Sweet & Savory Whole Wheat Crepes

I love crepes.  Versatile, elegant, and quick, they can be used for breakfast, dessert or dinner.

If you make them with whole grains, (and you all know my point of view on whole grains), they are not only delicious but good for you.

Sweet & Savory Whole Wheat Crepes
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish, Breakfast, or Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 10 crepes
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 T butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • Additional butter for skillet
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender; pulse for 5 seconds until blended; allow batter to rest in the refrigerator for 1 to 48 hours. (This is important if you want a crepe with a silky texture).
  2. Heat a 10-inch Teflon non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and grease with a bit of butter. Ladle about ¼ cup of batter in the hot pan and swirl until the bottom is thinly and evenly coated. Cook until the batter sets and the edges become golden—less than 1 minute. Flip and cook another 15 seconds. Lay on a rack. Repeat until all are cooked.
Notes
*Sweet Variation: Add 2 T sugar or honey *Savory Variation: Add ¼ t salt Preparation Tips: Only use whole wheat pastry flour. Bread flour or regular whole wheat flour will produce a tougher crepe. Flipping the crepe in the air is easier than using a spatula—try it. If you made your crepes in advance, wrap them in a damp paper towel and again in a tea towel and microwave briefly—about 2 seconds per crepe.

Storing: Stack crepes once they’ve cooled and store them in an air-tight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.  To freeze, stack them with wax paper between each crepe, and place them in an air-tight freezer bag in the freezer for up to 2 months

Stuffings and Toppings: The other half of the fun.  You don’t have to do much to make them tasty.  My children love to top them with a squirt of lemon followed with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Savory Ham & Spinach

Filling for savory or plain crepes       Yield: 3 cups

    • 1 T olive oil

    • 3 oz. ham, chopped

    • 1 small onion, chopped

    • 1clove garlic, minced

    • 6 – 8 cups chopped spinach

    • 1/2 cup grated cheese, try gouda, Swiss or gruyere

    • 1/4 cup chopped herbs like dill (optional)

    • 1/4 cup half & half or cream

    • Salt & pepper to taste

    • 6 – 8 plain or savory crepes for stuffing

Directions

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet.  Add onions, a little salt, and ham and sauté until onions are glassy.  Add garlic and sauté another minute.  Next add spinach and cook until barely wilted.  Add cream and grated cheese and continue to scook on medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.  Add pepper and more salt if needed.

To Assemble: Add about 1/2 cup to each crepe, roll and serve. Or place in a baking pan, cover with grated cheese and bake at 325 F for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Simple Strawberry Compote

Filling for sweet or plain crepes    Yield: 4 cups

  •  2 pints strawberries, sliced

  • 3 T sugar

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • Garnish with whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce

Directions

In a sauce pan, add all ingredients and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens.  Ladle over crepe, garnish and serve.

 

 

Whole Grains

Refined grains are essential junk food.  They have calories and little more.  Don’t eat them or at least when you do eat them, acknowledge to yourself that you are eating junk food.  That sounds harsh, I know.   But I think it is the kind of tough love most of us need.  it will push you include whole grains whenever you can and shun the refined.

What are whole grains and why should you eat them?  A grain is a seed and the whole grain contains all 3 parts–the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The USDA recommends that we eat 3 servings or more of whole grains every day.  Whole grains provide fiber and nutrients. Study after study shows people who eat whole grains are thinner, healthier and live longer.

What are refined grains and why should we avoid them?  A refined grain is any grain–wheat, corn, rice, barley,  etc–that has had the wheat and the germ removed, leaving just the endosperm. Anything made from white flour or enriched flour is a refined grain.  “Enriched” means vitamins, which were removed with the bran and the germ, are added in again.

If you make more rustic unfussy sorts of baked-goods (not fancy cakes or cresants for example) it is relatively easy to make the switch. Simply substitute WHOLE WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR for enriched white flour, but it must be pastry flour. Try it.  Take your favorite cookie recipe for example and substitue whole wheat pastry flour.  No one in your family will even notice.

So if you’re going to take the time make homemade sweet treats, make them a bit healthier by using whole wheat flour.  Warning! Don’t delude yourself into thinking that just because it is a whole grain food made from scratch and with love, you can eat as much as you’d like. Don’t you remember the stick of butter you added and those 2 cups of sugar?  I once or twice became fat operating under that delusion quietly eating batches of whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies alone in the privacy of my pantry after the kiddies were tucked in bed.  A whole grain, whole food is not necessarily a low-calorie food.

Is there a place for refined grain foods?  Yes.  I wouldn’t dream, for example, of making mac-n-cheese with whole grain pasta.  Yuck!   The point is that we live in a toxic, refined-grain environment where you must go out of your way to make sure you are getting whole grains. So do that.  Go out of your way.  What?  You don’t like being thin?   You don’t want your family to be healthy?

By the way, I do love fancy cakes and cresants.  I just don’t make them.  I buy them from a talented pastry chef who owns a bakery very near to here.  Just one more way I try my best to contribute to the local economy!