Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Christmas Morn GF/Dairy Free Breakfast
Because our household will be eating CLEAN soon, I chose this most holy of mornings to experiment in the kitchen with our traditional Christmas morning Christmas crepes breakfast. I decided on Christmas eve that I wanted to make gluten free crepes. I googled recipes and came up with one that was both gluten, dairy and sugar free. Problem is, I did not just simply have all the ingredients on hand. Oh sure, I THOUGHT I had tapioca flour...but could not find any. I also thought I had Teff flour, but could not find that either - and recipes were calling for such.
I found a web site that provided some tips for gluten free cooking. One tip was to mix different GF flours proportionately, as in 2/3 heavy flour to 1/3 light flour. I had never considered the weight of the flours before. Some helpful links for you: http://www.theglutenfreelifestyle.com/gluten-free-flour-mix.html
Because I could not find listed ingredients in my cupboards, I decided I would make my own crepe batter using almond flour, and brown rice flour as my base.
I think it would have been fine, but I decided last minute to add some of Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking mix - just 2 tablespoons, but it was enough to add that "bean" flavor to the end product - the crepes. I also found that in my recipe the batter was "too wet" and it would not set up well enough to allow me to flip a crepe in the pan - and basically - it just STUCK. I am not sure as to whether the culprit is my apparent need for new non stick, or the recipe itself.
I finished making crepes with the first small batch of batter, and had googled, meanwhile, a recipe for crepes made with almond flour. I found one and it worked well, even though I was nervous about the number of eggs. I altered it a bit adding in some almond milk as the recipe called for NO milk or liquid beyond the eggs, which was unheard of in any crepe recipe I had ever used.
By the time I was done in the kitchen we had Christmas morning breakfast at 10:30. It's a good thing our children are older and patient for gift opening! My picture focuses more on the beauty of dark chocolate almond milk being served in a wine glass for a special treat, but you can catch a glimpse of a crepe as well, covered with pureed strawberries. Here is the recipe I used with a little alteration of the original:
Gluten & Dairy Free Christmas Crepes
5 eggs, organic and from cage free chickens
1/2 cup almond flour
2 T. honey or agave nectar
2 T. almond milk
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt
1 tsp. coconut oil
Beat eggs in large bowl. Add in and stir remaining ingredients. Melt coconut oil on hot surface of cooking pan. Pour in 1/4 cup of batter, depending on the pan you are using, and desired size of crepes.
The key, I found, was to allow the crepes to cook thoroughly, and be fairly brown on the first side down to help stabilize the crepe for flipping.
Ironically, the Test Kitchen show on Create is cooking crepes as I type this. Not gluten free, of course, but their tips are:
1. Heat pan properly - DO not use vegetable oil as they say, EVOO or coconut oil is preferred
2. Test skillet to ensure it has reached proper temperature (leave on medium for a minute)
3. Right amount of batter - use 1/4 cup to a 12" skillet
4. Know when to flip - when you see a little browning around edge of crepe it is time to flip it.
The beauty of crepes is that so little flour is used that it doesn't really matter what kind - per the Test Kitchen. Using almond flour is a sweet delight for fruit topped, breakfast crepes. However, use brown rice or quinoa flour and you will have a homemade wrap perfect for wrap-style sandwiches, beans and greens, or whatever you might wish for a gluten free meal. Crepes can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, separating with wax paper in between each crepe. I encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to adding foods to the inside of your crepes.
As Christmas day draws to a close, I grazed t0o much on unhealthy choices this day and I look forward to returning to my fairly clean eating lifestyle tomorrow. And I am also looking forward to eating clean for 30 days come January. Stay tuned for recipe ideas, why we cut out 7 most allergenic foods (including dairy, gluten and soy), and more to allow our bodies to re-energize, re-vitalize and shed some inches as we start the new year.
Merry Christmas to all!