Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.
Today: Move over, toast. These sturdy crêpes—ideal for topping with spring vegetables, bean dips, or berry preserves—are our new favorite snack.
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When I think about crêpes, I think about something delicate and airy—something that will require refinement and technique. Refinement and technique are not my strong suits as a home cook. Creativity? Sure. Enthusiasm? Plenty. But delicacy? I don’t know. I’m an average baker, and I tend to get impatient with recipes that demand a lot of finesse. As a result, I’ve always shied away from making crêpes at home.
This, I've realized, is a mistake. We may think of crêpes as being elegant and dainty, but in doing so, we forget that crêpes are also a time-honored street food. From buckwheat crêpes in Brittany to dosas in India, crêpes are actually made because they're quick, versatile, and easy to prepare. Once you’ve got a batter mixed—and this can be done quite a few hours in advance of cooking—it’s simple to ladle your crêpes into a pan and have an almost instantaneous meal that will feel a little fancy, no matter how simple the process was.
More: Once you've mastered the crêpe, move on to a bigger challenge: the crêpe cake.
These crêpes are a hybrid of sorts. Both feature chickpea flour, which I love for its sturdiness, its mild flavor, and its bright color. Crêpes made with chickpea flour alone can easily become thick (more like a flatbread or a socca than a crêpe), so I like to use a combination of chickpea flour and all-purpose or rice flour (either will work; the latter is a good choice for gluten-free folks).
The result is a light, yet sturdy crêpe that works easily well in either sweet or savory. You can use any fillings you like, from preserves to fresh fruit to sautéed vegetables to bean dip to sweet pea hummus. Once you try the recipes, you’ll wonder—as I did when I made them—why you haven’t been putting anything and everything into homemade crêpes all along.
1 cup chickpea flour 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or rice flour (brown or white) 2 tablespoons organic sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil 1 cup almond or soy milk 1/2 cup water
See the full savory and sweet recipes (and save and print them).
Photos by James Ransom
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Gena Hamshaw is a certified nutritionist, recipe developer, and food blogger. She shares her latest culinary adventures at The Full Helping. She's the author of two cookbooks, Food52 Vegan (2015) and Choosing Raw (2014). She enjoys yoga, sweet potatoes, cashews, and things that are smothered in sauce.