I was surfing the net one night when I came across what may be the perfect answer to chocolate overdosing on Valentine’s day. Emmy in Seattle, another WordPress chef, had posted a recipe for sweet potato pancakes. I thought: what a terrific treat for the family on a day that celebrates all things close to the heart! The only changes I made to Emmy’s recipe were to make a smaller quantity using buttermilk (which is low in fat in spite of its name), leaving out the sugar in the mix and throwing in a little oat bran to increase the fiber.
To feed four hungry people as a side dish, I took one small sweet potato (250 grams or 2 ounces) and peeled, diced, and boiled it in just enough water to cover the pieces. When they were soft to the fork I drained the water and mashed them with an old-fashioned potato masher. Yams work equally well, although surprisingly, they are not a potato at all. They are of the lily family.
In a large bowl, I mixed 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 c. whole wheat flour, and 1/4 cup wheat bran (which I always keep on hand), 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
In a separate bowl, I whisked 1 omega-3 egg with 1 cup buttermilk and 2 teaspoons of canola oil. Of course you can use any kind of eggs, milk or oil…. but on a day we are celebrating love, I think we should be as kind to our hearts as we can be with these healthy ingredients low in saturated fat.
I whisked the sweet potato puree into my liquid ingredients, thinking how my sweetie whisks me away pretty good, too … She’s great! Then I dumped the whole thing into my dry ingredients and stirred just until they were blended.
If you want to follow through with hearts on Valentine’s Day, Emmy had some good ideas. But I took the lazy guy’s way out. I sprayed my largest cast iron frying pan with oil and added a dab of butter for flavor. Then I filled it with small scoops of batter, just a little larger than my heart-shaped cookie cutter. I waited for bubbles to rise to the surface. Then I checked the underside by lifting it with a spatula. Once it was golden brown, I flipped the whole works over, again using my handy dandy spatula. After a minute or three, once the second side was golden as well, I took the pancakes off the heat and flipped them out onto a wooden cutting board. Here’s the fun part. Using cookie cutters, I turned each pancake into a heart for my sweetie. I presented them to her with a splash of maple syrup on top and some berries on the side. “You are berry cute,” I said to her. “I think we’re cut out for each other!”
Here’s what I found out out about sweet potatoes. They’re super good for you! The Centre for Science in the Public Interest ranked the sweet potato number one in nutrition of all vegetables. It beat out the next highest vegetable, which was potatoes, by more than 100 points! Points were given for content of dietary fiber, naturally occurring sugars and complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. Points were deducted for fat content (especially saturated fat), sodium, cholesterol, added refined sugars and caffeine. The higher the score, the more nutritious the food. Sweet potato ranked highest with a score of 184. Potato came next at 83.
Hey, sweet patootie, I yam keen on you! B mine?