Stop right there. You must try these gluten-free vegan crepes. They are to die for!
Crepes? What are those? If you are wondering what crepes are, they are very thin pancake-like goodies that are popular in Europe. While you were eating you breakfast stack of pancakes as a child growing up in the U.S., I devoured crepes with chocolate, jam and walnuts as a kid in Eastern-Europe. They are becoming increasingly popular in Europe and are popping up on restaurant and food truck menus and being used as instagram food porn.
Since crepes were brought to America in the 1930 by a French Chef named Henri Charpentier, you may think of it as a French dish. However, crepes exist all over Europe.
Did you know that there are various different crepes in Europe? While they look the same and taste very similar, different nations make them differently. There is a slight difference between French (crêpe), German (pfannkuchen) and Hungarian (palacsinta) crepes in the ratio of milk, eggs, flour and water. These ratios may even differ by region and family too. Some Northern-Europeans, like the Dutch (pannenkoeken) have created a mix between a crepe and a pancake that is thinner and bigger than a pancake, but thicker than a crepe.
Different nations serve crepes differently too. The French tend to fold them, Hungarians roll them and the Dutch lay theirs flat just like American pancakes, but do not stack them.
Crepes are flavored differently depending where you go too. The most famous French crepe is crepe Suzette with caramelized sugar, butter, orange zest and liqueur. In Hungary the two most famous crepes are Gundel with ground walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, rum, orange peel, chocolate sauce and cream, while the Hortobagyi is a non-sweet crepe with meat.
What makes all of these crepes similar is that, just like American pancakes, traditionally they are not vegan and not gluten-free. Eggs, milk and wheat flour are key ingredients to crepes. While some traditional recipes may use only water, once you start replacing and veganizing all these ingredients you may end up with a mess, not with crepes. If you’ve tried it, you know that it can become a daunting task and takes some tinkering.
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and processed sugar-free. It is as healthy as a sweet crepe can get.
The oat flour in the recipe can provide you with lots of fiber to aid your digestion. Oats can also help stabilize your blood sugar, reduce bad cholesterol and protect you from diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Almond milk is great for your bones, heart, skin and digestion. It barely impacts your blood sugar and can help with muscle recovery too. Lastly, it is cruelty-free and you can even make it at home yourself.
This recipe is relatively low in calories, hovering around 80 calories per crepe. It’s also high in carbs with about 16 grams in a crepe. Being a high-carb food, it is perfect for those following a high-carb, low-fat plant-based diet per the China Study by Dr Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Barnard and Dr McDougall.
As a high-carb dish, it may be excellent for endurance athletes, especially when carbo loading or as a pre-workout food with lots of energy.
Regardless of your dietary choices and workout regiments, it is a good choice for you if you are looking to mix up your Sunday brunch routine and to healthify a classic favorite.
If you fill it with yummy fruits and sweets, or make savory varieties with greens and vegetables, you can also add extra essential vitamins and minerals to your diet.
Enough about the benefits. I bet I’ve convinced you already.
Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk well. You can use a blender too to create the best and smoothest result.
Let your batter sit for 5 minutes. Make sure it is lump-free. Unlike with pancakes, you want a thin texture.
Cook your crepes on a non-stick pan over low heat. Pour just a small amount of batter on your pan. The recipe should make about 6 crepes, this should help with figuring out how much butter you need. Spread your batter around by moving the pan or with a spoon using circular motions.
Cook it for about 30 seconds or so.
Flip it when one side is cooked. Cook the other side for 30 seconds or as long as you need according to your personal preferences.
Fruity crepes: Fill it with fresh fruits, perhaps some seeds, like hemp seeds or chia, or nuts, like slivered almonds or walnuts.
Nut crepes: Grind some walnuts (or other nuts) finely and mix it with coconut sugar until it feels sweet but not too sweet. Spread it all over your crepes.
Nut-butter and jelly crepes: Just like with PBJ, add some nut butter and jelly to your crepes
Savory crepes: Add some greens, like spinach, other veggies as you desire (peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes etc.) and maybe some vegan cheese if you wish, eat it as is or grill it in your panini maker for a few minutes
Note that even though this recipe is vegan, gluten-free and free from processed sugar, this is still not a health-food. This is a healthier version of a traditional sweet goodness that should be enjoyed sparingly, but still devoured blissfully. You can’t skip your veggies and live on this, but it will make your Sunday brunch or special occasions happy without sacrificing your health.
Do you prefer pancakes, crepes or waffles? How have you healthified your childhood favorites? Share your tips in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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