Crepes aren't just for pancake day, they are a delicious snack or meal to be enjoyed any day of the year and we've got a recipe that's both gluten free and dairy free and full of fibre, protein and low in saturated fats but with no compromise on flavour!
If you have an allergy to wheat or are gluten intollerant, you don't have to settle for gluten free flours to make your favourite bakes and crepes.
There are a decent selection of naturally gluten free flours out there but there is one in particular that is perfect for making delicious crepes. It's called Teff.
What is Teff Flour?
Teff is an ancient grain that's been around for 1000s of years and a staple grain in Ethiopia and Eritrea and the main ingredient in their traditional flat bread called injera. It's got a delicious nutty flavour, is naturally gluten free and has a nutritional profile that's loaded with iron, protein and loads of fibre.
Just one serving of teff flour (a quarter-cup) boasts a massive 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of dietary fibre, 25 percent of your daily recommended magnesium, 20 percent of your daily iron and 10 percent of your daily calcium, Vitamin B6 and zinc. It has a mildly nutty flavour and is incredibly versatile.
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Only four main ingredients needed to make these moreish and super healthy teff pancakes.
The nutritional profile of Teff flour is incredible. It's most notably very high in nutritional fibre, iron and magnesium. 100 grams of this ancient grain delivers a massive 12g of fibre, that's a huge 4 times more fibre than white plain wheat flour which has just over 3g of dietary fibre per 100g. In terms of iron, 100 grams of Teff delivers a massive 4.8mg, that's 50% of your daily recommended intake for men and 30% for women. The NHS website says men need 8.7mg a day and women need 14.8mg per day.
This recipe is pretty much the same to make regular wheat crepes, only the flour is different and we've added a couple of other key ingredients that compliment the nutty flavour of teff and add some other excellent nutritional benefits in the mix to make you feel fuller for longer.
Ingredients to make pancakes using teff flour
Makes around 10-12 crepes
300g Teff Flour (white Wholegrain best).
2 medium sized eggs
750ml Nut/Oat/Rice Milk
200ml Coconut Milk
Quarter tsp cinnamon (Optional)
Half a nutmeg - grated (optional)
Pinch of salt
Whole pecan nuts (Or any other whole nuts)
If you have a blender such as this Magimix one, you will find making the batter as easy as 123. If you don't have a blender, then a sturdy whisk and sufficient elbow grease will do the job.
First blend the teff flour, eggs, your choice of dairy-free milk (you can use dairy milk if you prefer) coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until you get a nice batter like consistency. Add extra flour or milk if the mixture is too runny or thick.
Leave the mixture to rest for 20 mins while you prepare the skillet or non-stick frying pan. If you have a pancake pan, that would be ideal but failing that a cast-iron skillet or non-stick frying pan works a charm too.
We're using a cheap and cheerful cast-iron skillet from Lodge. They work just as good as a non-stick frying pan without the use of harmful teflon and looked after properly will last a lifetime and some.
Rub a very small amount of coconut oil (or butter if you prefer) onto the surface of the skillet with a piece of kitchen paper and heat the skillet up. Now using a ladle, scoop a ladle full of mixture and transfer to the pan (swivel the pan a bit to ensure mixture covers the whole surface). As soon as the mixture looks like it's drying, cover the pan and leave for 30 seconds to a minute and then remove cover and flip the crepe. Cook for a further 2 minutes and voila - you're done! Repeat same process until the mixture is finished.
These crepes will keep in the fridge covered with a plate for a few days and they're even great to freeze too. If you're planning to freeze them, make sure you allow them to cool completely at room temperature before transferring to a sandwich bag or Tupperware and then pop them in the freezer. Defrost them in the fridge the night before you want to enjoy them.
Coconut oil is great for greasing the skillet and you can find so many varieties in most supermarkets. Coconut Merchant also have an excellent Coconut Milk too.
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The topping we've used in this recipe is chocolate sauce, bananas, desiccated coconut and pecan nuts but you can literally use anything you like, from just the traditional lemon and sugar to savoury toppings such as smashed avocado and boiled eggs. The options are endless. Literally anything you would put in a sandwich will go well in one of these.
To make the chocolate sauce we've used in this recipe, simply add a few squares of a good quality dark chocolate to a saucepan and add tiny bit of your dairy-free milk to the pan and heat. As soon as you start to see the chocolate melt, bring the fire to as low as possible and keep string using a wooden spoon until all the chocolate is melted and you're left with a dreamy chocolate sauce.
Chop up your banana and pop it onto the crepe and fold crepe into a triangle. Slice in half so you see all the yummy banana centre and then pour your chocolate sauce over the mountain of goodness. Sprinkle some desiccated coconut and a few pecan nuts and you're ready to feast!
These crepes are super healthy, thanks in most part to the super high fibre and iron content in the main ingredient. Fibre is often the most overlooked macronutrient after protein, fat and carbohydrates, mainly because it's actually quite difficult to consume the recommended daily intake from the vast majority of foods we have available in supermarkets.
With between 12 and 20g of fibre per 100g of teff flour, it's quite easy to get a chunk of your daily dietary fibre sorted with one of these crepes, especially if you load it up with other fibre-rich foods, such as banana and nuts as we've done.
Be careful if using a cast iron skillet because the handle gets super hot. Make sure you don't over pour the mix otherwise the pancake won't flip easily.
Benefits of a high-fibre diet
Regular and healthy bowel movements. Not to be gross or anything but you can set your clock on your bowel movements if you have enough fibre in your system.
Lowers cholesterol levels. Keep your ticker in fine fiddle. Studies have shown that high-fibre foods could reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) by lowering low-density lipoprotein. Other heart-health benefits, include reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
Controls blood sugar levels Knockout punch for diabetes! Diets high in fibre helps to slow the absorption of sugar, which in turn improves blood sugar levels.
Helps you maintain a healthy weight Drop a dress size and keep it off! Foods that are high in fibre tend to digest more slowly, which makes you feel fuller for longer. No more dipping into that biscuit jar for a pick-me-up.
Live a longer, healthier life Win the lottery of life! According to many studies, people who have high fibre diets live longer because it reduces your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.
Another amazing nutrient in teff is the very high iron content. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you must try and include this super-grain in your diet. A small 30g serving (about as much in each of these pancakes) will see you right for your whole daily recommended daily intake of iron.
Aside from these delicious pancakes, there are many other ways to incorporate teff into you diet. Teff flour can be used to make waffles, it's great for baking cakes too. You can also make breads and if you're feeling very adventurous, try making injera, the traditional fermented flat bread native to Ethiopia. It's a highly nutritious food but takes a bit of trial and error to get right. Just do a google search for injera recipes if you're willing to take on the challenge.
Where can I buy Teff Flour?
Teff flour, although becoming more popular isn't readily available to purchase from your local supermarket. However, if you have a good independent health food store close by, there is a chance that they will stock it and if they don't, why not put in a request to the manager to ask them to get some in stock. You will be back again and again.
Failing that, there are lots of online sources where you can purchase teff flour from. For this particular recipe we used Whole Grain White Teff Flour from Love Grass. They deliver pretty quickly and their site has some really good recipes on there, plus a bit more background about teff.
Another good online retailer of teff flour is Tobia Teff. Again they have a range of products that have been made using teff and they also have a section with recipes too.
All of the other main ingredients in this recipe are readily available in most supermarkets. We've used Biona organic coconut milk and Plenish cashew nut milk Stocked in most Sainsbury's and Waitrose supermarkets).
What better day to make pancakes than pancake day? Making and flipping pancakes is such fun to do with the kids or your partner and this video from #barrylewis keeps it simple with the good old lemon and sugar pancake, with a few classic additions such as Nutella, banana, and the more exotic coconut. Plus he also offers up a nice few tips on how to pre-prepare these so on the day all you need to do is get them on the griddle.
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