SWEET POTATO

First, let me say I just finished eating the most amazing sweet potato and hazelnut pancakes. I will include the recipe at the end of this post.

sweetpotatopancakesThey were really delish and super quick and easy to make! Obviously, today’s flavor comes again from my breakfast plate; the lovely and versatile sweet potato!

Despite the name, sweet potatoes are only distantly related to the potato and not part of the nightshade family. So, if you’ve been avoiding sweet potatoes because you believe they are inflammatory due to nightshade toxins, rest assured you can again start enjoying them. They are, in fact, quite the anti-inflammatory food.

Sweet potatoes are another amazingly versatile food, being fabulous additions to both savory and sweet culinary endeavors. I love the sweet potato in all of its guises. I love it raw and use it often in raw recipes, especially during the spring and summer. Cooked and pureed sweet potato makes an amazing base to thicken soups and stews while adding fiber and an amazing array of nutrients. Of course, it also turns into amazing sweet treats.

A raw sweet potato has an earthy freshness to it. Because the starch is not yet broken down, it can also have a chalky quality that tends to disappear when pureed with good, health fats like coconut oil. I love the crisp, snappy feel of raw sweet potato. To me it also has more complexity in its raw state. As sweet potatoes are cooked, they become sweeter and creamier; developing deeper, sweeter flavors the longer they are exposed to heat.

Medicinally, sweet potatoes are one of the darlings of the anti-inflammatory world. Research demonstrates that they are packed with phytonutrients known to decrease oxidative stress and improve immune function. They are loaded with vitamins C, A, and B and minerals like magnesium which helps regulate the stress response and contributes to overall nervous system balance. Sweet potatoes are also filled with beta-carotene and other anti-carcinogenic antioxidants, making them a delicious way to fight cancer-causing influences.

Sweet potatoes are not yams; although often the names are used interchangeably.  True yams are actually part of the grass and lily family, while sweet potatoes are in the morning glory family. Sweet potatoes are less starchy than yams and have higher nutrient content; although yams are a little higher in protein and fiber.

And now on to that recipe: (this serves 1 so you will want to increase if there are more of you or use as a side dish and add other items)

Sweet Potato and Hazelnut pancakes (grain-free)

  • ½ raw sweet potato grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs hazelnut meal
  • 1 tbs coconut flour
  • 1 tsp olive or coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of baking soda
  • spice to taste – I used garam masala this morning for a more savory quality.

Grate the sweet potato in a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients. Let ingredients sit for a few minutes while pan heats. Add coconut oil to pan and then add pancakes in little spoonfuls. Flip, cook, serve, eat... I usually eat mine with a little bit of yogurt drizzled over the top.