Potato Pancakes – gluten-free Latkes for Chanukah or anytime!

Chanukah table with potato pancakes

In honor of Chanukah, here is my potato pancake (latke) recipe. Served with a salad or a veggie on the side, these make a lovely dinner.

I’ve replaced most of the potatoes with sweet potato, and drastically reduced the oil, to make really healthy potato pancakes that taste delicious! Even my pickiest kids love these.

latke batter

The batter. You can see that it is mostly sweet potatoes, but there are also some regular potatoes in there too.

I originally got this from my oldest son’s kindergarten teacher, many years ago. His birthday is right around Chanukah, so when I asked his kindergarten teacher if I could bring in cupcakes as a birthday treat, she decided that since I am Jewish I should also help the class to make potato pancakes. It was really neat watching her cook with the class — she had one student practicing reading by reading the recipe, another student practicing math by multiplying the ingredients, another one learning kitchen skills by grating potatoes, and so on, with each student matched to a task that practiced something appropriate for that kid. I wasn’t happy about being pressed into volunteering in the classroom, nor about the teacher’s assumption that being Jewish meant I’d be knowledgeable about potato pancakes. But I ended up with an appreciation of differentiated multi-grade education and also a very yummy recipe for potato pancakes. This version is very different from her recipe — I’ve cut way down on the salt, reduced the eggs, took out the onions, replaced most of the potatoes (no nutrients) with sweet potatoes (lots of nutrients), added optional green leafy veggies, and lowered the oil content far below what’s traditionalatkes cookingl. And the resulting potato pancakes are delicious!

Some tips:
* If your nonstick pan is pretty good and the pancake is sticking anyway, it is not fully cooked. Let it keep cooking for a few more minutes and then try again.
* I always think about balancing the liquid as I’m making this recipe. The potatoes gradually give off liquid as they sit in the batter. So at first the batter is on the dry side, and later on it gets wetter. So for the first pancakes, I use batter from the wettest part of the bowl, to make sure there is enough liquid. Later on, I stir the batter to keep the liquid proportionate to the solids, so that both the liquid and the potatoes last until the end.

My pickiest eater, who normally eats only beige food, will gobble down potato pancakes and serve himself more. Go figure!

Jewish cooking tip: A pizza cutter is a quick way to cut up potato pancakes for a small child.  :) Kitchen scissors can do this as well.

IMPORTANT: This is a small recipe, about enough to serve one person. I multiply it by five to make dinner for the family.

Potato Pancakes - gluten-free Latkes for Chanukah or anytime!
 
These healthy potato pancakes taste delicious! I've replaced most of the potatoes with sweet potato, and drastically reduced the oil. Even my pickiest kids love these.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: Jewish
Serves: 1 person -- makes 4-6 latkes
Ingredients
Note: I usually quintuple this recipe.
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, grated (use a food processor -- it is much faster and safer)
  • 1/2 cup potatoes, grated (don't omit - their liquid makes the recipe work)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch or, if you're not gluten-free, regular flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: a few leaves of greens (chard, kale, etc.), chopped finely in the food processor
  • 1 or 2 glugs of oil (not a very exact measurement -- a glug is about a tablespoon)
  • toppings: applesauce, sour cream, homemade beannaise, etc.
  • a green side dish, such as broccoli or a salad
Instructions
  1. Preheat one or more nonstick frying pans on the stove. Good pre-heating helps to prevent sticking. For a big batch, I use three frying pans at once. I preheat the empty pans on medium-low, then turn the heat up to Medium a couple of minutes before adding food.
  2. Mix all ingredients (except toppings and side dishes!) in a big bowl. Stir very thoroughly, to make sure it's all well mixed, so that there aren't any lurking patches of salt or potato starch.
  3. Use a dinnertable tablespoon to ball up a wet blob of the mixture, then drop it into the pan and pat it with the back of the spoon to gradually widen it and shape it into a pancake shape. At this point for the first batch turn the heat up to medium-high, then once the pancakes are really cooking, lower it to just above medium and leave it there. When the pancake is gorgeous and brown on the bottom, use a spatula to flip it, pat it down, and cook the other side. When the second side is cooked, remove the pancake to a serving plate.
  4. Serve with bowls of toppings on the table. Eaters get 3-4 potato pancakes, and then put a spoonful of applesauce or sour cream or beannaise on top, spread it around and eat with a fork.
  5. The cooking time varies depending on how big a batch you are making. When I quintuple the recipe, it can take maybe 90 minutes to cook everything.

 

Pancakes – gluten-free, vegan, and delicious!

Pancakes

These pancakes have no gluten, dairy, or eggs, but they are big, thick, real, satisfying pancakes. My kids’ favorite weekend breakfast.

When my family went gluten-free, I converted a lot of our old favorite recipes so that we could keep them.  But my favorite old pancake recipe from Betty Crocker didn’t work with gluten-free flour. After much experimentation, I used a version of a pancake recipe from the cookbook Food Allergy Survival Guide, then heavily modified it into the recipe here.

These pancakes are great topped with my super-quick and easy homemade applesauce.

pancakes, cookingTip: You can make lots of pancakes much faster if you use several frying pans at once. I usually use three pans at once — two ten-inch pans and a twelve-inch pan. I have had good success with T-Fal non-stick pans that I got from Amazon and at a local hardware store.

Tip: If you don’t have the flours I used, you can replace any or all of them with your favorite gluten-free flour mix.

Pancakes - gluten-free, vegan, and delicious!
 
Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
35 mins
 
These pancakes have no gluten, dairy, or eggs, but they are big, thick, real, satisfying pancakes. My kids' favorite weekend breakfast.
Author: Valerie Mates
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: serves 5
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 1/4 cups teff flour
  • 1 1/4 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/4 cups potato starch or tapioca starch
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder (or 1 tablespoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon cream of tartar)
  • 3 3/4 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • optional: chocolate chips (my kids' favorite!) (note - do not mix these into the batter)
  • optional: 2 cups of assorted chopped fruit (such as bananas and blueberries)
  • optional: 1 cup of chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans
  • optional: 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • optional: 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat one or more nonstick frying pans on low heat.
  2. Use a whisk to mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Check the bottom carefully for pockets of dry ingredients that need to be stirred in.
  3. Raise the heat to medium-high.
  4. Use a big spoon to make puddles of about 2-3 tablespoons of batter on the frying pan.
  5. When bubbles appear in the batter, turn the heat down to medium, and keep it there for the rest of the pancakes.
  6. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown. You can use a spatula to peek underneath to check the color. The first batch always takes much longer than the later ones.
  7. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes to the other side.
  8. Remove the pancakes to a plate and cook more.
  9. My kids don't like fruit in their pancakes, while the grownups at my house think that that's the best kind. So usually I cook several batches of plain pancakes, then six pancakes where I sprinkle on chocolate chips, which the kids love, and then I stir fruit and nuts and cardamom or vanilla extract into the remaining batter and make several batches of fancy pancakes. Oh, so good!
  10. Serve with maple syrup (which my kids like) or homemade applesauce (which our grownups like).
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