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Pumpkin Buckwheat Waffles with Sautéed Apples // The Year in Food

Somehow, nearly two years have passed since I gave up eating wheat, and I’ve managed to navigate around that discussion right here, the very place where I talk about food. There are a lot of reasons for not addressing it. I didn’t trust that I’d stick with it. I wasn’t diagnosed Celiac. I didn’t want to be judged. I’ve always wanted this site to be taken at face value, and not through the lens of gluten-free.

Pumpkin Buckwheat Waffles with Sautéed Apples // The Year in Food

In life, especially where food is involved, I have to confront the anxiety around not wanting to inconvenience people and not wanting to be judged on the regular. I don’t love having to speak up at a restaurant and say, I’m gluten-intolerant, does this have wheat? Once at an event, right after asking about gluten-free choices, a woman next to me, a woman that I did not know, said to anyone in earshot, “Anytime someone says something’s gluten-free, I always ask, Can I get extra gluten on that? Will you serve that with a side of wheat?

Pumpkin Buckwheat Waffles with Sautéed Apples // The Year in Food

I can be as judgey as the next person. But shaming moments like that are kind of a reminder that we never know the circumstances around another person’s behavior and choices. Do you know how many times people have said to me, I could never give up bread or pasta! I didn’t want to give up bread or pasta either. But I had to. The flip side is that the gluten-free thing is having a moment. There is so much available, and so much experimentation, and it’s awesome.

My symptoms exist in that nebulous zone of gluten-intolerance. Mostly they were debilitating digestive troubles. They’re so much better now that I easily forget how awful I felt, how debilitating it was, and how much it limited my ability to thrive. We all deserve a chance at thriving.


And I have always imagined this space as one of celebration: a celebration of the seasons, the foods that I love, the produce and the farms and the farmers who inspire me, and my favorite places. Now I’d like to be a little more transparent about celebrating the gluten-free thing too.

Pumpkin Buckwheat Waffles with Sautéed Apples // The Year in Food
waffle recipe loosely adapted from
Yield: 6 waffles

Brown rice and oat flour is my go-to flour combination. It’s a great balance to the dense, nutty buckwheat flour. The sautéed apples and pecans and maple syrup make this perfectly, essentially fall.

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup oat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup almond milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for cooking
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 small heirloom apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, pumpkin puree, butter, and vanilla extract. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing thoroughly to combine.

Heat your waffle iron now. If using the old-school kind that heats on the stove (as I did), grease the heck out of that thing. It’s the only way to avert a failed waffle. Butter is best for this.

Measure 1/2 cup of the batter and pour into the center of the iron. Close and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. With a stovetop iron, that would be about 3 minutes per side. After 3 minutes on the second side, carefully open to see if the waffle is golden brown. If yes, it’s ready. Carefully remove the waffle from the heat and place on a plate in your warmed oven. Repeat with the remaining batter.

While the waffles cook, if you’re a good multi-tasker, sauté the apples. In a large skillet, warm the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melty and bubbling, add the apples and toss to coat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and a little browned, about 4 minutes or so.

To serve, plate the waffle, top with 5 or 6 apple slices, a smattering of pecan pieces, and a generous glug of maple syrup.

Pumpkin Buckwheat Waffles with Sautéed Apples // The Year in Food

  • Sarah - Thank you for this post! Though I am not g-f, your words resonate with me and I admire your honesty and bravery to speak up. Plus, these waffles look amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Denise - First: The waffles look and sound delicious! I love playing with different flours.

    Second: You’re right, people do judge!
    I also experienced the judging look people give me when I say “I don’t eat grains anymore”. It’s not because I’m celiac but gluten intolerant as in: my body doesn’t like that stuff.
    But many people act as if you offended them with your choice. Some will even offer me a cookie or a piece of cake, although I explained it to them.

    I honestly don’t understand why people get so upset about those who have to or choose to be gluten free…ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - These are gorgeous waffles! I don’t avoid gluten altogether, but sticking with an “everything in moderation” philosophy, I think gluten was too much a part of my diet at one point and I am trying to rely more on high-quality protein and lots of seasonal veggies. This post reminds me of the amazing gluten-free choc chip cookies I made in the spring that I must make, again. And YES you deserve to thrive! I’m glad it’s becoming a trend that people are healing themselves through nutrition.ReplyCancel

  • Brandy - Thank you for sharing! As someone in the same situation (and the same dislike of being judged because of it) I sincerely appreciate your stepping out in this very public forum and sharing your story and this fantastic recipe. I cannot wait to try it (I just happen to have a gigantic pile of apples on hand. . . :) ).ReplyCancel

  • Chris - Thankyou for a delicious recipe and your thoughts on going gluten free. I understand the feeling – not wanting to be judged or inconvenience. The most important thing however is your health and feeling well.ReplyCancel

  • Izy - Wow, I can’t believe that woman would say that about gluten intolerance – let people liveee, jeez! There’s nothing wrong with avoiding foods you can’t eat. I’m not gf but I occasionally experiment with wheat-free recipes which are often way nicer than the original (boring) versions. The textures and flavours can be amazing, so I have nothing against gf foods. Just like these waffles which look beautiful and delish :)ReplyCancel

  • Denise - Someone just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook. I will check your blog out. DeniseReplyCancel

  • alexandra @ sweet betweens [blog] - Thank you so much for the reminder that everyone is fighting their own battles and we cannot begin to presume to know where they are coming from. I, personally, am finding that I am mildly gluten-intolerant. I feel much better, have more energy and am generally more pleasant when I’m not filling my system up with wheat. So, in sum, I am thankful that you’ve shared your journey with us and continue to grace this space with beautiful photos and need-to-make-now recipes.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - Those look AMAZING and I love how whole grain and healthy they are too! I am so sorry that woman said such a RIDICULOUS thing. She should be embarrassed for being so rude and off-putting! It makes me sad when people are so needlessly cruel. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you for such a cool combination! :)ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gordon - Girllll, these look right up my alley. Especially as we have a million pounds of apples down in our basement waiting for a happy home in some fall recipes. Really nicely put post, too. It is funny the way we skirt around things about ourselves sometimes isn’t it? Even on our very own sites. Thanks for the inspiration! ~mReplyCancel

  • Sini?my blue&white kitchen - Thank you for your honest words and sharing your experience of living a gluten-free life. These buckwheat waffles look so tasty! A perfect treat for a cold&rainy fall day like today.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - I’m with Izy – I have no problem with eating gluten but I often prefer baking without it because the end result is so much more interesting and there’s so much more variety of textures and tastes. Besides, I think most of us could probably do to eat a little less of it in our lives.ReplyCancel

  • autumn - Welcome to the gluten-free team ;) I hear you on that anxiety! And I’m sure you’ve learned by now that people saying the bonkers/hurtful stuff will not go away, but the joy and empowerment that comes from eating in a way that makes you well is pure gold. On a lighter note, totally making these waffles this weekend! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - Your waffles look hearty and delicious, and I look forward to making them one chilly morning for a great start to the day. I have no trouble with gluten, but decided several months back to eat less refined sugar and white flour (and meat) and more whole grains and natural sweeteners. I did this simply because I wanted to eat healthier without feeling like I was sacrificing anything. In 7 months I lost 20 pounds and feel so much more energetic. Whole grains have such a wide variety of textures and flavors, and are toothsome and so satisfying. So I thank you for your inspiration with the yummy waffles. They’ll fit right into my culinary lifestyle!ReplyCancel

  • Maggie at Eat Boutique - Thanks for sharing. :)ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - It took me quite a while to figure out that I was gluten intolerant, and when I did so many people around me didn’t understand the switch to my new, bread-free lifestyle. I found myself answering people’s questions that I didn’t always have the answers to about why my body rejected gluten. And I too received numerous comments about how this person or that person couldn’t give up bread and pasta – even my doctor! I loved reading this post, and I thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Christine - What a lovely piece! Thank you, Kimberley. I am admittedly rather gluten-addicted, but with so many friends who carefully watch their intake, I am constantly looking for recipes that suit everyone at the table. Looking forward to trying this one.

    May I ask where the gorgeous orchard photos were taken?ReplyCancel

  • French Toast Tasha - I’ve eaten mainly vegetarian for almost 20 years now (!) so I definitely know what it’s like to be the one who has to ask for a special option. I’m with you on not wanting to inconvenience anyone, and wanting the food to be authentic and accepted for it’s own sake. I always try and make dishes which anyone would eat, which just happen to be veggie, and I think the same works for gluten-free.

    I’ve also adjusted my diet over the years to keep myself feeling well and happy, and I absolutely agree with you, I’m going to go write out “We all deserve a chance at thriving” in my notebook.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - I am currently on week 3 of an elimination diet to reveal what food intolerances I might have. I am expecting to have to say goodbye to my old friend gluten. Whatever the result, I look forward to trying this recipe! And it’s so strange how people choose to take your own personal choices, as having anything to do with them, and become offended. I chose to have both my children with midwives, basically home births but in a birthing center and not my actual home, and tried not to advertise it, because practically anyone I would mention it to would get all defensive about the different choices they made for their own birthing experiences, as if my choice implied that I thought theirs was inferior! My father-in-law reminds me of the woman sitting next to you, he has said he thinks food allergies are made up.ReplyCancel

  • Jessie - Nice article, I’ve been following your blog for awhile and I didn’t even notice the lack of gluten! I have a few friends with that issue and it must be hard! I’ve been vegetarian for years so I’m used to people feeling like they can judge my food choices and demanding I justify them! These waffles look good but I don’t have a waffle maker! Would they work as pancakes? Love the fall flavours in this one.ReplyCancel

  • Annaliese - I really appreciate everything you have to say here. I have what sometimes feels like an ever-growing list of food allergies, and most of the time, it’s hard not to view them as dietary limitations. But the combination of actually enjoying food and appreciating the creativity it has given me when I cook certainly improves my outlook. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Shanna Mallon - 1 / I love transparency and I love it even more that I understand how much courage it takes. 2 / I love that you’ve been GF for two years and your site is so full and rich no one would even notice. 3 / I love the look of these waffles.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ve been gluten and dairy-free for about two years now, and it has taken most of that time to feel comfortable sharing it with people for all those same reasons! It’s even worse when the only meal option is pizza, with people who know me, and they say, “we know you can’t eat this so we got you a salad”. Though some situations are rough, I’ve finally come to realize that there are far fewer negative reactions than positive support and that being able to share all of myself is so worth it! Keep at it :)ReplyCancel

  • Karen - This looks really good. Just started down the GF road a month ago as my teenage daughter was diagnosed with Celiac. This road is not easy for a baker who lives on the Canadian prairie with wheat, rye and barley growing all around her. Learning that NOTHING tastes like wheat. But we’re doing it, one step at a time and I’m very thankful for recipes like this one- will try this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Janet Howe - FYI Baking soda and baking powder can be upsetting on the digestive system. Just saying ..xxReplyCancel

  • Rachael@AnAvocadoADay - Great post! As a dietitian who works with many people with gluten intolerance and celiac, I hear so many stories of cruel and judgmental things said by others. Although there are many who are hopping on the gluten free trend because it’s “the thing,” people often forget others have real health problems that are alleviated by removing gluten. This recipe looks delicious too!ReplyCancel

  • erin @ yummy supper - Hey lady, you came out;)
    I totally know how you feel about being quiet about the gf thing. When you really truly embrace the amazing array of foods out there, you don’t want to be judged as being picky, high maintenance or god forbid “diety.” But I’m also glad you are being true to who you are and what your body needs. There is so much good stuff to eat and being gf only forces you to be more creative and expansive, right?
    It was so fun to see you last week. Let’s do it again for sure.

  • kelsey - Yay for team “what-makes-me-feel-vibrant-alive-and-ready-to-see-the-world.” Let’s start a movement? ;)


    (these look bomb)ReplyCancel

  • sara forte - yes yes yes. you do what you gotta do based on what makes your own bod feel good. I totally get the fear of judgement through the hype of it all right now. Others are quick to speak, like that lady, but we’re guilty of doing it too. I believe your site should be a reflection of how you eat, even if it changes, people come here for YOU. GF or not, I love this space and enjoy you being you and whatever food that is. Always up for a waffle, we do some capacity of those flours as well, and lately I’ve been adding quinoa flakes. Gorgeous photos, missReplyCancel

  • Irina @ wandercrush - If anyone can/should proclaim their gluten-free choices with pride, it’s people like you who can inspire with such naturally gluten-free recipes and share tidbits of a lifestyle that’s anything but contrived or lacking! I’ve always admired those who start with a limitation and work with it in such a way that only leads to more endless possibilities and new ventures. All the power to ya.ReplyCancel

  • Aurore - Great post, great blog !! Everyone deserves the right to be different !! And to know what is good for himself.. I guess this is something that can be a little easier as we “get older” ?? You have to be proud of your choices (wanted or given) CheersReplyCancel

  • Asaline - Hi !

    I’m a french blogger and i’m in love with your univers?
    I’ve been writing an article about my favourites IG accounts and I’m talking about your’s !
    If you’d like to see it:
    Have a nice day ?

    { Asaline }ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - I’m so glad you shared your story and it’s definitely given me pause to think. The waffles look wholesome and delicious. Your announcement hasn’t changed the way I view your cooking here, I look forward to your thoughtful dishes made from vibrant seasonal ingredients.ReplyCancel

  • shauna - I love this. I love your shy bold confidence in this. I feel this too, which might seem strange since gluten-free is what I write about. But there have been other foods that have left, since I’ve figured out my own particular body doesn’t seem to like them much. And I don’t want my site to become a litany of cannot. But I’m glad you wrote about it. And oh! those apple photos.ReplyCancel

  • Calgary catering - Gluten free? Wow that is amazing and it looks so delicious. I am going to try this recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Alex - Those waffles look great, now I’m thinking about breakfast for dinner!ReplyCancel

  • ileana - Go you! Glad you are feeling better. And I never really noticed that your recipes here were gluten-free. I’ve always thought of your blog as simply being centered around whole foods, namely produce, with beautiful photos and recipes.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - I would love try this recipe. I have a waffle iron and use it multiple times a week. I have yet to add apples to my waffles. Or tried making them somewhat healthy for me. I will definitely be trying this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Vahtikoira - I love the ingredients…great idea. Can’t wait to give it a try!ReplyCancel

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