Sweet Potato Pancakes

“It’s like sweet potato pie pancakes! Ohmigod, these are amazing!”

That was what my 17 year-old daughter declared after she took her first bite of my first effort making Paleo sweet potato pancakes.  Aha! Success!

I scoured the Internet looking for a recipe that did NOT involve sweet potato flour.  Why, might you ask? Well, first of all, it’s a pain in the arse finding sweet potato flour in a store.  One can find almost anything online.  Secondly, the  concept of Paleo cooking is that we eat whole foods.  Why bother eating sweet potato flour when we can eat a sweet potato? Thank you, Sam, of Canada Girl Eats Paleo.  She had a recipe that looked like it had potential.

So, here’s the skinny on sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes contain carotenoids which are the precursor to vitamin A.  These can help fight inflammation related to chronic diseases like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.  They also help regulate blood sugar, fight cancer, and even help mitigate the risks of heart disease.  They are high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.  One small potato provides half of the RDA for vitamin C.  Clearly, we should eat more sweet potatoes.

A spice commonly used in sweet potato recipes is cinnamon.  Cinnamon is something of a superhero in the spice community.  Why use it in your recipes? Research is showing that cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties even in neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  It regulates blood sugar and reduces LDL cholesterol.  Some studies have shown that cinnamon has been effective in inhibiting the growth of ulcer-causing h. pylori bacteria.  Cinnamon has also been shown to reduce cytokines linked to arthritic pain.  Along with its other powerhouse spice cousin turmeric, cinnamon has been shown to be effective in inhibiting the proliferation of certain types of cancer cells.  And, thanks to cinnamon’s ability to balance hormones, consumption of cinnamon by women has been shown to increase progesterone and decrease testosterone, thus, relieving menstrual symptoms.  I don’t need to be convinced any further.  Can I just mainline it?

Keeping this in mind, this recipe is then a win-win for everyone, and I haven’t even talked about the health benefits of eggs or coconut oil.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Ingredients
  • ½ c mashed sweet potato (measure after mashing)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • coconut oil for pan-frying
  • cinnamon to sprinkle on top
 Instructions
  1. Mash the sweet potato, and then whisk thoroughly with 2 eggs to start. If too thick to pour in pan, add 3rd egg, if not, continue. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the coconut oil and cinnamon sprinkle.
  2. Mix until well incorporated.
  3. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil, and spoon roughly ¼ c batter onto the pan. Let cook until you see bubbles forming and the pancake is firm enough to flip. Flip. cook for another couple of minutes or so, watching carefully.
  4. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a splash of maple syrup for a real treat! (Source: Canada Girl Eats Paleo)

I tripled this recipe because I have six family members which meant that I used one sweet potato.  I only needed five eggs.  I also used a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to achieve a pancake-like batter.  I did not want lumpy pieces of sweet potato floating around in my batter.  It turned out to be beautiful and chiffon-like.  I also added some mace to the batter for an additional bit of flavor.  I would suggest that you experiment.  I thought of adding some ginger, but I did not.  A wonderful chef once told me, “You aren’t building the Taj Mahal.  Fool around.  Experiment.  If it’s a disaster, then it’s a disaster.  You learned something!”  I always keep that in mind when I cook and try new recipes.  I especially keep that in mind now because cooking with almond flour and coconut flour is not like cooking with other flours.  They just don’t behave like you think they will! Particularly the coconut flour…

These pancakes are a cinch, but they need more time.  Plus, they don’t ever bubble on the top.  I suggest making a small test pancake if you’ve never made one of these before.  Get a feel for what it should look and feel like (Pssst! It’s a bit like pumpkin pie batter).

20140329_202547

It’s not food porn, but you get the idea.

 

Now, for the finishing touches.  I used two.  I had a lovely organic berry and apple sauce.  I simple warmed it and added some cinnamon.  It just worked plus with the additional nutrition of the berries and apples, it made for a nutrient-dense meal.  I wanted to preen.  But, I could not overlook the maple syrup.

Maple syrup has been upgraded to a superfood.  I am gleeful! Researchers have found 54 compounds in maple syrup, five unique to maple syrup, many of which have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.  Of the five compounds unique to maple syrup, one is garnering the most attention–Quebecol.  Yes, yes, researchers named this polyphenol in honor of Canada’s province, and it’s actually created during the boiling process.  Maple syrup is considered to be the least burdensome on the metabolism as it is the easiest of the sugars to digest–even easier to digest than honey.  It is rich in Manganese, Riboflavin, and Zinc.  Just 1/4 cup of maple syrup will provide you with 100% of the RDA for Manganese.  So, putting a bit of maple syrup on my sweet potato pancake was a real pleasure.

The final result?

They were devoured.  I have no leftovers.  My youngest daughter asked with a full mouth, “Are these Paleo? These are too good to be Paleo.”

This is literally Feel Good Food.  You can feel good about eating it, serving it, and you feel good (or “well” to be correct, but my English teacher isn’t reading this) after eating it.

Bon Appétit!

 

 

 

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