Crepe is the French word for pancakes that contain an abundance of different topics both sweet and savory. Commonly used ingredients include Nutella, cheese, and lemon juice. These crepes can be served as stacked-pancakes or on their own.
Most people eat a crepe on its own and layer it with sugar and lemon juice as this is arguably the simplest yet most satisfying means of eating a delicately balanced crepe.
Crepe fillings are wide-ranging and include cream, fruit and syrups. This is why crepes are commonly considered to be a dessert as opposed to a savory item.
However, some people do consume crepes as a savory item, usually for breakfast.
The bottom line is that crepes are not vegan. The crepe itself contains non-vegan food products and the fillings are also not usually vegan-friendly.
Thus, this particular food poses problems for those who are following a vegan lifestyle.
This also applies to homemade crepes that are made using traditional recipes, as well as those crepes that are bought from grocery stores or eaten at restaurants.
This article will first outline the numerous reasons why standard crepe recipes are not considered to be vegan.
Why Are Crepes Not Considered To Be Vegan?
Crepes contain butter, milk, and egg. They also contain butter and do not usually use yeast as a leavener.
Crepes along with waffles, popovers, and crepe-style pancakes are made easily and quickly by mixing these ingredients to the point where they become moistened.
Both pancakes and waffles utilize chemical leaveners (typically baking soda) in order to rise. Whereas, crepes do not use any leaveners and rely on steam alone. In order to rise, milk is used.
This is because pour batters for crepes are made using an abundance of liquid as this allows the batter to pour evenly over a skillet or pan.
The milk contained within this mixture thins out the mixture overall. Thus, milk is the primary liquid in crepes.
In order to make crepes vegan friendly, you will need to use water or a vegan-alternative form of milk. You can also use vegan-friendly butter to make your crepes.
The inclusion of egg is more difficult to contend with and if you order a crepe at a restaurant, it is more than likely that standard forms of butter have been used.
Why Do Crepes Contain Eggs?
Eggs are used for a variety of reasons when making crepes. This is mainly because they add coagulation and flavor to the crepes. Other functions include the following:
Color: Eggs also help to add color to the crepe due to the zeaxanthin and lutein contained in the yolk, as well as the browning that occurs.
Emulsification: The lecithin content contained in egg yolk allows the crepes to emulsify and stabilize inherently. Lecithin helps all the ingredients to mix together as it attracts water and fat molecules.
Binding: The protein contained in the egg binds the ingredients together and ensures that coagulation and hardening occur when heated.
There are a number of vegan-friendly ingredients that you can use to replace eggs; For instance, soy lecithin can be used to assist the emulsification process.
This is why numerous vegan-friendly crepes will contain this key ingredient.
There are numerous plant substances that can also be used in order to replace the binding qualities of an egg.
Any form of plant material that gels when it is exposed to water can be used in place of egg in order to achieve the same result that is achieved by using egg proteins.
In spite of the plethora of vegan-friendly alternatives that are available, the restaurant industry does not tend to use these when it comes to making crepes unless it is a vegan-friendly restaurant.
Some commercial crepes will be catered for those with milk allergies, but unless it is specified, the vast majority of commercially available crepes will contain milk, butter, and egg.
Are There Any Crepes With Non-Vegan Toppings And Fillings?
Although crepes cannot be purchased alone, the crepes that are served at a restaurant will normally come with different kinds of filling including vegan-friendly fillings.
For instance, blintez are sweetened crepes that have been packed with fillings before being sautéed. These are often filled with cheese.
Other crepes include savory foods like seafood, chicken, and meat.
Thus, if you are looking to ensure that your vegan-friendly recipe remains vegan, you will need to ensure that you are using a vegan-friendly spread or filling as opposed to these traditional fillings.
It is important to note that Nutella is not vegan friendly as it contains milk.
You should always check the label on the ingredients that you are using for your filling to ensure that they are vegan-friendly. It is never safe to assume that a food product does not contain egg, milk, or butter.
To conclude, this article has outlined the way in which standard crepe recipes are not vegan-friendly.
However, there are viable alternatives available if you want to make your own vegan-friendly crepes.
You can use vegan-friendly butter, oat milk, and an alternative emulsifying ingredient in order to ensure that your crepe remains vegan-friendly.
It is important to note that most toppings that are used on crepes are also not vegan-friendly. Thus, you should choose alternative toppings like almonds or lemon juice that you can be certain are vegan-friendly.
If you want to include cheese in your crepe-pancakes and make a savory crepe, then you should opt for vegan cheese.
There are numerous vegan-cheese options to choose from and it has become undoubtedly popular to use vegan-cheese over recent years.
Whether you are a lover of sweet or savory crepes, there is no need to avoid them entirely if you are following a vegan-friendly lifestyle.
However, you should be aware that the vast majority of commercially available crepes will contain milk, eggs, and butter. I hope that you have found this article to be insightful. Thank you for reading.