One thing I absolutely love about food is the memories you can create with certain meals, or how meals can bring family & friends together. Food associated with tradition is fascinating to me – there is a warmth that traditions bring, which is why this time of year is usually so special. So, I wanted to take a stab at a healthy version of traditional latkes – or potato pancakes [depending on where you’re coming from].
For all my Jewish friends, Hanukkah began a few days ago. As a part of the tradition, foods fried in oil are typically eaten “to commemorate the miracle of a small flask of oil keeping the flame that was in the temple alight for eight days“. Latkes, in particular, are a popular item during the Festival Of Lights.
I’m more familiar with latkes, otherwise known to me as potato pancakes, from my childhood – I grew up in a predominantly German family and my dad would occasionally make the starchy treat and pair them with applesauce and pork chops. They were usually blended and had the consistency of typical pancakes you’d have for breakfast.
To keep BITG’s latkes hearty & healthy, the one I made were baked and I kept the skin on the potatoes for extra fiber. Using minimal oil and gluten-free flour, these babies are good for everyone – and can even be made paleo if you stick to all sweet potato and replace the GF flour with almond or coconut flour. Reminiscent of baked hash brown cakes, they’re best paired with a little bit of crème fraîche [or Greek yogurt] & chives, applesauce, or Caramelized Ginger Apples.
Baked Sweet Potato Latkes
Makes 24 latkes
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- 3 small – medium sweet potatoes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 tbsp GF flour [or flour of your choice]
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400•. After washing the potatoes, shred them using a grater, or grater piece in a food processor – the smaller the grate size, the better. With a cheese cloth [or a paper towel doubled-up, if no cheesecloth is around], squeeze the shredded russet potato so most of the moisture is released. In a large bowl, mix shredded potato with the chopped onion, then thoroughly mix in flour so the potato mix is lightly covered.
Beat eggs in a small bowl, then stir into potato mix. Add in sea salt and black pepper, then make pancakes with your hands – latkes should be about the size of your palm. Place the latkes on a greased sheet pan – you should be able to fit 12.
Bake the latkes in the oven for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully flip the latkes and put the pan back in the oven for 12 minutes, or until the latkes are golden brown.
Serve with your choice of a topping, or simple on their own!
Even if you don’t celebrate Hanukkah or typically have latkes as a tradition in your home, add these cutie cakes into your holiday celebration. Be creative with what toppings or sides you pair them with depending on your mood – whether savory or sweet!
What traditional foods do you or your family make during the holiday season? Comment below & let us know!