A practical guide to sustainable cooking

All About (Vegan) Crepes

All About (Vegan) Crepes

Crepes are so versatile. You can change the batter, the fillings, and the toppings to suit your taste. Growing up, it was a happy day when my siblings and I woke up to the smell of crepes wafting through the house. Of course, then, the staple filling was Polish farmer’s cheese (or “twarog”) mixed with a little bit of milk, vanilla, and sugar.

In my efforts to incorporate more plant-based meals into my diet, I went on the search for a vegan crepe recipe and experimented with some coconut milk-based fillings. After some research, I came up with a recipe that was simple (only three ingredients!!!) and tasted great!

The three ingredients were flour, almond milk, and aquafaba (a.k.a. the liquid in a can of chickpeas). Yes, you read that right….chickpea water. Imagine my surprise when I found out that 3 tablespoons of aquafaba is a great substitute for 1 egg!

I experimented with the batter by dividing it in half and adding cinnamon and vanilla to one half while leaving the other half plain. Both yielded delicious results. The cinnamon crepes had the perfect amount of flavor to set the stage for the fillings. The plain crepes had a subtle sweet, nutty flavor, most likely from the almond milk, that made them delicious to eat by themselves or with any of the fillings.

The size of your pan will affect the yield. I used a small pan and easily made 15-20 with a doubled recipe.

Any leftover plain crepes can also be used with savory fillings for lunch. I filled mine with hummus, roasted red peppers, and mixed greens.

I used coconut cream (the white cream that collects at the top in cans of coconut milk) as the base for all three of my fillings. For the first one, I blended 1 cup of dried, pitted dates with 6 tablespoons of coconut cream and 2 tablespoons of the coconut water that was left in the can. This created a thick, naturally sweet spread that paired well with the cinnamon crepes.

For the second filling, I used 1 cup of chilled coconut cream, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, and 2 tsp of agave syrup. This created a filling with a smooth, pudding-like texture and a satisfying, not-too-sweet chocolate flavor. I ate this one with the plain crepes (and straight from the bowl).

The third filling was an experiment (and a disaster). I blended the coconut cream with two oranges, which left me with a liquidy, albeit yummy, smoothie. I added dates and sunflower seeds to try to thicken it and, while I did end up with a good consistency, the flavor was less than satisfactory.

So, I stuck with the first two fillings and occasionally paired the sweet, juicy persimmon with the date filling and the cinnamon crepes, which added an interesting flavor and texture to an already solid pairing.

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