Here’s a terrific treat for the family on a day that celebrates all things close to the heart! It’s terrific because this valentine doesn’t involve candy, but it tastes wonderful, anyway.
My mystery delight involves sweet potatoes. They release their sugar gently, taking their time, so you don’t suffer from sugar spikes associated with refined white sugar that is added to most sweets.
Sweet potatoes make healthy eating
The Centre for Science in the Public Interest ranked the sweet potato number one in nutrition of all vegetables. It beat out white 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 in at 83.
Heart-y sweet potato pancakes
Serves 2 or 3
- 3/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes (1 medium potato boiled until fork tender, then peeled, mashed, and measured)
- 1/4 cup flour (whole grain if possible)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 eggs (omega-3 if possible)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons liquid oil (coconut, if possible)
- Boil your sweet potato until fork tender. Then peel, mash, and measure. Use 1/4 cup mashed potato per egg, for each person. My recipe serves 3 people from 1 potato.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and 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.
- Whisk the sweet potato puree into the liquid ingredients. Then stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they are just blended.
Cooking and Presentation
If you want to follow through with hearts on Valentine’s Day, spray a large nonstick or cast-iron frying pan with oil and add a dab of butter for flavor. Heat the pan on medium heat until oil sizzles a bit.Then fill the pan with 1/4-cup scoops of batter. I had room for 3 or 4 in my pan at a time. When bubbles rise to the surface of the pancakes, lift a corner and check the underside. When golden brown, flip the cake over, using a spatula. After a minute or three, once the second side is golden as well, flip the cake onto a wooden cutting board.
Here’s the fun part. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, turn each pancake into a love-note for your sweetie. I presented these golden treats with a splash of maple syrup and some berries on the side.
“You are berry cute,” I said “I think we’re cut out for each other!”