I love, love love crepes despite the fact that I’ve had them only a handful of times in my life. And I think the last time (the only time) I had a vegan crepe was about 4.5 years ago. (Yep, have memories like that for food, outfits, etc). Mostly it’s that I don’t have time or mental leisure to fuss with paper-thin pancakes, various fillings, and delightful breakfast or brunch with music and laughter. Such was the association of crepes from my experience with them in high school French class: a few times a year, led by our delightful teacher Madame Miller, we would set up at the little rustic cottage in the middle of school grounds, light up the fireplace, and make and eat crepes while listening to stories of her beloved Bretagne.
I just didn’t know I could replicate that on my own…except I could and did! Traditional crepe batter, of course, includes butter, eggs, and milk. Sometimes vegan recipes automatically call for an egg replacer (usually Ener-G) for replicating traditional recipes like these, but I just subbed some of the flour with tapioca flour instead for added binding, crispiness, and light, springy texture–and nothing could be easier! For the most fun, turn on some French tunes, light some twinkle lights, and have fun preparing all the ingredients and setting them up in pretty bowls so everyone can choose their own filling.
Easy Vegan Crepes with Chocolate Spread and Fruits
makes 5 crepes
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp non dairy milk
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
1 tsp vegan butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1/2 tsp raw sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp tapioca flour
about 10 dates, pitted and chopped
2 tbsp unsweetened natural almond butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut milk, plus a splash or two as needed
pinch of salt
Banana slices, strawberries, and other favorite fruits; powdered sugar and fresh lemon; etc
1. In a blender or food processor, process all the chocolate spread ingredients until desired texture. (I left mine a bit chunky). Set aside.
2. In a blender or mixer, blend non dairy milk, vanilla, sugar, softened or melted butter, and salt for a bit. Add flour and tapioca flour and blend thoroughly. The batter will be liquid and smooth.
3. Heat a tiny bit of vegan butter on a large non stick pan over medium or medium low heat (depends on your stove top). Use a 1/4 cup (or a 1/3 cup, but not filled to the top) to spoon the batter onto the center of the pan, then spiraling outward to create a large circle of thin batter. Quickly grab the pan handle and tilt it in circular motion to let the batter run as thinly outward as possible. It will stop running at one point–then let that side cook for about 1-2 minutes. It’s ready for flipping when the edges are firm, crisp and easily lifted. (You can also always re-flip to the first side, no worries).
4. Flip the crepe to the other side and cook for another minute or so. For flipping, I like to use chopsticks and a spatula. Others have used just spatula, or even their fingers. Whatever makes you feel most confident, just go for it.
5. Repeat the process until all the batter is gone. Fill the crepes with chocolate spread, banana slices, fresh berries, or whatever strikes your fancy, and enjoy!
More healthy desserts: Vegan Green Tea and Ginger Ice Cream
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling