Recipe: Gluten-free, Vegan Crepes

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When I first transitioned to a vegan diet, I remember thinking about all of my favorite foods and wondering if I’d ever eat them again. Crepes included. But then I did some research, and found out about vegan substitutes. 

Bananas instead of eggs? Really?

Really.

This recipe is proof that there’s always a way to make your favorite dish healthier, and still love it just as much (if not more!).

Gluten-Free, Vegan Crepes

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • optional: 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • optional: 8-10 drops stevia

Directions

  1. Using a fork, mash the ripe banana.
  2. In one bowl, mix wet ingredients together (banana included) and in a separate bowl, the dry ingredients.
  3. Combine the two. Batter should be the consistency of thin pancake batter. Add more liquid, as needed.
  4. Cook: Heat an 8-inch skillet or crêpe pan over medium high heat. Add a little coconut oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and pour 1/4 cup batter into the middle. Swirl until the bottom of the pan is covered with batter. Cook the crepe for about 1 minute–bubbles will form and it will be slightly moist on top. Use a spatula to loosen the edges of the crêpe, slide the spatula under and gently flip it upside down. Cook for one more minute, just until golden and transfer crêpe to a plate. Repeat until the batter’s all gone.
  5. Fill: My favorite filling is vegan, dark chocolate chips. I put them on the crepe when it’s just off the pan, so that they melt into a kind of chocolate sauce. Other ideas include fruit, homemade jam, cashew cheeze.

Homemade Natural Bug Spray (That Works!)

I just moved to Costa Rica, and if there’s one thing that you need to pack when moving to the tropics, it’s bug spray.

But when I went shopping for bug spray, I found myself confronted with a major problem: DEET

What is DEET?

DEET is a chemical that was patented by the US Army in 1946 and is widely used as a mosquito repellent. A Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist studied the chemical for 30 years and his results were pretty alarming.

“His numerous studies in rats, two of them published last year, clearly demonstrate that frequent and prolonged applications of DEET cause neurons to die in regions of the brain that control muscle movement, learning, memory and concentration.

With heavy exposure to DEET and other insecticides, humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath”

Aside from DEET, commercial bug sprays often contain other harmful ingredients that–when used in combination with DEET–can be particularly dangerous. This is especially true for children, given that chemicals “more potently affect their developing nervous systems”.

THE GOOD NEWS: There is a solution. Make your own!

Homemade Natural Bug Spray

Natural Bug Spray

Mix the following ingredients together in a spray bottle (2 oz or bigger).

  • 1 oz grapeseed oil
  • 1 oz witch hazel
  • 40 drops citronella
  • 20 drops eucalyptus
  • 20 drops lemon
  • 20 drops lemongrass
  • 20 drops lavender

I’ve been in Costa Rica for 5 days now and haven’t had a single bug bite. And I definitely prefer the plant-based smell of this mixture to that of chemical bug sprays. I’m going to continue to experiment with different oils and natural ingredients, but for now, this recipe works great!