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After I wrote about the healthy way to treat your grains last week, I thought I should post a recipe featuring an easy, creative way to deal with whole grains. Whole grain crêpes definitely fit the bill.
For these crêpes, you start with whole spelt or wheat berries (rather than whole wheat flour), soak them, then purée the softened grains into a fabulous batter.
Crepes used to intimidate me, since I live in an area surrounded by crêperies, special shops set up specifically to serve crepes all day long. Through the windows of those shops, I've watched countless newly-hired employees spend hours practicing their crepe-making skills, so I figured it must be a culinary skill of the highest order.
But then I realized it was only because in those shops only perfectly shaped crepes as large as a dinner plate are served, and in my kitchen I can create a 95% perfectly shaped yet 100% delicious crepe, which has nothing to do with how perfect their diameter is, and once I realized that, crepes are easy! According to Julia Child, crepes are an everyday food in France that allows leftovers to be turned into a main meal, merely because you can wrap pretty much anything in a crepe or drizzle it with a sauce and voilá, you've got dinner. Brilliant.
And don't worry – the first crepe pretty much always turns out as a disaster and makes you question any kitchen ability you may or may not have (even after you've made these dozens of times). It still tastes great, so just eat that one and destroy the evidence of any messy trials.
Whole Grain Crepes
- 1 cup spelt or whole wheat berries
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
If you want sweet crepes, also add:
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or other favorite spices, optional - use only if using these as a dessert, not as an entrée
- Soak grain berries in the milk for 6-10 hours at room temperature.
- Pour the berries and milk together into a blender and process for about 2 minutes until very smooth. Add eggs, butter, and salt, as well as honey and cinnamon, if using. Blend well for another minute. Allow to sit for one hour. Add a bit more milk 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, as you want a fairly thin batter. It should run freely off a spoon, yet lightly coat the back of it.
- Heat a dry skillet over medium heat for several minutes until fully hot. Rub a sheen of butter on the pan with a paper towel, then pour 1/4 cup batter in the middle of the pan and immediately swirl it to create a large circle.
- Cook until the crêpe just begins to brown, then using a spatula and your fingers, loosen the edges, shake the pan to fully loosen the crêpe, then flip it over to cook the other side. Typically the first crêpe is a total write-off, so don't be discouraged.
- Reserve finished crêpes under a dish towel to keep them warm, then serve. Here are a few ideas:***as a sweet breakfast with maple syrup, yogurt, and fruit
- ***savory, with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and ham
- ***with ice cream and chocolate for a lovely dessert
- There are as many fillings for crêpes as there are crêpe cooks, so feel free to use the crepe as your personal blank canvas to add in your family's favorite foods.
Want to sprout your wheat berries instead of soak them?If you want to sprout your berries instead of soaking them as directed above, simply sprout them in water, then add the sprouted berries to the milk in the blender. No need to soak them in the milk as well. Place 1 cup wheat or spelt berries into a quart jar. Fill with water, cover with a sprouting screen, and allow to soak for 12 hours. Drain all of the water off of the wheat berries. Tilt the jar over a bowl or invert it over the sink so that any residual water can drain from the berries. After 12 hours of draining, rinse and drain again. Repeat rinsing and draining every 12 hours until tiny sprouts appear in the majority of wheat berries, about 36 to 48 hours total.