Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Buckwheat Crepes

The other day while talking with my Uncle Don, he told me about how my grandfather used to make the best crepes he’d ever eaten. Evidently his secret was to make the batter and let it sit in the fridge overnight. My mom used to make crepes quite a bit while I was growing up as well. She didn’t make the batter ahead of time, but I remember we’d sprinkle brown sugar on them, roll them up, and dig in. Since having this conversation with my uncle, the wheels have been turning and crepes have been on my mind. Except, instead of making a traditional recipe that calls for white flour, I wanted do a buckwheat crepe. Most recipes I’ve found call for both buckwheat and white flours since some amount of gluten is probably necessary to keep them together. But I decided if I’m using buckwheat I’d like to try to make them completely gluten-free. A gluten-free substitute for white flour usually consists of potato flour, rice flour, xanthan gum, and tapioca flour. Since I didn’t have this wheat alternative, I tried tapioca powder instead and I was surprised that the crepes came out well. By powder, I mean that I ground tapioca pearls into a fine powder in a spice grinder.

These crepes can be served at any meal, but here I used them for dinner and desert and I put together a couple of fillings to try. The first course was a vegetarian dinner crepe made with a Mushroom Tomato Sauce that I combined with hummus. If you’re a meat eater, however, shredded, cooked chicken and caramelized onions would work as well with the sauce. For desert, I made a very quick crème using avocado, ground almonds, hemp milk, and a little maple syrup and paired that with some nice organic strawberries for a filling. I made these for my parents and they approved immensely. Of course, Mom had to have one with brown sugar for old times. : )

Buckwheat Crepes

1 ¼ c buckwheat flour
2 T tapioca powder
½ t sea salt
1 c hemp or almond milk
1/3 c water
3 large eggs
3 T grapeseed oil

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry. Mix well with a whisk until all clumps are gone. This batter can then be refrigerated overnight or until ready to use.

To make crepes, heat a heavy skillet on med heat. Lightly grease the bottom with butter or oil. Add ~ ¼ cup of batter to the center of the pan then lift it by the handle and swirl it around to spread the batter evenly in a circular motion in the pan. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip and brown the other side – about 2 – 3 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and add your favorite fillings–either savory or sweet!!

A sweet filling alternative used above:

Avocado Cream

¼ cup ground almonds
½ avocado
¼ cup hemp or almond milk
1 T real maple syrup

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth.

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