Crepe Suzettes take advantage of bountiful summer berries

My childhood babysitter, Jean McClemens, fostered my hobby of picking berries in the summer time.

My brother, my sister, Jean and I would grab our picking pails and venture outside, filling our buckets to the brim.

Strawberries, black raspberries and blackberries covered our hands in pink juice as we picked and ate the delicious fruit. I loved to eat them cereal-style: in a bowl of milk, sprinkled with sugar.

Today, I enjoy visiting local orchards and farmers markets to get my fruit fix. Buying berries in season from local growers keeps your produce cost low, but your belly full of these antioxidant and fiber-rich foods.

The recipe below is my healthy and affordable rendition of a family favorite using your perfect basket of berries. These tender crepes, filled with a homemade sweet yogurt cream and packed with fruit, will leave your family satisfied with a sweet summer smile.

Berries and Cream Crepe Suzettes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6 crepes

Total cost: $5.78

For the filling

3 cups fresh berries (slice strawberries if using)

2 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the crepes

6 eggs

3/4 cup low fat milk

1/3 cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla with an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Set aside the sweet cream filling while you make the crepe batter.

In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, flour and sugar until well combined. Preheat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Spray the skillet with non-stick spray and ladle 1/3 cup of the batter into the skillet. (Use a 1/3 cup dry measuring cup for an accurate and easy pour.) Turn the skillet to coat it entirely with a thin layer of batter. Cook for 1 minute or until the crepe looks dry around the edges and no runny batter remains. Gently flip with a spatula and cook for an additional 30 seconds on the second side. Remove from the pan and repeat the process with the remaining batter. You will have enough batter to make 6 crepes.

Let the crepes cool for a few minutes. Spread 2 tablespoons of the sweet cream filling on each and top with 1/2 cup of berries. Fold the sides of the crepe in towards the center and secure with a toothpick. You can add additional syrup or powdered sugar if desired.

Approximate nutritional information per crepe: calories, 195; total fat, 7.2 grams; saturated fat: 2.8 grams; sodium, 144 milligrams; carbohydrates, 20.8 grams; fiber: 2 grams; sugar, 3.7 grams; protein, 11 grams; cholesterol, 194 milligrams.

Lauren Kudlawiec lives with her husband, Bryan, in Ebensburg and teaches at Penn Cambria High School. She took second place in “The Great American Cookbook Competition” on “Rachael Ray” this year and is currently writing her first cookbook about healthy and affordable cooking. She also demonstrates recipes on WTAJ’s “Central PA Live” every Wednesday.