Buckwheat Crepes (as Gluten Free Sandwich Wraps)

Buckwheat Crepes as Sandwich Wraps

Delicate and gourmet, satisfying and rustic, buckwheat crepes can play a versatile role in any real food kitchen. Top them with a heap of blueberries, a drizzle of maple syrup for breakfast, and with some coconut whipped cream, if you want to make it extra special. Stuff them with chicken and mushrooms for dinner. Wrap your favorite sandwich toppings in a crepe for an easy & substantial lunch!

This recipe is a gluten free version of my mom’s beloved crepes. They can easily be made dairy free as well! Staple ingredients (buckwheat flour, milk, eggs) are combined in a blender, making for easy mixing and clean up. An overnight soak results in a crepe with a light flavor and texture that is more easily digested. (Read about the benefits of soaking grains here).

Although I have been making crepes for years, we have just started enjoying them as sandwich wraps. This is one of the simple ways my family is reducing the gluten in our diets.

Crepe sandwiches make a great light dinner or a lunch that is easy and appealing enough for children to make themselves. Here, I wrapped one around some Parmesan cheese, roasted red pepper and arugula. Ham and cheese is also a favorite!

Buckwheat Crepes as Gluten Free Sandwich Wraps

“THE WEEK OF CREPES”

Coincidentally, this recipe comes to you in perfect timing as we approach “the week of crepes”. For the Russian Orthodox, Cheesefare (“Maslinitsa”) begins this Monday, February 24. 

Cheesefare, which lasts a week, is a last hoorah before Orthodox lent begins. During this time, meat is not allowed, but fish, dairy and eggs are still permitted, so Russians eat loads of crepes before they have to give them up for 40 days. Giving up crepes (“blinchiki”) for any length of time is a big deal to a Russian!

LENTEN FAST GUIDELINES

The Lenten fast (see the 2014 dates here) is more or less vegan. Here are the parameters:

  • Meat is not allowed, with the exception of shellfish, which is included because it was not traditionally considered a luxury food.
  • There are a couple of specified dates that fish is allowed. But for the most part, it is not permitted.
  •  Some people omit all oils during this time while others interpret the “no oil rule” to refer specifically to olive oil.
  • Olive oil and wine are permitted on certain days, signified by a picture of a cluster of grapes on the calendar.

There is a measure of grace thrown into the rules. If someone has a medical condition that makes it a challenge to participate, they are not expected to. If someone who is fasting goes to eat at someone’s house where off-limits foods are served, they may eat them. Being a grateful guest trumps sticking to the rules.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE LENTEN FAST

My father is Orthodox and I participated in the fast with him once, about ten years ago. At the time I was eating a highly processed diet and it was a wonderful cleanse for me, both spiritually and physically. My mind was clear, I required less sleep and I felt very light and energized overall. Not to say that it wasn’t a challenge, but I did reap a lot of benefits.

I’ve considered participating in it again, but now that my diet is much more nourishing than it was ten years ago, I’m concerned that I won’t experience the same energy boost that I did before. As a mother of young children I need all the energy I can get!

It’s hard to imagine six weeks without broth and eggs in my diet. I’m so used to fueling myself with these traditionally nourishing foods. On the other hand, I remind myself that fasting is a very traditional practice and perhaps our bodies were designed to work best in a feast/famine, celebration/fasting routine.

I will continue to ponder and pray, but for now I don’t know if I will commit to this year’s Lenten fast. But one thing I do know for certain is that I will gladly partake in crepes next week!

Do you make fasting part of your routine? Why or why not? I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this!

Related Gluten-Free Recipes on The Nourishing Gourmet:

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Buckwheat Crepes
 
Author:
Serves: 4
 
Buckwheat crepes are a versatile gluten free food and work great as an every day sandwich wrap. The batter for these is made right in the blender for easy clean up. This recipe makes about 13 7-inch crepes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (I used canned 9% fat coconut milk)
  • 2 tablespoons milk kefir (or water kefir, kombucha, lemon juice)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 1.25 cups buckwheat flour (if grinding your own, use hulled groats)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 6 eggs
  • a little ghee or coconut oil to prepare the pan for the first pancake
Instructions
  1. Blend together the milk, 2 tablespoons ghee, flour, kefir, salt and honey in a blender (put in the wet ingredients first). Leave on the counter to soak for 12-24 hours (overnight).
  2. When they are done soaking, add the eggs to the batter and blend again to combine.
  3. Heat a 7-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. I sometimes bump it up to high heat to speed up the process, then reduce it back to medium when I start cooking the crepes. You want the skillet nice and hot.
  4. Add a small amount (1 teaspoon or so) of ghee or coconut oil to the pan to prepare it for your first pancake. Ladle ⅓ cup of the batter (a scant ladle full) into the skillet and swirl it around confidently until it covers the bottom of the pan and starts to set. Allow it to cook for about a minute, maybe less. Keep an eye on it.
  5. Once it seems done (you'll quickly get the hang of it) use a spatula to loosen it off the pan a bit and (again, with confidence) flip it over. Let it cook for 15-30 seconds, until golden. Repeat until your batter is done. Swirl the batter in the blender from time to time to keep the flour from settling.
  6. You will likely not need any more ghee or coconut oil for the remaining pancakes since there is some in the batter. From time to time the heat might need to be adjusted as the pan will get increasingly hot throughout the cooking.
Notes
I have found that a 7-inch cast iron skillet works best. Even an inch larger can make them a challenge to flip.

I once made the mistake of grinding up chia seeds into the batter and it got very smoky! So I definitely don't recommend incorporating ground chia or flax.

 

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Hello! My name is Natalia and I live in the “City in a Forest” (Atlanta, GA) with my husband and two children. I’ve been drawn to nutrition and natural healing since I was a child, growing up in a Russian and Dutch home. I remember my dad theatrically convincing me to love head cheese (with horseradish and lemon!) and learning to make herbal tinctures with my mom. A former project engineer in corporate, I'm now a health coach, Pilates teacher and content developer for a functional MD. AnAppetiteForJoy.com

Comments

  1. Karen says

    This sounds great.

    I stay dairy free, but also can’t stand coconut milk (I’ve tried them all…just hate them).

    Coconut milk is so thick…do you think I can make this with almond or another milk and just use less?

    Thanks!

    • says

      Karen, yes! I have used almond milk and they were great. I’ve found that the main thing that will ensure success is that the cooking surface of the pan is 7 inches in diameter, no more. Enjoy!

  2. Sarah says

    Hi there! Made them yesterday and they were delish! Just so you know though the recipe instructions don’t include the 2 tbsp of oil so I just added them in to the first step. Don’t want anyone leaving that important ingredient out! Happy Baking!

  3. Deb says

    Hi, I have a question about the buckwheat flour, which I’m not familiar with. The recipe says to use hulled buckwheat flour. When I try to find buckwheat flour online, I only find the unhulled made into flour. The only hulled buckwheat I can find is in the form of groats, not flour. Can I use the regular dark buckwheat flour, or do I need to get the groats and grind them myself…? Sorry, but I’m just not savvy in the buckwheat department! I’m not really prepared to grind my own flour either, if that’s what is needed… Thanks for any help—these creeps look really yummy and I would love to try them. :)

    • says

      Deb, thank you so much for bringing that up! Yes, you are right. I was under the impression that store bought buckwheat flour was usually hulled but I see that most of it has some hull in it. (From my understanding it is partially hulled.)

      That’s totally fine to use. It may have a stronger buckwheat flavor which many actually prefer. If it is too strong for you, you could cut it with another flour.

      I’ve been grinding buckwheat recently in the Vitamix and I use hulled. It has a very mild flavor.

      I appreciate your question. I’ll go and change the wording in the recipe. Hope you enjoy them!

    • says

      Ali, that’s a good question. Due to the time spent soaking at room temp, we’d recommend using cultured milk (kefir) but not uncultured raw milk, just in case.

  4. Kris says

    Hi I was wondering where to get kefir milk or is there a way to make it at home? Also not totally gluten free family here but just trying to incorporate healthier items. Can you substitute coconut palm sugar in this recipe as well. Thanks so much

    • says

      Sorry, Kris. I missed your comment somehow. You can get kefir at the store, or alternately buttermilk. You can also make it at home by purchasing milk kefir grains from a company such as culturesforhealth.com

      You can use coconut palm sugar, or just leave out any sweetener.

  5. NAN says

    I can’t wait to try this. I need to avoid dairy, yeast, and cane sugar products. Now that we are moving into spring, I need to add sandwiches back into our menu. :)

  6. sarah w says

    Have you ever made this with whole buckwheat groats? I do have a vitamix and I have done blender batters with whole grains, so it seems like it would actually save a step, particularly if you are grinding your own flour….but I’m not sure how many cups of groats would be equivalent to the amount of flour called for. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  7. says

    Sarah, that is a great question! You’re right – it would definitely simplify the process. I haven’t yet tried making the batter this way, but I’ve contemplated it many times.

    When I grind my groats (also in the Vitamix) I put in a cup and come out with 1.25. Not sure if this aeration is necessary for the recipe or not.

    If you try it, let us know how it goes and I’ll do the same! Anyone else want to chime in?

  8. Mary says

    Hi, just wondering about storing, have you any idea how long these will be okay in the fridge and freezer? Just thinking I could make some at the weekend for weekday lunches, and have some in the freezer for crepe emergencies!

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