Chanukah is just around the corner and while it may seem taboo to tamper with perfection of the fried-in-oil potato pancake, I’ve done it before (raw sweet potato latkes) I did it last year with sunchoke latkes made the traditional way (with egg, fried in oil)and now I’ve done it again: baked, gluten-free, oil-free, vegan sunchoke latkes!
Actually, latkes (potato pancakes) are very versatile and so much can be added to them, and they always turn out great. Chopped wild greens can be added (garlic mustard, nettles, and chickweed are my favorites), different veggies can be grated along with or instead of the potatoes (case in point: Jerusalem artichokes, aka sunchokes).
But can they be made without all that oil?
That is the question I tackled this year with the result: a resounding YES!
Latkes are traditionally fried in oil to represent the miracle of the oil: olive oil in the ancient temple was only enough to last one night, instead it lasted eight: a miracle! (There’s a bit more to the story than that.) But do we really need to cook things in an excess of oil to celebrate?
This year I made three batches of latkes:
- potato and onion
- sunchoke, potato, onion
- potato, onion, chickweed, jalapeno and scallion
- 2 large potatoes, grated
- 1 onion, grated
- 3 Tbsp chopped wild greens
- 1/4 cup grated sunchokes
- 2 - 3+ Tbsp flour of choice (I used buckwheat flour to keep these gluten free)
- salt, pepper
- chopped scallions, or garlic mustard or onion grass
- chopped jalapeno (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Line 2 cookie trays with parchment paper.
- After grating potatoes, squeeze out excess liquid. Place in large bowl.
- Mix in 3/4 grated onion.
- Mix in 2 Tbsp of flour, salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, mix the rest of onion and flour with grated sunchoke tubers. You can add a spoonful of the potato mixture, or keep it sunchoke only, up to you.
- Form the sunchoke mixture into patties (you can use a 1/4 cup measure to keep amount consistant), then press on baking sheet to flatten into cakes.
- Do the same using half potato batter.
- With the rest of the potato batter, add the wild greens, scallions and optional jalapenos. Mix. Place these in on baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake 20 minutes more, until browned on both sides.
Serve with applesauce (I make my own raw applesauce by simply blending apples in my blender!)
Also serve with plain yogurt or sour cream (can use tofu or cashew sour cream to keep vegan.)
Easy tofu sour cream recipe:
Blend a block of silken tofu with a juice of one lemon.
Enjoy a healthier version of a holiday favorite, while getting outside and foraging for fantastic ingredients, even in winter.
In fact, the ground is frozen here in Pittsburgh, yet I was still able to easily forage Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke, Helianthus tuberosus) tubers. How? Because they are so close to the surface that I just took a metal gardening rake and pulled away some of the frozen soil from right near the base of the plant and voila - fresh sweet tubers were revealed! Here they are washed:
Enjoy the weather, the woods and your holiday traditions!
Peace and Joy to all ~
~ Melissa from Food Under Foot
Some Quick Links:
- Raw Sweet Potato Latkes (hint: you can substitute sunchokes for sweet potatoes, sunchokes are delicious raw!)
- Wild Plant Ally Workbook - snag for just 99 cents!!!
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