Today’s recipe was an experiment yesterday that went so well that I felt like it just had to be posted. Right. Now. I had plans for another treat/dessert recipe and was all set to just throw all caution to the wind and make this sweets week! Don’t worry I’ll bring all the treats to the yard tomorrow. Promise. In the meantime, get yo’ skillets out… It’s time for CREPES! I know, I know, crepes sound all kinds of fancy-shhmancy, and to be quite honest I was always intimidated by them until one day last year I decided to play around with a few different recipes. They are not scary! Actually, I find crepes much easier to make than pancakes. I am a pancake flunky, you guys 😦
A (Long) Story About Eggs
Last year when I first starting playing with crepe recipes, I was still eating eggs occasionally, when my mom brought them to me from her neighbor’s hens. My conscience felt pretty ok with these particular eggs, and I’ll explain why. A little backstory is that the hens belonged to the elderly father of said neighbors, and when he passed away, instead of selling the hens (they are probably getting old as well) and risk them being killed, they took over their care and sell the eggs to neighbors to help pay for their care. These hens really are living that old fashioned farm life that we imagine all chickens get to live, foraging for bugs in the grass and getting plenty of space to run around. My point being is that after research into the egg industry, my husband and I decided to stop buying eggs at the grocery store (yes, even “cage free and organic”), and we felt getting eggs from a small backyard hobby farm was a much better option (though maybe not perfect). I encourage you to do a little digging, there are some very cruel and unnecessary things going on in the egg industry, including the “cage free” and “organic” labelled eggs. Despite once being an “egg-lover” I eventually decided I really don’t need eggs to be healthy. My husband thinks they’re gross anyway and my daughter tried them once and then wouldn’t touch them again. Since we only ate about a half dozen eggs every month or two, it wasn’t hard giving them up. Why am I boring you with this novel about eggs??? Wellllll…because despite my initial doubts, I’m here to show you that eggs are not necessary for good crepes (or good cookies, bread, baked goods…etc, etc)! After trying a few different recipes and alterations, I think I’ve found the easiest and tastiest vegan crepe recipe, everrrrr.
BFF – Besan Flour Forever
The star ingredient in these gluten-free, grain-free, vegan crepes? Chickpea flour! Also called besan, gram flour, or garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour is one of the most protein and nutrient rich gluten free flours you can find. It is also very inexpensive, even for organic varieties. I bought a good-sized bag at a nearby Indian market for about $2.50. In fact, a 16 oz bag of Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour is on sale now on Vitacost for under $2! A few facts about chickpea flour:
- made from ground chickpeas/garbanzo beans, has a characteristic nutty flavor
- 1/2 cup has 10 grams of protein (compared to 6 grams in white flour)
- 1/2 cup contains 50% of your recommended intake of folate
- good source of thiamin and B-6, good for energy and and controlling appetite/mood
- also contains iron, magnesium, and phosphorous
- naturally gluten-free
- made from beans so it’s also grain-free
- the combination of fiber, protein, and unsaturated fat makes it a filling option for baking and cooking
Fill these savory crepes with fresh-from-the-garden (or farmers market) veggies and fresh herbs and you’ve got a filling, protein-packed, fiber-rich, gourmet-looking, breakfast, brunch, or lunch in under a half hour. I double-dog dare you to get “fancy” this week and make some savory crepes!
Garden Veggie Protein Crepes
Inspired/adapted from this recipe.
- 1 1/3 cup chickpea flour (i.e. besan, garbanzo bean flour, gram flour)
- 1 cup + scant 1/3 cup filtered water
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- fresh grated pepper
- a little oil for cooking
Garden Veggie Filling
- 1 large zucchini, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- a handful of fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup veggie broth or water
- salt and pepper
- Preheat a round, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour, salt, and spices in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add water, and whisk until no lumps remain. Stir in green onions and cilantro. Add a 1/2 tsp of coconut oil or avocado oil to your skillet. Scoop out about a half cup (more or less depending on the size of your skillet) and swirl onto the pan, tilting the pan so the thin batter covers the bottom evenly. As soon as the edges start to brown and the middle has bubbles and begins to look cooked, use a spatula to flip it over and cook briefly on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter. Keep the crepes warm on a plate covered with a towel or other plate (or alternatively place in a warm oven until ready to eat).
- Make your filling: heat the same skillet over medium-high heat and add a little vegetable broth along with the zucchini, onions, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and zucchini is becoming tender. Add the tomato and cilantro and cook until tomato is warm.
- Fill the crepes with warm veggie mixture and enjoy! I also topped mine with microgreens and extra cilantro. Some cashew cream would also be a yummy topper (just blend soaked cashews with an even amount of water, and add a little salt or seasonings as desired).
Notes: this recipe is more similar to Pudla (Indian Chickpea Crepes) rather than traditional Socca (Southern France chickpea crepe) which uses oil in the batter and a lower liquid to flour ratio. The batter should be quite thin, which results in a thinner crepe with crispy edges.
Tell me, tell me! Have you ever made crepes? Do you prefer sweet or savory??