One fall morning, tousled between the sheets, I lay in bed day dreaming about pancakes. I measured out figments of spicy cinnamon and sifted airy oat flour. I imagined scooping the curious, gem colored flesh out of a steaming, hot Okinawan sweet potato. Ingredients coalesced in my half-waking mind, forming a recipe for a healthy, antioxidant rich, purple pancake batter. I could just see the lavender pancake frying in a vision of hot oil, bubbling and lacy around the edges.
This recipe is one of the final results of that morning reverie coupled with a bit of experimentation. These are the holy grail of healthy pancakes, packed with antioxidants from purple sweet potatoes, blueberries, rolled oats, pure cocoa powder, clove & cinnamon. Plus, they're sugar free and gluten free, clocking in at only 365 calories per 5 quarter cup pancake serving. Most importantly, they are fluffy, delicious, and purple! Topped with thick yogurt (orange-ginger flavored skyr is my favorite...) & agave nectar, these don't taste like a compromise. —Bake In Black
- Makes 10 quarter cup pancakes
large purple sweet potato, 1 cup mashed
unsweetened cocoa powder
freshly grated nutmeg
pure vanilla extract
juice of half a lemon
grams egg whites (3 large eggs or 1/2 cup + 1 T)
unsweetened vanilla almond milk
fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
- Preheat oven to 450°. Prick potato all over with a fork, wrap in foil, and bake for 40-60 minutes, until cooked through and very soft when pierced with a fork. (Alternately, pierce and wrap in a paper towels, microwaving for about 5 minutes, flipping it halfway through cooking until completely soft and cooked through. May take shorter or longer depending on microwave and potato size. This is my preferred weekday method.)
- Meanwhile, if using rolled oats, grind in a food processor (my mini works great for this) until powdered. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Slightly larger bits of oat will remain, add these in after all that can be sifted has been for a slightly more textured pancake; I do.
- In a separate bowl mix sweet potato very thoroughly with the rest of the wet ingredients. The lemon juice will turn the mixture a bright pink when added. This is quite alright, a natural chemical reaction.
- Heat a frying pan or griddle over medium heat to about 250° or until droplets of water sizzle and evaporate in the pan. Once hot, reduce heat to medium-low (I fry mine on "4 out of 10").
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, folding them in with a spatula until just wet and combined. Do not overmix. Lumps are okay. Mix in the berries last or just drop them into the batter as you fry each pancake (the latter produces "prettier" results). Thin batter if needed or desired with additional almond milk. I do not find this necessary.
- Spray pan lightly with canola oil, and add batter to the hot pan by the quarter cupful, frying about 3-4 minutes on the first side, until the sides begin to look dry and bubbly, and then fry for about 2-3 minutes on the other side until brown and cooked through. The pancakes will be puffed, crisp and golden on the outside and moist on the inside.
- Top as desired and enjoy perhaps the most antioxidant rich pancake ever created--and they're high-fiber and protein and low sugar and fat! These can also be kept warm in a 180° oven on a parchment lined sheet pan while frying in batches if need be.
- Topping suggestions: greek yogurt or skyr, agave nectar, fresh berries, toasted walnuts, cinnamon-vanilla butter studded with candied ginger, honey...