You’re Only 5 Minutes Away From These Gut-Friendly Cinnamon-Spiced Sourdough Waffles

Photo: Stocksy/Babett Lupaneszku
Remember two years back when everyone and their mothers (and brothers, and co-workers, and friends…) seemed to hop aboard the sourdough starter craze? Talk about ~unprecedented times.~ But just because the world is finally regaining a semblance of its pre-pandemic self doesn’t mean that you should ditch your fermented flour just yet. In fact, for the sake of your gut health and taste buds alike, we suggest that you use it to whip up these delicious cinnamon-spiced sourdough waffles—courtesy of The Clever Carrot creator and Artisan Sourdough Made Simple author Emilie Raffa—for a decadent and nutrient-dense breakfast.


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A post shared by Emilie Raffa (@theclevercarrot)

Experts In This Article

As far as the star ingredient goes, Gaby Vaca-Flores, RDN, founder of Glow+Greens, reiterates how beneficial sourdough is for gut health. “Sourdough can help increase your intake of prebiotics, or dietary fibers, that help nourish the good bacteria in the gut,” she begins. “Having adequate amounts of good bacteria is key for keeping your gut and digestive system healthy.” We have the fermentation process to thank for sourdough’s prebiotic prowess, which reminds us that good things truly are worth the wait.

On top of its ability to feed good gut bacteria, sourdough has the additional benefit of helping your digestive system break down other grains more easily. “Sourdough helps digest grains by reducing their antinutrients with naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria,” Vaca-Flores continues.

Gut health considerations aside, she also adds that while sourdough offers similar nutrients to other types of bread, it packs a notable amount of minerals including zinc, potassium, phosphate, and magnesium. “In its dough form, sourdough’s mineral profile is short-lived because it's accompanied by phytic acid, a substance that can lessen nutrient absorption,” she tells us. But before you think you’ll miss out on inching closer to your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of these micronutrients, Vaca-Flores lets us know that, yet again, the fermentation process sweeps in to save the day. “Fortunately, fermentation can lower the amount of phytic acid present and even boost the amount of nutrients present in sourdough,” she explains. Simply put, a little bacteria-building goes a long way to boost your nutrient intake.

Plus, given its sweet flavor profile, this recipe works just as well for dessert as it does for breakfast. However, you can whip it up with confidence—even on the busiest mornings before your back-to-the-office grind—given its simplicity, short cooking time, *and* impressive nutritional value.

Vaca-Flores doesn’t want us to forget that breakfast is key to setting the day up for success. “Breakfast can set the tone for the rest of your eating patterns throughout the day. Providing your body with proper nourishment and a range of nutrients—and getting a sufficient amount of healthy fats, protein, fiber, and carbs—in the morning is a key part of maintaining your energy levels all day long,” she shares. And you bet these sourdough waffles get the RD’s stamp of approval as a balanced breakfast option. “This recipe calls for milk and eggs, both of which add protein and fat, among other nutrients, that can help keep you well-energized and focused throughout the day,” she explains. “Same goes for the flour and fiber-rich fresh fruit in this recipe, which also promote gut health.”

Consider us convinced. If you’re also ready to start your morning with plenty of flavor and fermentation, follow Raffa’s tips and recipe below.

Tips to help you nail Raffa's sourdough waffle recipe

Before you kick things off in the kitchen, be sure to read Raffa’s top tips to make these cinnamon-spiced sourdough waffles a surefire success:

  • Use recently-fed starter. It should smell fresh (read: not sour) for the best flavor.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. Use 1/2 cup + a few spoonfuls of batter to fill the pan. If you add too much, the waffles will steam and become doughy. You want crispy sourdough waffles!
  • Make it ahead. The batter can be made overnight or on the same day. Cooked waffles can be frozen.
  • Don’t omit the baking powder. It’s a magic ingredient that neutralizes the acidity level.

Then, if you need to modify the recipe based on your dietary needs/preferences, Raffa suggests the following swaps:

  • For gluten-free sourdough waffles: Use a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure. (You’ll also need a GF starter to make this recipe 100 percent gluten-free.)
  • For dairy-free sourdough waffles: Use plant-based milk (unsweetened vanilla almond milk is delicious) and swap out the butter for olive oil or vegan butter.
  • For vegan sourdough waffles: Use the dairy-free options above with an egg replacer, such as flax eggs.

Cinnamon sugar sourdough waffle recipe from The Clever Carrot

Yields 4 waffles

For the cinnamon sugar:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

For the sourdough waffles:
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 cup milk of your choice, plus more as needed to thin out the batter
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 large egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Cooking spray, for coating
1 cup cubed pineapple (optional, for topping)
Handful of mixed seasonal berries (optional, for topping)
1/4 cup coconut flakes (optional, for topping)
Pure maple syrup (optional, for topping)

1. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside. Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Add the sourdough starter, milk, two tablespoons of the melted butter, and egg into a separate large bowl. Whisk well to combine. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and continue to whisk until smooth. If the batter seems too thick, add more milk as needed to thin out the texture (the amount of milk needed will depend on the consistency of your sourdough starter).

3. Lightly coat the waffle iron with cooking spray. Ladle some of the batter into the pan (don’t overfill; it will be a huge mess!) and cook for three to five minutes or until golden and crisp.

4. Transfer waffle to a cutting board and brush lightly with some of the remaining melted butter.

5. Press the waffle into the cinnamon sugar to coat on both sides. Repeat to cook the rest of the waffles.

6. To serve, top your waffles with the fresh fruit of your choice and coconut flakes, if using. Enjoy with sweet maple syrup on the side.

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