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    Perfect Pickings: Frozen Waffles

    In a breakfast landscape full of high fiber cereals and “energy bars”, waffles are often thought as a nutritionally inferior twice removed cousin.

    Not so!

    Depending on what waffles you purchase – and what you top them off with – you could very well take care of a third of your daily fiber needs before noon.

    When purchasing waffles, there are two values you want to pay special attention to: fiber and sugar.

    Although calories can indeed vary between different products (anywhere from 130 to 240 calories per serving), it is usually what waffles are topped off with that significantly raises these figures.

    Buying frozen waffles offering 130 calories per serving but drowning them in 400 calories’ worth of syrup and whipped cream defeats the initial purpose of seeking a lower-calorie alternative.

    Anyhow, a fiberless waffle (one or two grams per serving) is not much of a power breakfast. You might as well be eating a slice of white bread with some butter on top.

    Aim for five or more grams of fiber and no more than six grams of sugar per serving (usually two waffles).

    Always think of frozen waffles as simply – and literally! — the base of a highly nutritious breakfast.

    Here are some topping ideas:

    To sneak some calcium into your day, cover each waffle with two tablespoons of non-fat or, even better, low-fat plain yogurt (vegans: soy yogurt also does the trick).

    This is a great opportunity to get a fruit serving in. Think bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, peaches, kiwis – any fruit you like, really.

    Not only do these toppings provide nutrition, they also offer such an array of flavors that you will need very little – or no – syrup on your waffles.

    Ground flaxseed is something I think everybody should have in their refrigerator or freezer.

    Since it is virtually tasteless, you can add it to anything! Sprinkle a tablespoon on your waffles to start your day off with lignans and some Omega-3’s.

    Remember – flaxseeds must be ground up if you want to reap the full nutrition benefits.

    You can either buy ready-to-eat flaxseed meal — Bob’s Red Mill is a popular brand — or purchase whole flaxseeds, which you should then demolish in a coffee grinder.

    Therefore, don’t be fooled by frozen waffles containing whole flaxseeds you aren’t getting very much extra nutrition for the extra buck.

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