Food

Buckwheat & Quinoa Crepes

Last year I looked at different ways to change my eating habits which included a brief stint eating raw (My Raw Food Experiment). I don’t eat badly but I was curious to see if an extreme diet would deliver something miraculous (clear skin, racehorse metabolism etc.). It didn’t, but I’m glad I tried eating raw as it introduced me to wonderful recipes such as Cauliflower Rice and Raw Chocolate & Walnut Brownies. Overall though, the best thing I learned was that I prefer applying heat to my food.

Buckwheat and Quinoa Crepes

The one dietary change I did make last year that I’ve maintained and experienced some health benefits from was lowering my gluten and refined sugar intake. I’m not coeliac nor a sugar hater so I haven’t banished either completely from my diet, but I’ve been conscious to treat them more as foods to eat in moderation rather than casually. So instead of munching on Jatz crackers, I’ll opt for rice versions or make my own gluten free ones.

Buckwheat and Quinoa Crepes

You may rightly ask, is there really any point in eliminating food that we’ve clearly thrived on over the last few centuries? We’re alive right? A Paleo convert will probably rattle off all the reasons why we should step (waaaay) back in time diet-wise, but I’m not so sure going all caveman is the answer either. What I do believe is that the 21st Century diet isn’t doing the modern human much favours. There’s nothing wrong with gluten or sugar for most part; it’s just that I think we’re eating too much of it, hidden or otherwise.

To be honest, eliminating gluten and sugar hasn’t had any startlingly obvious benefits but as Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, I’ll stick to it. I’m better off modifying my eating habits now than when it’s potentially too late and/or too hard! What I can say is that I no longer get that horrible stomach bloating after eating. I never realised that it was largely due to gluten, in my case anyway. If I eat even a small amount of white bread now, I really notice the gassiness build up.

Buckwheat and Quinoa Crepes

I did initially miss eating bread but I’ve since found a lot of alternative ways to get my carb fix. Commercially made gluten free breads aren’t all bad but I much prefer making things like gluten free waffles. Another wonderful lunch option is buckwheat crepes, which are called galettes in France. Galettes are made with both buckwheat and wheat flour so not gluten free, but it wasn’t hard to modify David Lebovitz’s recipe by substitution. Any gluten free flour can be used but I chose a combination of quinoa and sorghum.

Buckwheat and Quinoa Crepes

The crepes were easy to make and turned out nicely. As there’s no gluten, the crepes are a little more fragile but as long as you handle them gently, they won’t disintegrate that easily either. I’m not the biggest fan of quinoa’s flavour (sometimes I like it, other times I don’t…), but in these crepes, the taste was pretty neutral and by the time I filled them with ham, cheese and spinach, I wouldn’t have been able to tell it had alternative flours in it at all!

Buckwheat and Quinoa Crepes

90g quinoa flakes or flour (mill flakes into flour by blitzing in Thermomix on Speed 9 for 20 seconds)
15g sorghum flour or other gluten free flour of choice
70g buckwheat flour
80g melted butter (or vegan margarine – you can melt in TMX on Speed 3 on 50C for 30 seconds, prior to adding all other ingredients)
500g (2 cups) milk (hi-low milk is fine if reduced fat option  preferred)
3 large eggs 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

To Make: Make quinoa flour as described above if only flakes available. Melt butter in microwave or in TMX as described above. Place all ingredients in the Thermomix and blitz on Speed 5 for 15 seconds until well combined. Transfer mixture to a sealed container and allow to rest in fridge overnight. If in a rush, let it rest for as long as you can. Heat up crepe pan or similar non-stick pan to medium/high heat and pour a small ladle of mixture, spreading out with a crepe batter spreader. If you don’t have one of these contraptions, spread out as thinly as you can once ladled and smooth out with a palette. Crepes don’t take long to cook. Once the surface appears dry and the bottom is golden, flip over carefully with a palette and allow other side to get golden. Crepes are lovely served fresh of course but can be frozen between layers of baking paper and in a sealable, flat container. Allow to defrost at room temperature.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. My Kitchen Stories

    February 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Some great argumants here. i haven’t done any dietary experimenting but you probably wont find me adopting any of these diets any time soon. it is true that we have always eaten gluten wheat and sugar as a society and non of it harmed people in the past, however when the industrial revolution started and everyone began to buy ready made pre processed foods…this is where the diet gets all buggered up. I don’t really buy preprocessed foods in any great numbers and I make all the things I can, and I think this is the answer without the cuts!

    • Moni

      February 10, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks Tania :) I don’t think the average person needs to diet if they eat well (ie – they don’t overeat, eat the same things, or eat junk/processed foods 24/7) but I know when I’ve definitely eaten too much sugar. I wonder if we’re not listening to our bodies anymore because the noise from commercials etc. telling us that we should have a Kit Kat is too loud? :)

  2. Ai-Ling@blueapocalypse

    February 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I love applying heat to food too!

    You should check out the book ‘Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human’ :) I have tried some raw foods but definitely more a fan of cooked foods.

    I like reading about your ventures into different diets as you don’t do it in a fanatical manner and it’s good to read your results and thoughts.

    Your crepes look great and in the second photo, what contraption do you have? I’ve never seen it before but assume it’s to flatten the crepes?

    • Moni

      February 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks Ai-Ling! Hooray for the caveperson who worked out cooking is good! I’ll have to check out that book for sure.

      I think it’s fun to try different diets but mainly because it opens up so many other styles of eating and types of food. I think moderation is still the key but I am very happy to keep gluten and sugar to a minimum (unless I’m travelling!).

      I can’t tell you the name of the contraption. It’s definitely the official thing creperies use but at best it’s been referred to as a crepe batter spreader :|

  3. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    February 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I haven’t changed my diet but I don’t buy much processed food. I try to make everything we eat. Sometimes that’s not possible due to schedules. I really like your crepes!

    • Moni

      February 10, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Maureen :) Yes, I think if we all ate ‘old school’ (ie – unprocessed), we’d be very much better off.

  4. Amanda @ Gourmanda

    February 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    It can be so hard to make dietary changes, but once you do, and you do it properly, you can really feel the difference. I recently decided to try going dairy-free because of a chronic acne problem I’ve developed over the past six months (a growth hormone in cows milk can stimulate the glands in your face), and one week in I’m already seeing noticeable improvements. Prevention is always better than cure!

    • Moni

      February 10, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      That’s fantastic to hear Amanda :) I think eliminating some foods is worth a go if you’ve had some long standing health issues, and in many cases, I think it doesn’t take long to see results. I read somewhere that you need to eat raw for at least 3 months before noticing any real benefits and to me, that was just waaaaay too long!

  5. Chompchomp

    February 4, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Last time I made pancakes with just buckwheat flour and I want keen on the flavour. I like the idea of mixing a few GF flours together as I’ve always had the best success with texture that way. Will give these ones a whirl (without the added ease of a Thermie however :( )

    • Moni

      February 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      I think buckwheat flour is much too nutty on its own. Not a big fan either but I don’t mind it at all combined with more neutral flours. Oddly enough, buckwheat and quinoa have pronounced flavours but they seemed to cancel each other out in these pancakes! :)

  6. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    February 5, 2014 at 6:24 am

    I’ve never cooked with quinoa flakes or flour but these do look really good. I love eating raw food but mostly the kind that you get at good raw cafes but alas there are none near me so I don’t tend to make it myself-I almost said “cook it myself” :P

    • Moni

      February 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks Lorraine :) I’m definitely happy to eat raw if it’s ‘cooked’ for me but it actually takes a lot of planning and time to come up with raw dishes at home. It can be quite costly too surprisingly :|

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