Someone once said that the best friends are the ones who feed you beautiful food. I would add that the ones who share great recipes are pretty fabulous too. When I was looking for a way to make gluten-free crepes, my friend Dino Lenger told me about his mom’s recipe. This wonderful little formula traveled thousands of miles, required a bit of translation, and ended up producing a delicious, thin pancake that seems to work with everything that a wheat flour crepe does, without the gluten. Arrowroot flour is used in place of wheat flour and gives body to the crepe.
Arrowroot flour (or arrowroot starch) is traditionally derived from the rootstock of the tropical Maranta arundinacea, a nutritionally dense plant that was cultivated as early as 5,000 BC. The way it’s processed, without harsh chemicals or heat, hasn’t changed much through time. Although arrowroot flour has been used for a variety of purposes, including as a wound healer and digestive aid, its most popular role has been as a food thickener. It’s gluten- and GMO-free, making it a nice alternative to common flour and cornstarch.
In Ayurveda, each harvest season corresponds to a particular diet. Protein, fat, and carbs are always eaten, but their proportions fluctuate according to the seasons. Wheat and gluten are allowed and favored in winter, along with vitamin and mineral rich root vegetables like arrowroot, which are thought to add warmth, and balance the season’s dryness. A crepe made of arrowroot flour and other winter balancing ingredients (eggs, milk, and ghee) is a great alternative to wheat flour crepes during this time of year, particularly for people who struggle with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
These crepes can be eaten in many ways, savory or sweet. For breakfast or lunch, they’re great filled with sautéed mushrooms, or with warm spiced apples for dessert.
Makes four large crepes
2 large eggs
¾ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon melted grass fed ghee (or butter or oil), plus more for skillet
¼ teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- Whisk together milk, eggs and melted ghee in a medium bowl. Add salt. Sift arrowroot flour into the bowl. Wisk to combine. Cook immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day. (Before cooking, whisk again, as arrowroot flour will have settled on the bottom.)
- Heat a 10 - 12-inch skillet or crepe pan over medium heat and brush with ghee (or butter or oil). Wait for the pan to get hot enough (if not, the batter will stick). When the pan is hot, pour approximately 1/3 cup of batter into it, tilting to coat the bottom evenly. Cook until top of crepe appears set and the bottom is firm and golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes.
- Run a spatula around the edge of crepe to loosen. It should loosen easily. Slip spatula under it and gently flip in one swift gesture. If it doesn't land quite right use the spatula to rearrange it.
- Cook for another minute or so. Transfer to a plate and cover. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan lightly with butter as needed. Serve immediately.