This pancake day we are having these deliciously sweet, naturally gluten free buckwheat and cassava crepes. Filled with sweet whipped coconut cream and strawberry jam.
For mother dearest
We have been having these cassava and buckwheat pancakes on repeat for months now. I first made these when my mother turned gluten free 3 months ago, mainly in attempt to keep her from going off the rails and reaching for the nearest piece of bread.
Every night before bed I would make these and leave them to on counter the kitchen. Whoever would wake up first would make them. She loves the batter to sit out all night and slightly ferment.
Needless to say these were a hit with her. It was a few trial and error attempts before she really like them though. Thankfully she has been steady on the gluten free diet. NO CHEATING!
It has been hard work. I had to step up my gluten free cooking/baking game. My dear mother is hard work when it comes to hear taste buds. The words ‘gluten free’ would make her gag.
Somali style crepes/pancakes
So I say pancakes but these are really crepes. These cassava and buckwheat crepes really do resemble the ones we grew up eating. Somali culture lives on crepes! Unlike some pancakes /crepes were not usually a special treat or just a weekend thing. We would have them through the week. Especially in the evenings with a nice cup of milky tea!
In a Somali household you start drinking tea at a very young age. To be honest half the glass is milk. But you just felt super grown up with that hot cup of tea and delicious crepes drenched in honey!
Our household was definitely a crepe and honey household. Do not even bother making crepes or pancakes if there is no honey. Nope no thanks!
Buckwheat and Cassava
We are making gluten free pancakes so that means needing gluten free flours. I have gone for 2 naturally gluten free flours – Cassava flour and Buckwheat flour.
Cassava flour is made from cassava root. It is a starchy root vegetable that is used widely in African, South American and Caribean cultures. The flour is created by peeling, grounding and then drying the vegetable root before being made into a flour. Find out more about cassava here.
Buckwheat flour although the name includes the word wheat is actually not wheat or gluten related. It is completely gluten free and is considered a ‘pseudocereal’. This is a name for seeds from non-grass plants which are used like grains. Quinoa is also pseudocereals. Buckwheat has many health benefits one main one being that it is low in the glycemic index which means it won’t spike your bloody sugar levels when consumed. Great news for people who are looking out for their sugar intake. It is also has great levels of copper, magnesium and manganese too.
Buckwheat has a nutty flavour that I love to enhance by roasting buckwheat groats myself and blending into a flour. The flavour has a lovely roasted taste. It works out cheaper this way having blended my own flour.
You can use Buckwheat on it’s own to make crepes, pancakes, muffins and many more baked goods and it is widely available now worldwide. Buckwheat really makes gluten free life a lot more easy, especially if you miss things like pasta and noodles! Various amounts of buckwheat pasta and noodles sold in health food stores all over.
Top crepe making tips
There are a few tips you will need to help you be on your way to making the BEST crepes.
- Always make sure the pan is very hot. I like working on hot pans to ensure a nice browned bottom.
- Pre rest the batter before making. Rested batter always tastes and looks better. I like to make them the night before but at least an hour is fine too.
- Mix the batter vigorously. No lumps in crepe batter, just no!
- Check to see if you need more liquid. Crepes need to be paper thin. Don’t be scared to add more milk or water if needed.
- Always mix the batter after each pancake. Flour tends to sit at the bottom so you need to make sure the batter is perfect mixed before each scoop.
- Place eat pancake on top of each other to allow them to soften and keep nice and flat. I take it a step further and cover them each time. Either a clean kitchen cloth or a lid.
- Pre heat an oven on the lowest setting and keep pancakes in there stacked together to keep nice and warm.
I really hope you try these crepes and hopefully feel like you are not missing out on the typical gluten pancakes. These truly are just as delicious and taste so good with any topping.
Like I said before it is typically a honey affair with me and crepes BUT I pushed the boat out with these. I added jam and whipped coconut cream and topped with toasted coconut flakes. Soo good.
Enjoy with your favourite toppings!
Buckwheat and Cassava Sweet Crepes
- 1/2 cup cassava flour
- 3/4 cup buckwheat flour You can blend your own flour by blending buckwheat groats into a fine flour.
- 2 eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups milk I use oat milk. Any is fine.
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I like to add this when i am leaving it to set over night)
- tiny pinch of salt optional
In a bowl mix together the flours, sugar and salt.
Mix in the eggs and milk and whisk vigorously. A blender can also be used to make a super fine batter.
Once the batter is super smooth, on a hot pan scoop 1/4 cup and spread all over hot pan evenly. This ensures you can a nice thin crepe. After each scoop keep whisking often to make sure flour has not sunken to to the bottom.
When it is time to flip, gently flip and then add a teaspoon of oil underneath to help brown the pancake. I like to turn the pancake around clockwise with my fingers for a couple of seconds for even browning. (Optional if you have super fingers!)
Continue until the batter is finished. Place each pancake on top of each other and cover with a clean kitchen cloth or a lid. This keeps the pancakes soft and keeps them from drying out. To keep them warm pre heat a oven on the lowest setting and place in there until all the pancakes are done.
This batter keeps very well in the fridge for the next day. Just mix it again with a whisk as some flour may stick to the bottom. Add more water/milk if it has thickened to much.