Memories of food: Vegan Chocolate Crepes

As a general rule, I try to avoid cooking things that remind me of my past. The few times I did, I gained nothing more than nostalgia or a strange variety of metaphorical heartburn that stretched from my leg to my chest. Sometimes, though, I can’t stop myself. This, like the Gulab Jamuns I made awhile back, was one of those times.

As much as I would like to blame it on the very old container of fat-free cottage cheese sitting in my fridge, I can’t. Yes, I wanted to find a use for it, but, as most dieters know, cottage cheese has a myriad of uses (the least of which is crepes). And I never even liked crepes (even though I ate them quite a bit over the years).

Of the few things that have lasted through the ups and downs in my weight (and corresponding eating disorder), crepes is one. They, like the Guess watch I so adamantly refuse to give up, have seen me through my childhood obesity, my high school emaciation, my “regaining” of lost weight, and every little ounce that came between.

I still vaguely remember that first day of the third grade. I had just started a brand new school whose only foreign language option was French, which, thinking back, I find slightly surprising considering foreign language was required.

To welcome the students to her class on this first day, our French teacher decided to make a traditional French food: crepes. I watched her, barely interested, while she dipped the electric crepe maker into the eggy sort of batter; she flipped the appliance, checking the crepe for doneness; when a certain point was reached, she grabbed a white paper plate from her stack and shook the crepe maker, causing the strange looking thing to flop on to the plate.

“Who wants to try one?” she yelled. I, for one, did not. There was something about the way they hit the plate, something about the texture of the batter, something about the the white-ish yellowish color that resembled old white underwear desperate for some bleach. Yes, there was something very wrong with these.

Then she started laying out the toppings. Strawberries were first with their mouthwatering almost blood red color and dotted texture. Then bananas-creamy, sunshine yellow flecked with dots of brown like birds in the sky. Then light, airy whipped cream for clouds. And, then, there was…

chocolate: sweet, sensual, creamy heaven. Nutella, to be exact, which, at the time, I didn’t know was a mix of chocolate and hazelnut. The moment I read the words “nut” and “chocolate” on the package, I was sold. Our French teacher, wanting us to experience the culture of her county, forbade any eating of toppings without crepes.

Lured by the possibility of chocolate, nuts AND strawberries, I forced myself to try one. As I suspected from its appearance, the crepes tasted rubbery-like skin or, at least, as one would imagine skin to taste. I didn’t care though. I was a kid; I didn’t have to worry about budgeting calories…if even part of something was good, I ate it. Oh how did I eat it!

Crepe after crepe, year after year, pound after pound, I ate it. Until I was so big, so miserable, my mom felt the need to resort to such negative reinforcement as calling me a fat bitch. So it went for a few years…crepe after crepe until all I wanted was to be thin.

And, well, it’s all downhill from there.

Chocolate Version

Vegan Crepes #1: Chocolate
makes 2-3 crepes

  • 1/2 T. mashed fiber one (4 grams)
  • 1 T. cocoa powder
  • 1 T. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 t. guar gum
  • 1/4 c. milk

Vegan Crepes #2: Banana (Microwave-friendly)
makes 2-3 crepes

  • 1/2 T. mashed fiber one (4 grams)
  • 1 T. banana flavored protein powder
  • 1 T. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 t. guar gum
  • 1/4 c. milk

→Mix all the ingredients together, beating well. Make sure it is a uniform liquid.

Allow to stand for a minute or so, until mixture is like very thin-cake batter. If it becomes too thick, you might need to add a little warm water.

On a non-stick skillet sprayed very well with cooking spray, pour the batter. Quickly shake the pan or move it around in circles. You want the crepe VERY thin. Using a large skillet pan, this mixture should make at least 2 crepes.

When the edges look dry, flip it over. (This is a feat indeed).

Alternatively, spread the batter very thinly on parchment paper. Place a few paper towels underneath and nuke until done (4-5 minutes). The microwave method is a lot messier, a lot more time consuming and a lot more prone to over/undercooking. But you don’t have to worry about the flip.

Top with desired topping. If you want, you can puree some cottage cheese with sweetner and make a “blintz”.

 

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One response to “Memories of food: Vegan Chocolate Crepes

  1. Anthony February 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I like crepes! I love chocolates! So this recipe definitely is the one I like and I will try it out this weekend.
    Just want to share with you another recipe that you might like:
    http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes/desserts-a-goodies-/baked-apple-dumplings
    Check it out. It’s really cool.

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