Spiced Spinach & Sweet Potato Pancakes

Makes 12–15 pancakes | Ready in 45 minutes | Stores 1 week in fridge

INGREDIENTS

2 sweet potatoes, peeled
8 oz baby spinach
½ cup ground flaxseed
¼ cup diced cilantro
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon onion granules
½ tablespoon curry or chili powder
1 lime, zested and juiced

ACTION STEPS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Grate the sweet potatoes using a food processor with the grating blade, a mandolin, or a handheld grater.
  3. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the spinach. Sauté for 5 minutes, using tongs to turn the spinach until all of the spinach is wilted. Spinach has a lot of water, so do not add any water and keep the pan uncovered, so the excess moisture will evaporate.
  4. Add the grated sweet potato, sautéed spinach, ground flax, lime zest, lime juice, spices, and cilantro. Use your hands to mix it all together, massaging the sweet potato as you do so. This will help the flaxseed serve as a binder in the pancakes.
  5. Pick up about a ¼ cup of the mixture and shape it into a semi-tight ball in your hands. Flatten the patty just a bit, so it’s 2 to 3 inches wide and ½ to 1-inch thick, and place it on prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining mix. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the pancakes and bake 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.

CHEF’S NOTES

Serve plain or top these pancakes with hummus, guacamole, or another plant-based condiment.

To freeze the pancakes, first, freeze the patties (before or after baking) on a pan with parchment paper. Once frozen, transfer them to an air-tight container or bag to store.

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THE STORY

If you’ve ever had my oil-free Latkes, aka Potato Pancakes, you know how simple these are to make, even without the processed fat. Another thing I love about potato pancakes is how easy it is to create flavor-packed variations.

I’ve been loving my Japanese-style pancakes, which have a little nut butter added in, but it’s a similar concept. My mom switched up my potato pancake recipe and made it with sweet potatoes and spinach. I finally tried it myself, and WOW! They’re soooo tasty!

I like to add a bit of spice depending on what flavors I’m in the mood for. When I wrote the recipe, I decided to give you an option too. You can use curry powder for more of the Indian vibe or chili powder for some Latin flavor.

I tested them in my cooking class at TrueNorth Health Center in an oven and a waffle iron. The baked pancakes came out great, but the waffle maker did not work well. Even though I tried to squeeze out the water, I think there was too much moisture from the sweet potato and spinach.

I’ve heard from others that shredded sweet potato in the waffle iron can work, so I’ll be researching and experimenting with this more. Just know that you’re chances of success with this recipe are much better if you bake them in the oven. You could also do them on the stovetop — you just won’t be able to cook as many as once.

Ok, it’s your turn to create and indulge in this nutrient-dense twist on latkes! Have fun!

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