Although they look different, waffles and pancakes are similar. That's why you can easily whip up Belgian waffles with pancake mix by adding an extra ingredient or two. While most pancake mixes provide directions for pancakes and waffles, you can follow these general guidelines if yours doesn't.
Read more: Is Pure Maple Syrup Healthy?
Making Waffles With Pancake Mix
Pancake mix is designed to make your life easier. To make pancakes from a mix, you usually just need to add milk (nondairy milk works great too) and an egg or two. If you're using the Bisquick Belgian waffle recipe, it will vary slightly from the Krusteaz waffle recipe or any other pancake mix recipe, but the general guidelines are still the same across the board. A general recipe typically combines 2 cups of pancake mix with 1 cup of milk and two eggs.
If you want to turn your pancake mix into waffles instead, you'll need to make the batter a little thinner and add some extra fat, which gives the waffles that characteristic crispy outside and soft inside. To make Belgian waffles with pancake mix, combine 2 cups of pancake mix with 1 1/3 cups of milk, one egg and 2 tablespoons of melted butter or oil.
While you'll get delicious waffles with just these simple changes, you can also add some vanilla extract or a dash of cinnamon to enhance the flavor a little bit.
Belgian Waffle Nutrition Facts
Although the exact nutrition facts of your Belgian waffle will vary based on which kind of pancake mix you use, the USDA gives you a general idea of what you can expect from one average-sized waffle:
- 99.2 calories
- 2.3 grams of protein
- 3.1 grams of fat
- 15.6 grams of carbohydrates
- 1.5 grams of sugar
While the vitamins and minerals in a waffle are negligible, it does provide small amounts of potassium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. The toppings you choose will also change the nutrition facts. Every tablespoon of butter you put on top of your waffle will add:
- 102 calories
- 11.5 grams of total fat
- 7.3 grams of saturated fat
While each tablespoon of real maple syrup contributes:
- 52 calories
- 13.4 grams of carbohydrates
- 12.1 grams of sugar
Choosing a Healthy Breakfast
While it's OK to indulge every once in a while, it probably doesn't come as a big surprise that waffles aren't the best breakfast choice. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the processed carbohydrates and sugars in things like waffles (and pancakes) can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels that can lead to weight gain and insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, over time.
Pancake mix is also highly processed — it has to be so that you can store it in your cabinet for a while. While using a mix is certainly convenient, the National Institutes of Health points out that processed foods contain artificial ingredients, flavorings and emulsifiers and are usually higher in calories, salt, sugar and fat than unprocessed foods.
Because of this, eating processed foods regularly is associated with weight gain and health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome, according to a May 2019 article in the BMJ.
Making your own waffles and pancakes from scratch is a better choice; for example, you can try this LIVESTRONG.com recipe for Greek Yogurt Pancakes With Strawberries for a healthier option. Still, it's best to stick to high-quality proteins, like eggs, vegetables and low-sugar fruits, like berries, for your breakfast on most days and save the waffles and pancakes for special occasions.
- National Institutes of Health: "Eating Highly Processed Foods Linked to Weight Gain"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Butter, Stick, Salted"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Syrups, Maple"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "A Doctor's Recipe for a Healthy Breakfast"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Waffle, Plain"
- BMJ: "Ultra-Processed Food and Adverse Health Outcomes"