I’m a huge fan of changing up traditional pancakes with healthy additions. Whether it’s the famous protein pancakes (even though I don’t eat protein powder, but I still respect the concept); reducing the presence of processed flour with hearty oats, or throwing in a banana to replace eggs (a very cruel and unnecessary product we’re better off without)…I still continue to be amazed when new variations of this crowd pleasing breakfast-dessert emerge.
However, as fun as it is to get creative sometimes and ‘healthify’ your favourite recipes, sometimes there’s a risk of changing it beyond what it was intended to be. When it comes to pancakes, sometimes what you want is just a really good crepe – French/English style – and the best crepes are often achieved using minimal, simple ingredients.
Take my healthy vegan 3-ingredient pancakes for example. Though this is still one of the best recipes I’ve created and is one of my ‘go-to’s when it comes to making pancakes that are good for you, they still don’t quite taste like the traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes my mum would make us when we were kids, which for me literally have so much nostalgia wrapped up in them. Although perceptions of what counts as a ‘pancake’ varies from country to country and even household to household, ours were always very much the English crepe type – thin, rollable, and also light and delicate to the bite. I’m pretty sure it will be the same for many of you who’ve grown up in the UK.
It was with this yearning for eggless crepes that I came up with the following recipe for healthy vegan spelt crepes! To be fair, the healthy aspect to these was a little by accident. I was mainly looking for a beautiful vegan crepe recipe that would satiate my craving for a childhood favourite – and in doing so I came across this amazing one by Sweet Simple Vegan, which was the inspiration for this recipe.
But I realised that by swapping out the processed white flour for a nourishing wholegrain flour such as spelt, I could actually BOOST the body-benefits of these delightful treats, while not making too much change to the resulting flavour.
So that’s exactly what I did.
How to Make Vegan Crepe Batter
Many people don’t realise this, but vegan crepe batter really doesn’t vary too much from traditional. It IS totally possible to create light, fluffy, moist crepes without eggs or butter…in fact, the eggs aren’t really needed at all! All they do is add moistness, which you can easily add by using vegan margarine, coconut oil or fruit puree.
You can easily make basic vegan crepes using just flour, plant milk and a little oil or dairy-free margarine. My recipe uses apple puree in place of the oil to make it oil-free. Not only is apple puree an amazing ingredient for adding moistness, you’ll also sneak in some extra fibre and vitamins too!
Many of you may be wondering why spelt is the star of this recipe, particularly if you’ve never really cooked with it before.
The truth is, spelt really is an amazing grain. As its an ancient grain, it’s much less processed than common wheat, meaning it is often of better quality and easy for most people digest. It comes in both wholegrain and white varieties. Both are good, but if you use whole spelt flour, you’ll be getting all the nutrients it contains, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. It’s an excellent source of dietary fibre and slow-releasing complex carbohydrates, which means like other whole grains, it’ll keep you fuller for longer.
The only price you’ll pay for these fantastic benefits is a slightly richer, perhaps nuttier flavour, but I think that simply adds to the deliciousness of these crepes. If you don’t want to use spelt flour, you can of course sub with regular wheat or whole-wheat flour.
Of course, spelt still contains gluten, so if you’re sensitive or intolerant, you’ll want to avoid it. I haven’t tried this recipe with anything other than spelt or wheat flour, so can’t vouch it’ll work if you sub in a gluten-free option such as buckwheat, for example. However I don’t see why it wouldn’t, and it would be awesome to hear the results, so please let me know!
Where to find
You can find spelt flour in any health food shop, online, or from Holland & Barrett. However, I’ve started to see it more frequently in my local Asda, suggesting it’s starting to become more available in regular supermarkets, so look out for it in the baking aisle!
Healthy Vegan Crepes Recipe
Makes 5-6 large pancakes
- Blend all ingredients together using either a blender or a whisk, if you have one. If mixing by hand, be sure to sift the flour first to get rid of clumps, add the dry ingredients first and then slowly add the wet ingredients to get a smooth batter.
- Heat a little oil in a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Ladle in around 1/4 cup of the batter and then tilt the pan so that it spreads evenly over the base.
- When the crepe is starting to look dry on top, use a spatula to flip it over and cook the other side.
- Cook for another minute or two or until the crepe starts to look golden.
- Cook all of the batter and keep warm in the oven until ready to eat.
Of course the best part about pancakes/crepes is choosing the toppings! You can of course top your crepes with whatever you like, but some suggestions are:
- Maple syrup
- Lemon juice & date sugar* (the BEST combo, in my opinion!)
- Whipped coconut yoghurt
- Fresh/frozen berries
- Chopped nuts
- Melted chocolate drizzle.
What are your favourite toppings…?
Links marked with a * are affiliate links.
What do you guys think of this healthy spelt crepe recipe? Will you be trying it? If you do, be sure to tag me on social (#everythingspeachy) and leave a comment below!