The crepes are gluten-free with a base of buckwheat and brown rice flour blended up with spinach, and basil. Although we took a sweet route with the version I’m presenting to you here, Elenore and I actually ate the remaining ones for dinner and piled the pancakes high with grilled mushrooms, broccoli, avocado, sprouts, and salad greens. They were so delicious! So you can go either way depending on your mood and what needs to be eaten up in the fridge – a great base for leftovers. You can even roll them up like a tortilla and use them in place of a traditional wrap.
The sauce we created for these amazing crepes, is a vanilla-infused hemp heart masterpiece that is creamy and dreamy drizzled over just about anything! We scraped the blender clean with our fingers not wanting to waste a single drop of its glory. But why hemp? Well, it’s one of our favourite foods, and not just during pregnancy, but especially so because of its perfect balance of Omega fats.
A Fine Balance: Hemp Hearts It’s true that hemp is high in protein, fibre and phytonutrients, but it’s also a remarkable food due to its perfect balance of Omega fatty acids. We’ve all heard about Omega-3s and how important they are for the health of our entire body, helping to prevent cancer asthma, depression, obesity, diabetes and so on. But! There is another star on the block, Omega-6, which seems to be less talked about due to the fact that many of us get enough (or in some cases, too much) of this essential fatty acid.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fasts are essential, meaning that our bodies don’t produce them and we need to obtain them from the foods we eat. Sources of Omega-3 fats include flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chia, dark leafy greens, some sea vegetables and cold-water fish. Omega-6 sources include canola, corn, peanut, safflower, sunflower, and sesame. You can see from this list that most people in the Western world at least, are getting their fair share of Omega-6 fats, and lacking in Omega-3s. In fact, in North America it is estimated that the population consumes 10 to 20 times as much Omega-6 as Omega-3 (the ratio landing somewhere between 10:1 and 20:1). Although the correct ratio of these fats is still a matter of debate,researchers in this field agree that this ratio is far too high. We should be aiming for a ratio of 2:1 to 4:1. In other words, a diet that provides at least twice the amount of Omega-6s as Omega-3s, but no more than four times as much is preferred.
So why is the balance so important? Because the ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s helps determine the flexibility of our cell membranes, meaning that ALL communication throughout the body depends on at least in part on this balance being correct. Coronary heart disease, chronic inflammation, obesity, and healthy genetic processes have all been linked to the delicate equilibrium of essential fatty acids.
How can we improve the situation then? Just by making simple, small changes to our diets will greatly improve the balance of fats in our bodies. Swapping foods high in Omega-6s like peanut butter, with foods high in Omega-3s like tahini (sesame butter) or pumpkin seed butter, and for the non-vegetarians replacing chicken, beef and pork with cold-water fish.
But the most ideal food to choose when trying to achieve that perfect balance of these fats then, is hemp! Hemp’s Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio is a healthy 3.75:1. You can find hemp in many forms these days: un-hulled and hulled seeds (also known as hemp hearts), hemp oil, hemp flour, hemp protein powder, hemp milk, and hemp seed butter. Remember that choosing hemp in its most natural form (the un-hulled or hulled hemp seeds) is your best bet to ensure a high-quality, whole food product.
I like to sprinkle hemp seeds on just about everything, from my breakfast porridge to my salads and sandwiches. They add an amazing creaminess to smoothies, raw custards and cheesecakes. You can even make your own milk from hemp and you don’t even need to soak the seeds first! Simply blend 1 part hulled hemp seeds to four parts water, and a sweetener, like dates or honey, if you so desire, strain and enjoy. Simple and delicious.
Miraculous Summer Crêpes Makes 8-10 crêpes
1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 cup water
2 cups fresh spinach
1 handful fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt / Celtic sea salt or other mineral rich, good quality salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp coconut oil, for frying1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Blend water, spinach, basil, olive oil and apple cider vinegar using a high speed blender or an immersion blender until smooth. Pour over the bowl of flour and salt.
3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients thoroughly using a spatula or a wooden spoon.
4. Fry the crêpes over medium heat and use a teensy amount of coconut oil before you pour batter into the frying pan. Use a spatula to make a thin round crêpe.
5. Fry and flip each crêpe until they have a bit of color on each of the sides, stack crêpes on a plate and cover with a clean tea towel while you continue frying.
Hemp & Vanilla Sauce
1/2 cup (75 g) hemp hearts
3/4 cup water
5 large Medjool dates, pitted
1 vanilla bean, scraped
a pinch of salt
1. Rinse hemp hearts well and add them to a high speed blender along with dates, salt and water. Blend until smooth and creamy. (If you do not have a high speed blender, soaking hemp seeds for 30-60 minutes prior will help soften them)
2. Open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds using a sharp knife. Add the seeds to the sauce in the blender and blend again.
Slice the fruit and berries and put onto a crêpe, drizzle over the vanilla sauce using a spoon or a spritzer and add flowers and basil leaves. Remember that it does not have to be a dessert though! These crêpes would for example make a perfect and easy savoury picnic wrap.