minutes, but the secret to fluffy waffles is those whipped egg whites, and it is so worth it! Separate your eggs and blend until fluffy!

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

The Method :: Finishing the Waffle Batter

Once you whip your egg whites, you can blend the wet ingredients, and add that into your dry ingredients. The dry ingredients include your blended freeze dried strawberries, so don’t forget to add those! Then, you will fold the fluffy egg whites into the batter, and you’re ready to make your pretty waffles.

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

The Method :: Making the Waffles

If you are using the little mini waffle maker, I found that a couple of tablespoons is all you need to fill it up. Of course you can use a regular waffle maker, and use more to make bigger ones – in fact, before this little mini maker, I use to just make big ones and cut hearts out with a cookie cutter, and that absoluetely works too!

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

Now let’s dress them up for the occasion!

My favorite way to dress Valentine’s Day waffles is with a drizzle of coconut butter and little heart strawberries. My coconut butter was packed away (no, we were not planning on the house taking this long!), so I grabbed the canned coconut whipped cream from Aldi to make a pretty topping. A little crumble of more freeze dried strawberries makes a pretty “sprinkle” and some heart strawberries made the plate even prettier! The coconut butter really is my favorite though, and it looks like a little “frosting” touch – if you have little ones in the house, I would really recommend trying this on waffles and pancakes because it is such a great, low sugar, good fats way to dress them up. My girls still love it to this day!

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

Strawberry hearts…help!

As simple as this is, I knew there might be someone that might not know how, so here is a little visual for you! I remember looking up this method a long time ago when my girls were toddlers and I wanted to give them a special Valentine’s Day treat without the sugar, and I hope this helps you too! Just slice the green stem off, and then hull the strawberry – there are special hulling tools for this, but I just use a paring knife. Once you slice the strawberry in half, you can cut a little “V” into the top and voila! A strawberry heart!

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

Freezer tips

Listen, if I’m going to spend the time next to my little mini heart waffle maker to make a dozen little mini heart waffles, I’m gonna get some use out of them, amiright?! Double up and freeze them, dear momma. You can do this days in advance from Valentine’s Day, and it is one less thing to make on the special day.

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

Other ideas for your heart waffles!

Other than breakfast, these waffles will make a super cute heart “sandwich” in lunchboxes if Valentine’s Day lands on a school day. I froze mine and plan to pull them out the day before to make PBJ’s, but you could totally make coconut butter and jam waffle sandwiches too. I also think that the heart waffles could be so cute using my hot cocoa waffle recipe made into a dessert of sorts. I’m thinking a drizzle of dark chocolate and the heart strawberries! Chocolate and Valentine’s day go hand in hand!

Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

Strawberry Valentine’s Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Separate the eggs into 2 small mixing bowls, being careful to not have any little bit of yolk in the egg whites. If there is anything else in the bowl with the whites, they will not whip fluffy properly. To the egg yolks, add the coconut milk, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  • Blend the egg whites until fluffy, and then blend the egg yolk mixture until smooth.
  • Put the rest of the ingredients (the dry ingredients) into medium mixing bowl. Add the egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients, and blend until combined.
  • Gently fold the fluffy, whipped egg whites into the blended batter until just combined – if you over fold/stir, the fluffy egg whites will deflate.
  • Spray your waffle iron with avocado oil spray, and cook according to your waffle iron’s directions. If you are using the “Dash” Mini Heart Waffle Iron as pictured above, I have found that about 2-3 tablespoons of the batter works perfectly. If you are using a waffle iron like my regularly used, ceramic waffle iron, you’ll use ½ cup of the batter.
  • We like to top our hot cocoa waffles with strawberries and a squirt of the canned coconut whip from Aldi or Trader Joe's. So Delicious brand has a great Coconut Whip as well! Or you can make your own by whipping coconut cream with maple syrup until fluffy! I also love drizzling melted coconut butter on waffles and pancakes, and think that would be a great "frosting" look-alike option! If you have babies and toddlers at home, I would definitely train their palate for coconut butter over syrup – this is how my girls still eat them!

Notes

  • You can swap the coconut sugar for maple syrup or honey if you want.
  • The “chocolatey” flavor and sweetness of these waffles is a mild, and kid friendly. If you want a richer chocolate taste, add more cocoa powder. If you need them sweeter, you can add more coconut sugar.
Strawberry Valentine's Day Waffles :: Gluten & Dairy Free and Naturally Flavored!

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