Banana & Cocoa Stuffed Buckwheat Crepes

Leyla Shamayeva, MS, RD
Total Time 115 min
Prep 70 min, Cook 45 min
Yield 6 large (215 calories each)

There are good reasons to include whole grains in your heart-healthy diet. They're richer in soluble fiber and protein than their refined counterparts and studies show that they lower risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, inflammatory diseases, and can even help you maintain your weight.

Start filling up on your recommended three to five servings first thing in the morning. This crepe recipe features buckwheat, a whole grain with a deceiving name. Buckwheat "groats" are actually nutrient dense seeds filled with impressive amounts of iron, magnesium, and potassium, among other nutrients.

Their nutty flavor makes for a savory crepe that we're balancing out with a sweet chocolatey banana spread, a smart way to skip the Nutella and add antioxidants, fiber, and more potassium instead. With a few strawberry slices and crunchy almonds you'll have a meal fit for dessert, too.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 small avocado, mashed (optional)
  • 8 large strawberries, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons sliced almonds

Preparation

1. Whisk together the buckwheat flour, whole wheat flour, salt, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, milk, water, and honey, making sure there are no chunks. You can do this in a blender if you prefer.

2. Chill the batter in the refrigerator for an hour. If you don't have the time you can skip this step, but it does make for a better textured final product.

3. When your batter is ready, lightly coat a large, shallow pan with cooking spray and heat over a low flame.

Stir and then then scoop out about 3/4 cup of batter (if you're using a large pan) or about 1/2 cup batter (if you're using a smaller pan). Pour it into the pan, spreading it around into a circle. Don't get frustrated if your first one isn't perfect—it usually takes at least one try.

4. Cook the crepe for about a minute and a half, until the edges curl up slightly. Peel it up with the edge of a spatula and your fingertips and flip, cooking for another half minute on the other side.

5. Set the cooked crepe on a plate to cool while ladling the next one into the pan.

6. While the next crepe is cooking, mix together the mashed banana and cocoa powder into a spread.

7. When your crepes are cooked and cooled, spread a thin banana cocoa layer onto them. Fold in half and spread another thin layer on top of the half. Starting at the lower half, fold a third over, then another third, and finally the last third until the edges meet.

8. Stuff with sliced strawberries, sprinkle the sliced almonds, and enjoy.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

You won't get as much protein and calcium, but you can easily use a milk alternative like almond or soy milk in place of the low-fat milk. Omit the optional honey if you're opting for the sweetened variety.

For the spread, the avocado is optional because it lends a heavier texture to the filling, but it does also add creaminess. You can add it based on your personal preference. Using it will provide a serving of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, shown to help balance your "good" and "bad" cholesterol levels.

Most nuts offer heart-health benefits, whether from their filling fiber, balanced fat content, or micronutrient profile (vitamin E has been shown to be anti-inflammatory and to prevent plaque build up in your arteries). If you're not a fan of almonds, swap them for walnuts, for example.

Cooking and Serving Tips

You can make your own buckwheat flour if you own a good food processor. Simply pulverize a heaping half cup of whole buckwheat groats to use in the recipe.

The buckwheat flour makes for a heavy dough, which is why adding water becomes necessary. Make sure to stir the batter well before ladling a portion out.

Having trouble spreading the dough into a perfect circle? The key is two-fold—make sure your pan is lightly oiled and not too hot.

If the dough bunches up and stops spreading as soon as you pour it, your pan isn't the right temperature. Let it cool or run the bottom under cold water for a few seconds.

Folding and stuffing the crepes makes for a fun presentation, but they're just as good served folded over. Follow the same steps—spread the filling, arrange strawberries and almonds over half the crepe, then fold the other half over.

Note that this recipe yields 6 large crepes. Depending on the size of your pan, you may end up with more.

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