The 2018 vegan waffle party and snuggle in Portland was a delicious gathering of food, people, warmth, and conversation. Many drool-inducing photos ahead! Here are a few appetizers to get things started.
These waffles are drizzled with artistically applied chocolate syrup. I almost licked the plate. I’d lap that!
I appreciate how this vegan waffle provides a different flavor experience for each quarter, spanning from minimalist to relatively decadent.
Waffle Party Format
We continued the experiment of having smaller and more intimate waffle parties, started a few years ago. I announced that I’d be baking waffles for around a dozen people, first come first serve, for the first hour of the three-hour evening event. After that, conversation and snuggling.
Even with a smaller number of people, the vegan waffle bar ended up with plenty of toppings. Not all are visible in this photo.
As mentioned in The Snuggle Party Guidebook, once you have a circle of trusted friends who are familiar and comfortable with the basic etiquette of snuggling, it’s easier to incorporate snuggling into other events.
It feels great to cozy up next to friends, snuggle, exchange massage and other nourishing touch, and engage in conversation–all while experiencing the warmth of the delicious vegan waffles and toppings you just ate. Very connective.
Oh, did I mention the toppings? Like this delicious Pomegranate-Marionberry Topping.
Because it was an evening party, we incorporated candles and soft white decorative lights. Alongside adding aesthetic touches to visual aspects of the setting, Megan pulled together some expressive background music to set the mood.
Oh, did I also mention the waffles? Here’s a closer-up of the fabulous culinary concoction shown at the top. This was one of those times I had to resist trying to take one of my guest’s waffles from them.
You know the chilled coconut cream and strawberry-banana ice cream are calling your name. Don’t try to resist. Just give in. Let the voice guide you. The voice of yum.
Vegan Waffles Featured at This Year’s Party
While I’ve never found a waffle that meets the dietary needs of everyone I know, the popular Naked Gluten-Free Waffles check all the boxes for most people. They’ve also gotten much positive feedback. So I used a slight variation on those, incorporating some coconut milk for more richness, and whole teff grain for more texture and crunch.
The original Naked Gluten-Free Waffles are already quite good, but when you’re a waffle fanatic like I am, it’s difficult to avoid the temptation to make some type of small embellishment.
As you can see, they really put off a lot of steam when they’re baking in the waffle makers! They make the kitchen smell wonderful, but I put a small fan behind me so the air wouldn’t get too dense with waffley goodness.
I mixed up two double batches and one single batch, putting the wet portions in mason jars in the fridge, and the dry portions in bowls and recycled plastic produce bags. The labels indicate whether a given bowl contains a single or double batch of ingredients.
I pre-measured the ground flaxseed as well, and put it in separate containers. I then removed the jars from the fridge a few hours before the waffle party, so that the liquid would warm up slightly.
Vegan Waffle Toppings Galore
As always, the range of vegan waffle toppings that guests brought, alongside the ones we created, excited me. So excited! They included the following:
- Pom-Marionberry Topping
- “Eat Me” frozen strawberry and banana ice cream
- Vegan Nettles Topping
- ground ginger
- almond slices
- The “Eat Me” ice cream was delightfully simple, consisting of bananas and strawberries, blended and frozen. Yaaassss.
I was pleasantly surprised by the nettles from a friend’s garden. They really worked as a savory vegan waffle topping. I remember my childhood outdoor education teachers warning us, “Don’t settle with nettle!” due to its prickly, stinging nature.
However, when carefully harvested and properly heated, the small, otherwise irritating nettle prickles break down, making the leaves edible. If you decide to try this at home, do a bit of online research, or talk with someone who has done it.
Waffle toppings from friends’ gardens or fruit trees, as well as toppings from scavenged plants (just make sure you’re certain about what you’re picking!), can be a lot of fun. If you want more ideas on this topic, check out a friend’s book on edible wild plants. I’m sure some of John’s suggestions would make great vegan waffle toppings.
Here’s some tummy-tickling color contrast: a serving of green nettle alongside a waffle quarter bathed in red pomegranate and marionberry.
Some additional waffle toppings included:
- Sweet Sautéed Organic Apples with Currants
- Cauliflower “Rice” Topping with Italian Parsley
- Hummus with Curry
- real maple syrup
I enjoyed the texture and size contrast between the apples and currants. These also had some cardamom in them, which I thoroughly enjoy.
No party would be complete without a friend from the plant family Brassicaceae. In addition to the Pom-Marionberry Topping, Meg made a tasty cauliflower “rice” topping with parsley. Great as a waffle topping or a side dish.
By the way, over the last few years, I’ve come to appreciate how versatile cauliflower can be. Because whole cauliflower looks like brains, it’s also great for vegan zombie role play, if that happens to be your cup of kombucha. But I suggest making it into something even more delicious, like the topping above.
A few more scrumptious waffle toppings:
- Organic Apples Spiced with Love
- Peanut Butter with Crystallized Ginger Topping
In addition to the love, these apples included other warming and delicious spices.
And a few last toppings:
- Dark Chocolate Waffle Syrup (from The Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook)
- Chilled Coconut Cream with a hint of maple syrup and vanilla
- fresh mango
- artfully sliced mint leaves
The mint leaves and mango went well with a range of other flavors. Chilled Coconut cream is also great to include on your waffle bar because it plays well with many other toppings.
I love how these toppings and waffle quarters are arranged to form twin peaks of goodness. While there are many delicious flavors here, I think mango and coconut go together particularly well.
Some of you know from my chocolate cookbook that I’m a cocoa fanatic, so of course I need to include a photo of the dark chocolate waffle syrup. (Groovy bowl by Joanne Savoie, Rimrock Studios.)
Here’s an action shot of someone spooning chocolate syrup onto a waffle, with a warming reminder to “live by the sun.” I like that. And if it’s not a sunny day, live by the waffle.
Are you considering throwing your own party? View fun waffle party highlights from past years, and read the waffle party ideas and tips posts. Then, share this post with a few friends to get them excited. Maybe they’ll even decide to bake waffles for you!