Sweet Potato Latkes, 2 Ways

Traditional latkes get a superfood upgrade when you use vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes

For a festive addition to any holiday table, try these crispy sweet potato latkes teamed with apple-raisin chutney and jalapeno lime sour cream. Lightly fried (or baked) in heart-healthy olive oil, traditional latkes get a superfood upgrade when you use vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes.

I’ve included both baked and fried preparations; which you choose depends on how indulgent you prefer your latkes. While the baked version is a tad healthier, lightly frying provides a crispier crust and gives a nod to the rich cultural significance of oil in Hanukkah. To ensure that the baked version receives a golden, crisp crust, brush both the pan and the latkes with a touch of olive oil or cooking spray. Nonstick baking sheets are best so the latkes easily slide off after baking. Forgo any foil or parchment paper, as the latkes will stick to the material, resulting in a greasy, sticky mess.

I love applesauce and sour cream on my latkes, so I am serving an updated version of both. Reduced apple-raisin chutney is a rich, warm sauce that pairs perfectly with the slightly sweet latkes. For heat lovers, dollop latkes with the bright, spicy jalapeno cream. Latkes are best served to a crowd of friends and family, and this recipe easily doubles or triples. These are best served warm, right out of the fryer or oven.

Sweet Potato Latkes
Yield: 9 to 10 latkes
1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweet potatoes), grated
1/2 cup grated white onion
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg and 1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons or 1/4 cup olive oil

Grate the sweet potato and onion and place in a medium bowl. Add in scallions, flour, baking powder, beaten eggs, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Mix well to combine.

Lightly Fried Version:

Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, spoon roughly 1/4 cup of the latke batter into the skillet, pressing lightly down to form a pancake shape.

Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve with your choice of sauces.

Per lightly fried latke: Calories 124; Fat 5.6 g; Carbohydrates 16.7 g; Fiber 2.2 g; Sugars 0.6 g; Protein 2.2 g

Baked Version:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush 1 tablespoon of the oil to evenly coat a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon roughly 1/4 cup of the latke batter onto the prepared baking sheet, lightly pressing down to form a pancake shape. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over the tops of the latkes. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned and crisp.

Per baked latke: Calories 105; Fat 3 g; Carbohydrate 17 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugars 1 g; Protein 2 g

Apple Chutney
Yield: approximately 16 tablespoons
2 medium red apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup raisins

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 26; Carbohydrate 12 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugars 9 g; Protein 0.3 g

Jalapeno Lime Sour Cream
Yield: approximately 10 tablespoons
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 medium lime, zest and juice
1 medium jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
salt and pepper

Whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.

Per serving: Calories 19; Fat 2 g (Saturated 1 g); Carbohydrate 1 g; Protein 0.4 g

Alex Caspero MA, RD, RYT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher. She is the founder of Delish Knowledge ( delishknowledge.com ), a resource for healthy, whole-food vegetarian recipes. In her private coaching practice, she helps individuals find their "Happy Weight." 

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