Thursday, 18 July 2013

Crepes and the many mysterious ways of coconut

Danielle Walker's paleo crepes ARE SO SIMPLE.  I'd seen this recipe on her site, Against All Grain while doing the daily troll of my favourite food blogs.

It makes 10 small pan crepes or 5 big pan crepes. And it helped endorse my new obsession - adding almond butter and strawberries to everything. 

This recipe also forced me to learn two new things about coconut by-products. Which you will learn through the natural course of this post.

You will need:
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (HELLO - you're awesome and you made your own so use that!) *the first time I made these I only had store-bought chocolate almond milk. I know - not paleo but an oh-so-delicious substitution
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour, sifted
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (thank goodness I like to spend afternoon day-dreaming-time looking at recipes. I would not have had this on hand should I have just decided to make this immediately after seeing it. Found it on sale at Home Sense whilst browsing the clearance section. I'm sure it can be found at a regular grocery store and definitely at a more "alternative" food-selling place.
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Coconut oil or butter for pan

Also, here's a FABULOUS dry-shampoo DIY recipe using arrowroot powder.
Put everything in a bowl.

Coconut lesson #1 - coconut oil
When I was mixing all the ingredients, I was startled to find pieces of wax in my mix. I picked the first few out but then found a glacier-sized one (glacier-sized in comparison to the size of my bowl). I realized it wasn't wax, it was the coconut oil that had rehardened because of the other cold ingredients. As I am fairly new to coconut oil, I had no idea this was a thing that could happen. I also have a vague memory of being told that coconut oil doesn't reharden once melted. Next time I will do my best to bring all ingredients to room-temperature when using coconut oil.

I probably should have warmed up the mixture to remelt the oil and have it evenly distributed but A) I don't have a microwave and that would have meant transferring everything to a pot and warming on the stove and B) it was late and I was lazy.

Whisk all together then wait 10 minutes. In that 10 minutes, grease your pan and turn the heat on to medium. Do some dishes, read a book, figure out what you're going to wear tomorrow.
The first time I made them, I waited 10 minutes, the second time only five (as I said, it was late, and I was lazy).

I measure out 1/2 a cup of the batter at a time to pour onto the pan.

Wait one minute, flip, then wait 15 seconds and remove from heat. I usually use two spatulas and a lot of shimmying to do the flipping. Reapply coconut oil in between crepes.

And voila! You should have 10 bb crepes or 5 larger sized ones. As  Danielle mentions, you can use these as tortillas or lasagna noodles. I will definitely be trying them out as replacement tortillas next fajita night, but for now, as I said, strawberries and almond butter! And coconut cream!

Lurvley. (crepe all folded up - obviously)


Coconut lesson #2 - coconut milk
I'd learned, also from Danielle, that to make coconut cream, you put a can of coconut milk (full fat - the ones with less fat are just watered down) in the fridge overnight. This will cause the parts to separate - coconut water on the bottom, coconut cream on the top. You then carefully scoop out the cream and use it in coffee or even as whipped cream for desserts (or atop your crepes). The coconut water can be saved for other recipes; soups, smoothies, or just to drink - wonderful post-workout.

Normally, this is exactly what happens. I've noticed there's always a bit of a difference between brands: degree of separation, thickness of cream attained.  I'd been favouring "Grace" coconut milk because it had a good separation and was cheap.

But this morning, I went to grab the can out of the fridge (I always keep a can in the fridge just so it's ready in that instant I need "whipped cream"), Thai Kitchen, and opened it. I did not see the cream on the top. I saw the cloudy water that is usually on the bottom. I dug to the bottom of the can with a spoon and felt the firmest coconut cream I'd ever experienced, all stuck to the bottom. I scooped it all out and had the result of almost 3/4 of the can worth of cream and only a 1/4 of the water. I'd say it's usually 1/2 and 1/2. The process is also usually more delicate and I am very careful separating the cream from the water. I would say I was almost aggressive about it this time (in a hurry to put the first bites of my morning crepe into my mouth to appease my starvation - saving the awe of my little miracle of nature for later). It tasted just like normal. I have concluded that I haven't used this brand before as it is more on the expensive side as far as coconut milk goes, and this must be the result of more expensive coconut milk. So if you need a lot of cream... you can get it at a cost.

Wonderful, wonderful coconut cream!

PS: congratulations if you made it all the way through without thinking of any sexual innuendos.

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