Easy Basic Sweet or Savory Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, and Refined Sugars}

Easy basic sweet or savory crepes {Free from: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, corn, oils, and refined sugars}

Do you ever have days that just go completely not as planned? The kind of day when you know you’ve got things to do, work, a game plan for tackling things you’re itching to get on with… and then absolutely nothing goes as you were hoping… Like not even your breakfast! That’s sort of how my day has been today.

Today I meant to make a breakfast treat from a blogging pal — something yummy I’ve been curious to try out for a few days now but had waaaay too much dessert on hand to work through (yes, there is such a thing) to make even more. So today was finally going to be the day. But then I was woken up by my husband bright and early — apparently I needed to drive with him to an appointment I wasn’t even aware of. No time for breakfast. Sigh. There goes that delicious treat. Not even time to make a nice cream…

Well when we got back I opened the fridge to see what I could whip up quickly and saw this jar of espresso “nutella” and before I knew it I was making crepes! Because when you have a jar of chocolate hazelnut goodness staring you in the face alongside a pint of fresh strawberries, what else is there to be done…?

Easy basic sweet or savory crepes {Free from: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, corn, oils, and refined sugars}

So I made crepes. Delicious crepes…how could I forget about you, I’ve missed you! If there were multiple breakfasts in the day, I’m the last person who would complain. That’s my favorite meal and I have too many favorite breakfasts competing with one another to ever do them all justice. A smoothie bowl or nice cream usually win… (or some leftover dessert)… But then there are crepes as an occasional contender, and I think I’ve been neglecting them for a little too long. Anyways, I’m glad that jar of nutella gave me a nudge in the right direction… ;)

Easy basic sweet or savory crepes {Free from: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, corn, oils, and refined sugars}

So these are super easy — just three simple ingredients (plus a couple of optional ones) and you can have them sweet or savory. I pretty much always have mine sweet (surprise!). The best part is that they are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free and most importantly completely fuss-free. Just throw some stuff into a blender, blend, heat up a skillet and go! You’ll have a stack before you know it.

Easy basic sweet or savory crepes {Free from: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, corn, oils, and refined sugars}

They’re pretty sturdy, bendy, and pliable by the way — so you can easily make savory “wraps” out of them if you’re ever in the mood for some — see:

Easy basic sweet or savory crepes {Free from: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, corn, oils, and refined sugars} Easy basic sweet or savory crepes {Free from: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, corn, oils, and refined sugars}

Now, I’m not the best crepe maker — despite making many many batches. In fact, flipping anything on a frying pan always makes me nervous no matter how many times I’ve done it. Just the thought of whatever it is breaking is enough to make me not want to cook! But these are pretty fuss-free once you get the hang of it. In fact, it becomes addictive — you’ll probably find yourself wanting to make batch after batch.

If you’ve never made crepes before, here’s the thing — you’re pretty much guaranteed to wreck the first one. But you’ll learn super fast, honestly, if I can do it — the wimp that I am when it comes to things like this — so can you :D

The trick is to get the skillet warm, then take it off the heat and put a bit of oil on (I used non-dairy butter for mine) or if you’ve got a super non-stick pan you might be ok without the oil — it is definitely easier with some though. Spread it around evenly, then pour some of the batter on and quickly turn the pan a little in a circular motion to get the batter to spread out into a thinner circle. Then return it to the heat and cook. Pouring the batter while the skillet is off the heat helps to get the batter to spread out more thinly before it starts to fully cook — hence thinner crepes. Also don’t make them too big until you’re comfortable with the whole flipping thing.

The next trick is to know when to flip. Keep an eye out for the edges turning a golden color. Probe a little with a spatula by trying to lift an edge slightly — you’ll know it’s flipping time when the crepe lifts up quite easily. Then go around all the edges first to make sure it lifts everywhere. If it seems stuck in any spot though {particularly in the middle} give it a bit more time.

So that’s it. Ready? Wait, what are you going to stuff them with? :)

Easy basic sweet or savory crepes {Free from: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, corn, oils, and refined sugars} RECIPE UPDATE:

Since I shared this recipe last week I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of “recipe love” it’s received — so happy to see all the wonderful feedback and photos sent to me on Instagram and Facebook of your wonderful creations

ALLERGY-FRIENDLY SUBSTITUTIONS:

I’ve also been receiving a lot of substitution questions — particularly because some of you can’t / don’t do oats (or as someone pointed out, in some places gluten-free oats are simply not available). So to answer the question of whether these can be made with other grains — the short answer is YES. The long answer — it’s tricky and will require you to play around with the recipe.

Not to worry though, I’ve made plenty a batch of these puppies, with many different kinds of flours and ratios, so I’ve already done a lot of the “playing around with the recipe” bit for you and thought I’d share some of the conclusions I’ve reached — with illustrations, of course :)

So like I said, I tried these crepes with several different grains (though there are certainly plenty more grains out there to try out). Feel free to take my conclusions and conduct further experiments of your own if you like — at worst, you’ll have a delicious crepe-wannabe pile at your disposal, at best delicious crepes to your liking :)

I shared the recipe with oats originally because that is truly the best grain for this, in my opinion. Oats have a great binding quality and a beautiful stand alone taste and texture, and therefore the recipe could be kept fairly simple and straight forward — just three ingredients to get the job done!

With other grains, I find it’s not so straight-forward. Doable, but takes some fiddling around. So grain flours I’ve tried are: rice (brown and white), sweet sticky rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour / mocha), sorghum, buckwheat. Here’s how they turn out below. From left to right — buckwheat, rice, sorghum:

Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}

Let’s start with rice flour — if you do just sweet sticky rice flour you’ll end up with a gummy crepe… not good, don’t go there! Just rice flour (brown or white) works, but it’s got a very strong rice flavor, so I’d recommend adding some other flavors or spices to balance out the taste a bit (like cinnamon and vanilla for sweet, and garlic powder, chili, basil, or oregano for savory). They are also not as sturdy when you try to fold them — that’s actually a half truth: they can be and they can be breaky — all depends on how thick the batter is spread. If you make them thick, they can break in half when you fold or flip. If you make them thin, they work. If you make them too thin you’ve got a problem! (See — that’s what I mean by fiddly!) But they do work, so I wouldn’t discourage you from trying. My favorite rice crepes are actually a mix of mostly brown or white flour with some sweet sticky rice flour.

>>> So to substitute 1 cup quick oats with rice flour, I recommend a ratio of 3/4 cup rice flour + 2 tbsp sweet sticky rice flour. And increase the ground flax to 1 tbsp.

The one nice thing about the rice crepes is that they can be made into the thinnest most delicate lacey crepes, which is a big bonus in my book:

Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}

And here’s one I enjoyed filled with the most delicious caramel ice cream…

Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}

Lastly, here’s an example of what the thicker ones turn out like:

Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}

And here’s a wrap made out of the thicker ones:

Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}

 

Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}

Next, let’s talk sorghum flour — these crepes taste the best in my opinion (second to the oat ones). They actually have a very nice flavor I enjoy very much. But they are a little breaky and finicky. Sorghum flour is frail and needs something to offset its lightness. In general, these need to be made a tad thicker to hold together when flipped. But good taste is the trade-off.

>>> So to substitute 1 cup quick oats with sorghum flour I recommend 1 cup sorghum flour + 2 tbsp tapioca starch or arrowroot (it helps to give them more elasticity and make them break less). Also, increase the ground flax to 1 tbsp.

Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}

See how they’re a bit less delicate when bent? Still thin though, and most definitely enjoyable :)

Next up is buckwheat — I love the buckwheat crepes! They are very delicious IF YOU ARE A BUCKWHEAT LOVER. If you’re not, stay away ;) They have a very buckwheaty flavor, and they are my favorite for savory wraps. Buckwheat makes them super sturdy, so no breakage at all. The downside though is that they generally come out a little thicker if you don’t thin the batter enough — a good thing if you want a thick “injera” type flat bread, not so ideal for wrapping… But you can get them to be thin — just keep an eye out on the batter and if it looks like it’s thickening up after the first crepe or two, add a tiny bit more milk and give it a whirl.

>>> So substitute 1 cup quick oats with 3/4 cup buckwheat flour. I like adding a touch more salt to these, but it’s a personal preference.

Here’s an example of a thicker one {underneath} and thinner one on top (also depicted in the trio photo above):

Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}Easy 3-Ingredient Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, soy, nuts, corn, and Refined Sugars}Other grains: feel free to experiment with other grains for this — millet, quinoa, amaranth could all work great. Generally 1 cup quick oats will grind down to about 3/4 cups flour while blending, so start with 3/4 cups flour and add a bit more if it seems necessary (I find for instance sorghum crepes need a bit more substance). You can also mix and match some of these flours to create a combination that works for you. Try adding a few tbsp tapioca or arrowroot or sweet sticky rice to increase bendiness and bindingness to your crepe experiments. You can also try adding xantham or guar gums, but I tried to keep these out of these crepes for simplicity’s sake.

All in all, I think a lot of it comes down to trial and error and to making lots of crepes :) I make a ton of these, so it’s easy for me to control the thickness and thinness, but I feel like if you try these once or twice you’ll get the hang of it quite quickly and be able to customize the recipe from there to your liking.

But now you see why I chose oats — the simplest and easiest to work with, has a good flavor, and makes sturdy but light crepes. That’s not to say other grains won’t work though — the sky is your limit. Enjoy!

5.0 from 7 reviews
Easy Basic Sweet or Savory Crepes {Free from Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, and Refined Sugars}
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook/Chill Time: 
Ready In: 
Makes: 5-6 crepes
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup gluten-free quick oats
  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk {I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk}
  • ½ tbsp ground flax seeds
  • + non-dairy butter or oil of choice for cooking {or a really good non-stick skillet}
Optional Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup {or agave, brown rice syrup, honey/honee, etc.} {highly recommend for sweet crepes}
  • ⅛ tsp salt {highly recommend, unless you're using salted non-dairy butter or filling}
  • Totally optional: this "nutella" spread + fresh strawberries or bananas for filling
Instructions
  1. Place all batter ingredients into a blender and blend into a smooth consistency.
  2. Warm up a medium-sized non-stick skillet on medium heat. Remove from heat and place the oil on the pan. Spread it around evenly with a spatula. Pour about ⅕ of the batter onto the pan and quickly slightly tip it in various directions in a circular motion to spread the batter into a thin circle.
  3. Cook until the edges are golden and lift up easily with a spatula. Flip and cook the other side for a few more minutes until golden. Remove and transfer onto a plate and repeat with the remaining batter, adding a bit more oil in between each crepe. {See notes re: thinning the batter}. Enjoy!
Notes
Because I use ground flax seed in the batter, usually by the time you get through the first ⅔ of the batter {unless you're a super fast crepe maker ;) } the remaining batter thickens a little. That's because flax gets gel-like when sitting in a liquid. So I keep my batter in the blender from the get go -- just pour it into the pan straight from there. Then when it seems like the batter is a little too thick I just add a tiny splash more milk and blend quickly once again to thin out the batter. Then carry on crepe-making as normal... If you choose not to thin it out you'll just end up with slightly thicker crepes -- they'll still be just as delicious though!

You can make these without the flax as well by the way, but the crepes are a lot more delicate and require more delicate handy-work while making... I find the flax version a lot more versatile and fast.
Enjoy!

Audrey

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