The weekend brunch is my favorite meal by far. It’s more than just the food, it’s all that is associated with it — the leisureliness of sleeping in, lingering over coffee and the news in good company, and knowing that much of the day is still ahead of us. And when it comes to the brunch menu, I tend to go for the sweet rather than the savory. You see, I grew up eating sensible, wholesome oatmeal for breakfast every single morning my entire childhood; something as decadent as pancakes or French toast with loads of sweet fruit and syrup first thing in the morning wasn’t a part of the picture. Thankfully, I’ve had my entire grown-up life to make up for that deprivation. If I can have my way, I have either pancakes, French toast, or crepes for breakfast at least once a week — usually, but not necessarily, on Saturdays or Sundays.
And it can still be nutritious, too! We make our crepes using buckwheat and quinoa that have been sprouted overnight, instead of wheat flour — a method we learned from Dan’s cousin Ted. Buckwheat and quinoa are great sources of protein and other nutrients to begin with, but the sprouting further improves the quality of the protein and increases the fiber, vitamins and enzymes. Sprouting the grains also helps to alkalize the body. Last but not least, this is a brunch food we can serve to gluten-sensitive friends and family as well.
This dish is again one of Dan’s specialties. I just show up and eat them! In the mornings, we eat these filled with fresh or frozen fruit or berries and topped with maple syrup, but with a savory filling they also make a great lunch.
Sprouted Wheat-Free Crepes
1 cup quinoa
1 cup buckwheat groats
½ cup of pecan or other nuts
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
1 ½ cup milk
½ cup of Special K, Bran Flakes or other fiber-packed cereal (Note: leave out if you want the crepes to be strictly gluten-free. Even Special K, although a rice cereal, contains some wheat gluten.)
Soak the quinoa and buckwheat in water in the evening for a couple of hours, each in their own bowl. Strain and keep the grains in the bowls, covered, in room temperature overnight to let them start sprouting a little. In the morning, grind the soaked grains in a food processor. Then add the nuts, the cereal (if using), the egg, and gradually the milk, until the batter has the consistency of a crepe batter. Heat oil or melt butter on a large pan and spread an even, thin layer of batter; cook on both sides until golden brown.