Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a pretty well-rounded omnivore. I’m also an omnivore who loves cooking up new and fun dishes in the kitchen. So when I’m presented with brand new recipes from an awesome and accessible cookbook I can’t pass that opportunity up. Enter my recent experiment (ha ha) with Easy. Whole. Vegan.
It’s easy enough to convince me to eat my veggies, and I’ve got plenty of vegan and vegetarian friends, but by far the easiest way to get me to try anything new is say it’s made with sweet potatoes and a breakfast food. Chances are I’m already bowling you over on my way to the kitchen. So Melissa King’s Sweet Potato Pancakes were already ranking high on my must-cook list. Spoiler alert: They did not disappoint. Oh boy.
I was determined to do my best to stick to the vegan spirit of the recipe. I’ve lately been trying to incorporate more whole foods into my diet, and it was easier than I expected to forgo the milk and the butter—my usual standard when making pancakes—and substitute in flax and coconut oil (more on this later.) I hope I’ll be forgiven for not adhering to the gluten-free nature of the pancakes. The specific gluten-free oat flour I needed could not be found. I’m sure it’s excellent with it for those that need the non-gluten option. Since I’m not gluten sensitive in any way, I felt confident enough to move forward with my regular wheat flour.
This is an incredibly simple and enjoyable recipe to make, and for someone like me who always has fun making pancakes, the added step of sweet potato goodness was a natural evolution in the pancake-ing process.
While the sweet potatoes boiled, I was able to get my dry ingredients together with little effort. I may have added in a pinch more cinnamon than the recipe called for because I’m not to be trusted at all when it comes to cinnamon (or nutmeg, for that matter). I always end up putting in more!
Continuing my trend of improvisation, I also was bereft of a potato masher. No worries though, if you attempt this recipe and don’t have a blender or masher a large fork, spatula, and some additional elbow grease works just as well. I found letting the potatoes soften up just a little more than usual helped with the manual mashing.
The lovely autumnal spiciness of the batter cooking up was pitch perfect as the rain had just started coming down outside. It was like Fall had finally decided to break just as I was making the most perfect seasonal dish for the weather. I didn’t even miss the dairy in the pancakes. In fact, using the coconut oil on the pan worked far better than butter ever has for me! It didn’t burn on the pan, or make the pancakes have that slightly overdone texture that butter can sometimes add if you wait just that second too long to flip the pancakes. I may be fully converted to using coconut oil in place of butter in the future.
The pancakes themselves were an absolute treat. Do yourselves a favor and splurge on real maple syrup for this dish. I topped my cakes with a liberal spoonful and went to town. These are great for a fun brunch (or breakfast for dinner in my case)—sweet, filling, and made with wholesome ingredients for a guilt-free indulgence.
With Fall finally upon us, this is a perfect dish to welcome in the new season!
Sweet Potato Pancakes
They can be made ahead of time and frozen for a quick breakfast option as well.
Makes 8 to 10 pancakes
Prep and cook time: 25 minutes
- 2 cups (210 g) gluten-free oat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1½ cups (360 ml) almond milk
- 1 cup (240 ml) sweet potato purée (see Note)
- 2 flax eggs
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.
2 In a medium bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients except the coconut oil.
3 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. I use a spatula and do this by hand, but you can use a stand mixer if you prefer.
4 Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the coconut oil. Using a ¼-cup (60 ml) measuring scoop, drop the batter onto the sauté pan. Once you see the edges start to brown a little, you know it’s ready to flip (1 to 2 minutes). Repeat until the batter is used up.
5 Serve immediately or, once cool, refrigerate or freeze for later use. These should last for 2 weeks in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer.
To make the sweet potato purée, peel and cube 1 large sweet potato or 2 small sweet potatoes, then place them in a large pot of boiling water. Boil until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the water and place the sweet potatoes back in the pot. Use an immersion blender or potato masher to purée the sweet potatoes. This step can be done in advance. It should keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months.
Credit line: Recipe from Easy. Whole. Vegan.: 100 Flavor-Packed, No-Stress Recipes for Busy Families © Melissa King, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com