Gluten Free Baking with Amaranth: dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free Vegan Crepe recipe

amaranthcrepeflg2As you may know, we’ve been struggling with allergies at my house these days- it turns out that our darling Baby Yum has a very sensitive tummy and so I’ve had to go on a rather extreme elimination diet in order to breastfeed her. The good news is that she is doing much better (yay probiotics!)- and the other good news is that while I had to turn my diet upside down, I’m starting to come up with some recipes that rock, limited ingredients or no. This recipe is amazing because it doesn’t contain any of the top allergens (no dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, animal products, potatoes, corn etc) and yet still has fantastic texture and flavor. As I was bemoaning the loss of Ener-g foods egg replacer (which contains a corn derivative AND potato, both of which I’m currently avoiding), it occurred to me that the french crepe/flatbread recipe socca doesn’t contain any eggs at all, and still tastes lovely. It is based in high protein chickpea flour but I thought, what if I used another high protein flour like amaranth, which is one of my current staples? And so, a lovely recipe was born. Obviously I wasn’t going to be able to top it with hummus (no sesame at the moment, sigh) but I raided my admittedly limited fridge and came up with an easy veggie saute that tasted surprisingly savory and delicious. I’ve made this recipe many times since its first inception, and it comes out beautifully every time.

For those of you new to amaranth, you can find gluten-free certified flour through Bob’s Red Mill, sold on Amazon or directly through the company. Amaranth is a traditional food plant in Africa, and only now beginning to be cultivated for use in the United States. It has a long and interesting history with the Aztecs and with the native people of Mexico. “To this day, amaranth grains are toasted much like popcorn and mixed with honey, molasses or chocolate to make a treat called alegría.” (Recipe for Alegría using whole grain amaranth )

Most interestingly for our purposes, Amaranth contains “large amounts of protein and essential amino acids, such as lysine . . . [and is] reported to have a 30% higher protein value than cereals, such as rice, wheat flour, oats, and rye.” That sounds good to me, especially since Baby Yum is currently sensitive to so many of my vegetarian protein staples. Further, “Amaranth and quinoa are called pseudograins because of their flavor and cooking similarities to grains. These are dicot plant seeds, and both contain exceptionally complete protein for plant sources. Besides protein, amaranth grain provides a good source of dietary fiber and dietary minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and especially manganese.” (Source: Wikipedia) Nutritional value aside, this recipe is worth trying based on flavor alone. I think you’ll agree that in this case, a simple whole grain (or whole pseudograin) recipe is amazingly tasty- and easy, too!

Gluten Free Amaranth Flatbread Crepe Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup GF amaranth flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup water + 2 tbsp water
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
Generous sprinkle of dried rosemary
olive oil for oiling cast iron pan
cast iron or other oven safe skillet

*Makes two crepes- double for larger recipe

Allergen-free filling:
1 thinly sliced apple
2 carrots, cut into horizontal thin pieces similar in size to the apple (cut like a very wide matchstick)
1/2 or 1 zucchini, cut into tiny cubes(optional)
olive oil to taste
salt
pepper

Directions
Whisk together flour, water, salt, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Set on counter and leave for 30 minutes, whisking as needed. Meanwhile preheat oven to 450F and place seasoned cast iron pan in oven, heating. Add rosemary after batter has set. Brush pan with small amount of olive oil and let cool slightly. Pour half of your batter into the pan and swirl to make a round crepe in the pan. Place in oven and let bake for at least 8 minutes or until it starts to brown and lift off the edge of the pan. Take out of oven and carefully peel off flatbread and turn over, letting it brown for a minute or so on the other side if you like it crispy.

While you are making your second flatbread, heat a small amount of olive oil in a nonstick or second cast iron pan and saute apples and carrots until apple starts to brown. Season generously and turn. Add a little more olive oil and heat in the center of pan. Sprinkle oil lightly with salt and add zucchini cubes, sauteeing until lightly browned, turning as needed. When done to your desired texture, remove from pan.

Fill or top flatbread with your sauteed veggies and enjoy!


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6 Responses to “Gluten Free Baking with Amaranth: dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free Vegan Crepe recipe”

  1. looks great! I’ve never gotten really into amaranth and it’s nice to have a good resource.

  2. Sounds delicious! What a creative way to manage your and Baby Yum’s limited palate. I just discovered the chickpea version myself, known as faina in Argentina and Uruguay, where my family is from. This sounds like a fantastic alternative option. Can’t wait to give it a try too.

  3. Wow! That looks perfect =D.

  4. my 2y old has been diagnosed with all allergies, soy, wheat, gluten, egg, milk, am i missing any???? Anyway, it was shocking to me since, my 7 year old can eat everyhting. I am giving him allergy free foods, he does not like it. I need kid friendly recipies, and bread what kind of bread can i buy or make?

  5. Laila,

    The top eight allergens include dairy, soy, nuts, peanuts, eggs, wheat, fish and shellfish. So, if your child can have nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish, that is something!

    What allergy-free foods have you been giving him? Ener-g foods, Ians, and Enjoy Life are three of the most common brands. All are somewhat deficient in terms of flavor, in my opinion. However, there are gluten-free cereals that will not have your allergens and that he may enjoy. There are also some excellent rice, corn, and quinoa pastas that are good for easy, quick meals. Corn is a common allergen so you might want to keep an eye on any possible reactions. Rice, potato, and gluten-free certified oatmeal may be good grains to start with on a gluten-free diet.

    Are you seeing an allergist? You can use all the resources you can get at this point, and you definitely want to make sure you are getting sound medical advice. Blogs will have many good recipes for you. I recommend this pizza recipe to start with:

    http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/spring-mediterranean-gluten-free-potluck-allergy-free-pizza-recipe-1852.html

    and this french bread recipe:
    http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/gluten-free-vegan-french-bread-recipe-4704.html

    (you can sub white rice flour for the sorghum-millet flour if you prefer). It makes two french bread loaves. The specialty bread pan is worth every penny- I use mine all the time.

    Hope this helps. You can use the contactify button on my blog to email me, contact me through twitter, or post any additional questions you have.

    Best of luck and good wishes!
    -Sea

  6. PS I am currently having issues with some of the more common gluten-free grains, so I’ve incorporated amaranth into my diet. However, I probably would not use it in your case. The earthy flavor of amaranth may not appeal to a child’s palate, and it is awfully pricey.

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