Crepes is the plural noun for "crepe", in French correct "crepe" - in the plural: "crepes".
They have the appearance of very thin discs of dough, soft and elastic, yellow in color, generally stuffed and folded to form a half moon, a triangle or segment or a cannoli / cannelloni. The crepes are circular, disc-shaped, with variable diameter; according to the original recipe, they should be so fine as to be almost transparent, even though this feature may vary according to the purpose, the area of production and the hand of the cook.
Did you know that ...
Crêpe derives from the Gallic "crespe", which originates from the Latin "crispa", which translates to "curled" or "wavy".
We specify immediately that the crepes are not omelettes, omelettes, pancakes or gauffers. These are different foods, still cooked - in a pan or on a plate - but made from a basic liquid compound - in French "appareil" - made of: whole chicken eggs, flour - generally of type 00 soft wheat, but some variants use gluten-free ingredients - milk - generally whole cow's milk, but some variants use lactose-free ingredients - and little seasoning fat - generally butter. The basic crepes are neutral, that is neither sweet nor savory but, depending on the gastronomic purpose, they can contain sugar, salt or spices - for example vanilla, cinnamon, saffron, curry, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric etc.
The nutritional properties of the crepes are fair. This means that, regardless of how they are used - and taking for granted that excessive portions are always inadvisable - they find application in many types of diets, including those for clinical nutrition. They have an acceptable overall caloric intake, coming mainly from complex carbohydrates, proteins with high biological value and a percentage of fats usually of medium size. The vitamin and salt profiles are not exciting but they participate in filling the recommended daily rations.
In the diet, crepes can be a common ingredient - as an appetizer, a first course, a snack - but in portions and with a frequency of consumption. Furthermore, many variations of crepes are born to adapt the recipe to specific nutritional needs; some are gluten-free, lactose-free, with very little fat, "almost" without cholesterol, without ingredients of animal origin - even if not everyone considers them "real" crepes - etc.
Traditional crepes recipe
Crepes is part of the basic dough category, similar to fresh pasta, bread, shortbread, puff pastry, brisè pasta, etc.
Alice, our personal cooker, prepares the traditional ones with a simple and quick recipe. To access the video, click here, alternatively below we will propose the list of ingredients and the procedure described step by step.
Ingredients for 8 medium-sized crepes
- 125 g of type 00 white flour
- 120 g (2 medium) of eggs
- 300 ml of whole milk
- half a teaspoon of salt
- 20 g of butter.
Process for 8 crepes of medium size
- Pour the eggs and the milk into the container of the electric mixer: work everything until a smooth but homogeneous mixture is obtained.
- Then add the salt, flour and melted butter: continue to work with electric whisk for a few minutes. The batter is ready when the consistency is velvety and there will be no trace of flour.
- Heat a stone pan: when it is very hot, pour a ladle of batter and cook it on both sides for a few minutes, maintaining a rather lively flame. Proceed in this way with all the crepes.
- Once all the crepes have been prepared, they can be filled with everything that dictates the imagination. If not used immediately, the crepes can be kept in the refrigerator on a plate, well covered with plastic wrap, for a few days.
Did you know that
If you use stone pans you will not need to add oil or butter to the pan before pouring the crepe batter, because this type of material prevents the food from sticking to the bottom. If you use steel or non-stick pans instead, it is advisable to add a bit of butter or a drop of oil before preparing each pancake.
Crepes - how to prepare themX Problems with video playback? Reload from YouTube Go to Video Page Go to Video Recipes Section Watch the video on youtube
Variations of the traditional crepes recipe
Crepes have a light color, although the color shade varies according to the type of flour used and not only. This ingredient can come from various types of raw materials, as long as they are rich in starch (of course, hazelnut flour or coconut flour are not suitable, as they mainly consist of lipids); among the most suitable flours:
- Cereal flour with gluten, such as wheat, spelled, rye, oats, barley, sorghum, etc .; gluten gives more elasticity and tenacity to crepes.
Then there are alternative ingredients, such as:
- Gluten-free cereal flours, such as rice, corn, millet etc.
- Pseudo-cereal flour, or buckwheat, quinoa, teff, amaranth, etc.
- Legume flour, such as pea flour, chickpea flour, bean flour, soy flour, lentil flour, bean curd, lupine flour, etc.
- Tuberous flours or tubers, such as potato starch, tapioca, sweet potato (or American, or batata) flour, Jerusalem artichoke flour, etc.
- Chestnut flour.
In some particular recipes, the liquid portion of the crepes is composed of either milk, water or alcoholic beverages.
Among the aromas and spices, however, the most used are: vanilla (or vanillin, depending on taste), orange blossom, rum and cider.
Note : spirits have a strong lithic function in respect of "lumps" in the dough which, on the other hand, if produced in a workmanlike manner, should not contain any.
Of crepes, there is a Breton variant based on buckwheat to be used exclusively in salty recipes; it does not include the use of milk and eggs, but only flour derived from this particular pseudo-cereal, with water and salt; sometimes also beer, oil, pepper and (in the most complex types) alternative flours are added.
Crepes-based video recipes
Check out Alice's fabulous recipes, our Personal Coocker! Among the various, we remember:
- Whole Wheat Crepes vegetarian pie (for vegetarians)
- Pancakes with Egg-Free Rice Flour (for the diet against cholesterol and gluten-free)
- Vegetable crepes with seitan sauce
- Crepes with salmon and mushrooms (Christmas)
- Egg white protein crepes
- Basic Recipe (below the video).
How do you eat crepes?
Crepes can be eaten hot or cold. Cooked and stuffed, folded on themselves, they are a real fast-food / street-food. On the other hand, they can also be an ingredient in more elaborate or complex recipes, such as lasagna, casseroles, puff pastry, etc. They find space above all among the unique dishes, appetizers, first courses and desserts for lunch or dinner; obviously, they can also be used for breakfast or secondary snacks.
Fast-food / street food crepes, similarly to sandwiches, wraps, tigelle, etc., are usually stuffed with salami, nutella, cheese, jam, sweet or savory sauces, whipped cream, etc .; they are served folded in 3, 4, crescent, bundle or triangle.
In France, the savory ones are mainly of Breton type, while the sweet crepes are obtained from the mixture with milk, eggs, flour, butter, sugar, salt and aromas. Among the most famous recipes, the "crepes suzette" - crepes dessert stuffed with orange marmalade and flambéed with Curacao or Gran Marnier - the "gâteau de crêpes ou la ficelle picarde", "crepes with nutella", "crepes stuffed with ham, mushrooms and cheese, au gratin ", " crepes stuffed with spinach and ricotta "etc.
In French-speaking Belgium, buckwheat and currant or apple crepes are produced - sometimes with beer - called Wallone's, to accompany sugar, jam, Nutella or pancetta.
In Canada, in Quebec, the crepes are made from whole wheat flour, rather thick, generally sweet and enriched with maple syrup or jam or sugar. The savory versions, on the other hand, include accompaniment with baked beans, bacon, ham, with or without maple syrup. A peculiar variety is the one with lobster filling.
Nutritional properties of crepes
For the chemical evaluation of crepes I chose to analyze just the recipe of Alice shown in the video: Crepes - How to prepare them.
Let's start by saying that cooked crepes - unlike many other flour-based ingredients such as, for example, bread or pasta - have a nutritional profile that is almost entirely superimposable to that of the raw appearance. This is due to the extremely fast cooking of the food, which does not cause excessive evaporation of the water it contains, trapped in the starch that gelatinizes, and thus maintains the initial hydration and weight of the product. The change of consistency, from liquid to solid, is mainly due to the solidification of the albumen.
The energy intake of crepes is of medium size; corresponds approximately to that of cooked semolina pasta. Calories are mainly supplied by carbohydrates, followed by peptides and finally by lipids. Carbohydrates are essentially complex and made from starch, especially high biological value proteins and saturated fatty acids. However, it must be considered that the energy supply can be further reduced by reducing the fat fraction; to do this it is sufficient to remove the butter in the dough and use it only to grease the pan or the plate - if necessary replace it with some food vaseline - and prefer skimmed milk over the whole one. These measures also participate in positively modifying the lipid picture, increasing the fraction of unsaturated fats at the expense of saturated fats, and reducing the amount of cholesterol otherwise significant - the excess of saturated fat and cholesterol is potentially atherogenic.
Crepes also contain lactose - a soluble disaccharide sugar - and gluten, two nutritional factors that can trigger reactions of food intolerance to those predisposed. The amount of phenylalanine, whose excess is harmful for those suffering from phenylketonuria, is not negligible at all. The purine content, on the other hand, which is harmful to those who tend to accumulate uric acid in the blood, is moderate. The ingredients of the crepes do not contain high amounts of histamine and do not play the role of histamine-liberators.
The fiber share is rather small, almost insignificant, and could be increased by using whole wheat flour or adding special ingredients to the dough - such as inulin. As for minerals and vitamins, there is not much to add. Sodium is very present but it is above all a discretionary ingredient. Of the other mineral salts we can deduce rather medium or modest levels - in particular of phosphorus, potassium and calcium. The same is true for vitamins, among which the content of riboflavin (vit B2) and retinol equivalent (vit A) is most appreciated.
The average portion of crepes can not be established without carefully thinking about the type and quantity of filling. If used as a base for accompanying high-calorie foods, as well as rich in cholesterol, saturated / hydrogenated fats, salt and saccharose - pancetta, fontina, béchamel, nutella, jam, whipped cream etc., it is better to establish portions contained and to be consumed occasionally. I suggest you avoid them in addition to the main meals and, at most, to contextualize them at breakfast or near mid-morning or afternoon snacks. Note : sweet or stuffed crepes stuffed with sweetened ingredients are UNSUCCESSFUL against type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertriglyceridemia.
|Saturated fatty acids||2.88 g|
|Monounsaturated Fatty Acids||1.90 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids||0.52 g|
|TOT Carbohydrates||20.0 g|
|Starch / Glycogen||16.8 g|
|Soluble Sugar||3.2 g|
|Food fiber||0.6 g|
|Thiamine or vitamin B1||0.13 mg|
|Riboflavin or vitamin B2||0.27 mg|
|Niacin or vitamin PP||0.36 mg|
|Vitamin B6||- mg|
|Vitamin B12||- mcg|
|Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid||0.5 mg|
|Vitamin A or RAE||69.1 mcg|
|Vitamin D||- IU|
|Vitamin K||- mcg|
|Vitamin E or Alpha Tocopherol||0.32 mg|
Crepes in the diet
Crepes have an average digestibility, although this feature varies greatly depending on the seasoning that accompanies them. If they are part of a light recipe, whether sweet or savory, and in modest portions they have no particular contraindications in the diet of those suffering from poor digestion - dyspepsia - gastritis or gastric ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, etc.
Moreover they are foods that, after all, do not "clash" in the hypocaloric slimming diet against overweight; in this case it is however good practice to establish reduced portions - or at least adequate - and not to exceed the frequency of consumption - above all to guarantee the overall nutritional balance.
Rich in starch, the crepes have a good energy function and in the diet they should be placed immediately before or immediately after having completed the most caloric activities of the day - for example sports, heavy manual work etc. They contain an excellent percentage of high biological value proteins, that is they contain all the essential amino acids in the right quantities and proportions with respect to the human model. This characteristic makes them suitable in the diet of those with a greater peptide requirement, both for special physiological, special or para-fiosiological reasons - such as growth, poor absorption capacity in old age and gestation - both pathological - such as malnutrition general or specific.
It should however be specified that traditional crepes, although not excessively fatty, contain above all saturated fats - for the use of butter and whole milk - and a fair concentration of cholesterol - for the use of whole eggs. With 250 g of dough you reach the recommended daily dose of cholesterol for a healthy person, while 170 g are sufficient to avoid exceeding the maximum intake of a hypercholesterolemic. It must also be specified that a single cracks weighs at most 50 to 100 g - depending on the diameter and thickness. It is however a good idea not to forget that cholesterol is also contained in many other foods of the daily diet and that reaching 200-300 mg of total intake per day is not that difficult. In the case of hypercholesterolemia, it may therefore be necessary to make minor changes to the recipe. Among these interventions, important if the crepes are a food of habitual consumption, we recall the use of totally skimmed milk or vegetable, the elimination of butter from the appareil and also for cooking - eventually replacing it with extra virgin olive oil, the reduction of the quantity of yolks increasing the percentage of egg white etc.
Recall that traditional crepes, being produced with cow's milk, contain lactose. This disaccharide is, by many subjects, poorly tolerated in the intestine. Lactose intolerance does not always manifest itself with the same symptoms and presents various levels of hypersensitivity; however, considering that this condition does not provide for the onset of serious health complications, intolerant people who tolerate crepes well can easily insert them into their diet - obviously the absence of diarrhea and / or vomiting, cramps, distention is taken for granted abdominal, etc. following the food intake. For the most sensitive, I suggest instead replacing the traditional cow's milk with the delactosized one and replacing the butter with fatty sources that do not derive from the traditional milk.
Containing gluten, traditional crepes do not lend themselves to the diet for celiac disease. This complex polypeptide is the object of food intolerance on the part of celiacs who, to prevent related complications, must completely and definitively exclude it from daily food - the gluten-free diet does not tolerate even the small traces of gluten in food.
Crepes, containing eggs and milk - highly protein foods, therefore also rich in amino acid phenylalanine - must be excluded from the phenylketonuria diet. Being instead poor in purines, they have no contraindications for the diet for hyperuricemia, gout and for those who have a tendency to suffer from renal uric acid stones (lithiasis).
In the diet against primary sodium sensitive hypertension it is advisable to avoid adding salt in the recipe.