I don’t know about you, but there are some mornings when you want something a little different for breakfast. Something easy, but nutritious. Something special but that does not involve cooked eggs, cold cereal, yogurt, oatmeal or muffins. Not that I don’t enjoy all of those foods, but sometimes you just want something more. If you are a little unconventional or a confirmed vegetarian or vegan, you might go with a vegetable soup or salad for breakfast. However, if you are seeking a more conventional choice, and want an easy breakfast treat, think about homemade whole wheat crepes.
I understand that making crepes from scratch may not be one of those things you currently do. However, if you’ll stick with me for a moment you’ll see just how easy they are to make and how easy they are to freeze. And, since they are made with whole wheat flour, and two crepes provide 8 grams of protein, they can fit in well with a healthy eating pattern for those days when you want a special breakfast treat. If you want to boost the protein, try adding a tablespoon of nonfat cottage cheese as a filling in each of your finished crepes. This brings the protein up to 11 g per two crepe serving. Adding a 4 oz. glass of nonfat milk and a tablespoon of walnuts adds another 6 g of protein for 17 g total protein for the dish.
Why is protein important? It helps build cells, tissues and muscles throughout your body and helps your immune system. Protein helps keep your bones healthy as shown in many research-based studies (along with calcium and vitamin D). However, it’s important to not overdo it with protein. According to the Institute of Medicine and the US Dietary Guidelines, 2010, the recommended daily amount for protein is 46g for females age 14 to 71+, 52g for males age 14 to 18, and 56g for males age 19 to 71+. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have certain medical conditions or are extremely active, the right amount of protein for your diet will vary from these recommendations. If you have a question about your specific protein needs, ask a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for help.
Recipe: Whole Wheat Crepes (makes 12 6-8″ crepes)
4 egg whites
1 cup nonfat or 1% milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Place all ingredients in food processor and mix well. Spray 8″ skillet or crepe pan with canola oil and preheat on stove. Using a 1 to 1-1/2 ounce scoop or measuring spoon drop batter into pan and allow it to spread to fill the pan and cook. After 2- 3 minutes, flip gently to cook the other side. Remove from pan and hold crepes in gently warm oven until ready to serve. Serve with fresh fruit, maple syrup, or other condiments as desired.
To freeze: Allow finished crepes to cool completely. Place in stack separated by squares of parchment paper. Place entire stack in freezer bag,remove as much air as possible, label and freeze. To use a frozen crepe, remove from freezer, place on microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.
Approximate nutrition information per serving (2 plain crepes): 170 calories; 8 grams fat; 1.5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 115 mg cholesterol; 260 mg sodium; 17 grams carbohydrate; 2 gram dietary fiber; 8 grams protein.