Healthy Cooking: Resolved to give up chocolate? Hold that thought

Start the new year with guilt-free Whole-Wheat Chocolate Crepes with Honey Greek Yogurt. CONTRIBUTED BY KELLIE HYNES
Start the new year with guilt-free Whole-Wheat Chocolate Crepes with Honey Greek Yogurt. CONTRIBUTED BY KELLIE HYNES

In 2020, I resolve to eat chocolate crepes. Cocoa is packed with antioxidants, which promise everything from reduced inflammation to improved cholesterol levels. Crepes are fun, elegant, and, unlike cookies, don’t invite overconsumption. Best of all, the high-protein and low-fat content of this recipe checks the “healthy” box, making chocolate crepes a guilt-free breakfast, brunch or dessert option all year long.

Simply toss the crepe ingredients in your blender; push a button and you have batter. I sweeten with honey instead of refined sugar. For better nutrition, I swap whole-wheat flour for most of the traditional white flour. If you prefer crepes that are entirely whole wheat, look for a package labeled whole-wheat pastry flour. Found in larger supermarkets, pastry flour has a finer grind and less gluten, making crepes tender, not tough.

If you have a specialty crepe pan, you can skip this part. The rest of us are going to grab our favorite well-seasoned cast-iron skillet and melt a bit of butter in it. Wipe the butter around and out with a paper towel. Save the paper towel; you’re going to give the skillet a buttery swipe after every crepe. Then pour a ladleful of batter into the skillet and swirl it around. Let it cook until the batter loses its shine and — this is the best indicator — you can pry an edge off the skillet using a butter knife. Carefully peel the crepe off the pan and flip it to cook on the other side.

What is exciting, entertaining and maddening about crepes is that the cook time for each crepe varies. Your first crepe might need two minutes on the first side and one minute on the second; the last crepes will be on and off the pan in literally seconds. If you are new to crepe-making, I suggest whipping up an extra half-batch of batter so that you can practice until you reach perfection. Any unfilled bonus crepes will keep in the freezer for up to a month; layer them with parchment paper so they don’t stick together.

I fill my crepes with plain Greek yogurt, also gently sweetened with honey. You can skip the dairy and fill your crepes with fresh fruit, or a nut butter for variety. A powdered sugar finish looks beautiful and adds only trace amounts of sucrose, making these crepes a resolution (and recipe) worth keeping.

No special pan needed; these healthy crepes cook up in cast iron. CONTRIBUTED BY KELLIE HYNES
No special pan needed; these healthy crepes cook up in cast iron. CONTRIBUTED BY KELLIE HYNES

Recipe: Whole-Wheat Chocolate Crepes with Honey Greek Yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • Powdered sugar, fresh fruit and/or mint for garnish (optional)
  • Add the eggs, milk, flours, cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons honey, and salt to the jar of a blender. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and add it to the blender. Blend 20 seconds, pausing to scrape down the sides if needed. Allow the batter to rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Make the crepe filling by mixing the yogurt and the remaining 1 tablespoon of honey in a small bowl until well combined. Refrigerate.
  • Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Use a paper towel to wipe the butter around the skillet and absorb the excess. (Reserve the paper towel and rewipe the skillet after preparing each crepe.)
  • Pour 1/4 cup batter into the hot skillet, swirling the pan so that the batter spreads into a round crepe of 7-8 inches in diameter. Allow the crepe to cook until it looks dry, about 1-2 minutes. Use a butter knife or spatula to lift an edge, then, carefully holding the edge with your fingers, peel the crepe from the skillet and flip it. Cook the other side for 50 seconds-1 minute. Repeat until all the batter is used, stacking the crepes on a towel-covered plate. Adjust the burner temperature and cook time as needed so that the crepes don’t overbrown.
  • To serve: Spread a heaping tablespoon of the yogurt mixture on the inside of a crepe. Fold in half, and then in half again, making triangles. Repeat with the remaining crepes. Garnish with powdered sugar, fresh fruit and/or mint, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 10 crepes.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per crepe: 127 calories (percent of calories from fat, 22), 6 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 47 milligrams cholesterol, 75 milligrams sodium.


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