I've been experimenting with whole-grain waffles. Currently, I'm working off this basic template:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole grains--I've done oat flour, rolled oats, buckwheat, ground millet (in my grain mill), and corn meal, separately.
2 tablespoons ground flax seed.
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
6 tablespoons dried buttermilk (just easier to keep around than the liquid)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 (yes, two) apples, peeled/cored and cut into small pieces
Above all mixed together. Mixed separately:
1.5 cups water
1 tsp vanilla
Wet added to dry, let sit 5 minutes (gets fluffier), and put in hot waffle iron. Now, this, for my tastes, is plenty sweet (I don't add syrup or sugar). And no, I didn't forget the oil: I've tried it both ways, and it's just fine without.
My thoughts, though, are to omit or reduce the buttermilk. Considering all else that's in here I don't think it's necessary--with the apples and wholegrains, would it really add much? If not, it's wasted calories. The question, though, is what to do about the acidity that activates the baking soda. I think some vinegar would be too noticeable, and lemon juice not a good fit. Just eliminate the baking soda entirely? Replace with more baking powder?