Nov 21, 2014

CrAzY Easy 3-ingredient Potato Pancakes… vegan, gluten-free and oil-free!

Being from New York, and growing up on Long Island, I’ve had more than my share of potato pancakes. And I’ve always enjoyed them. I remember my mom and my grandmother grating potatoes and onions with the hand grater… slaving away with teary eyes from the onions (boy was it messy) and then adding white flour and eggs. It was quite a chore apparently, so we didn’t enjoy them often. Well, I have been experimenting with creating a plant-based recipe with these for months. As is sometimes the case with recipes, less is more. I finally whittled it down to just three ingredients. Easy? Heck, yeah!

These pancakes are just that. Pancakes. They are not latkes… still working on a recipe for those without using so much oil, as is usually the case. These amazing guys are soft and wobbly. I know, that sounds kind of strange, doesn’t it? But by that I mean they’re not hard and dense with a crispy outer shell like latkes. They’re more like, well… pancakes!

test plate

The test kitchen certainly was busy with this recipe as I tried different types of flours and starches in order to find the perfect texture. The result? Brown rice flour was the winner, with spelt flour coming in a close second—actually it was a tie, so you could certainly use spelt or whole wheat in these. I just prefer to keep things gluten-free whenever I can. What kind of potatoes should you use? My fav for these are Yukon gold. I’ve used common Idaho potatoes, too, and the texture was a bit gooey. They also turn a weird shade of pink when they oxidize which isn’t exactly visually appealing.
I don’t know who came up with the idea of pairing applesauce with potato pancakes, but I love the flavor combination. You could also top them with a vegan sour cream. Want to make your own? Check out this cultured cashew cream cheese recipe. For sour cream, just thin the cream cheese a bit with water.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds gold potatoes, cut into 1-2″ chunks (peeled or not, your choice)
  • 1 cup rough-chopped sweet onion (I used yellow)
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • twist of black pepper to top (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place the potatoes and the onion in a food processor and pulse until you achieve a consistency that is still a bit chunky, but fine enough to qualify as a “batter.” 
  2. Add the rice flour and pulse just a few times to combine.
  3. Drop by heaping ¼ cupfuls onto a skillet over medium heat. Mine was non-stick, so I’m not sure how these would fare on a stainless steel or other type of skillet, but I’m sure you would need a bit of oil for the pan. I used a ¼ cup ice cream scoop which always makes things easier. Use your scooper to flatten the cakes and shape them a bit. Also, and this is important, as the batter sits the potatoes will release a lot of their water, so make sure you stir the batter well prior to cooking each batch. Add a twist of black pepper to each pancake as they cook if you like. As the pancakes cook they will firm up. Use your spatula to push the edges in as they firm so they are neat and round.
  4. These take a while to cook, about 8-10 minutes per side. I’m sure it’s because of all the water that the potatoes release. Keep the cooked cakes in a warm oven while you work on the remainder. Don’t be impatient. Flip them when they are golden brown on the bottom and cook again until golden and set.
Makes 20 pancakes. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

13 responses to “CrAzY Easy 3-ingredient Potato Pancakes… vegan, gluten-free and oil-free!”

  1. If you are looking to make healthy latkes I made mine last year by baking them on baking paper and they worked fine. I used flax eggs I think for the egg although I reckon psyllium may bind a little better perhaps. I like to put some grated carrot and zuchini in the mix too. I think I did mine with GF flour last year as they were for the kindy and there was a kid there who was caeliac.

  2. birdgherl says:

    Wow, these look amazing. Top be clear, the potatoes go into food processor raw? Thanks!

  3. Judee Algazi says:

    I'm always on the look up for a healthier potato latke.. I'll be adding this to my collection.
    Unfortunately, for me, I found as I am getting older I gain weight with carbs, so usually substitute a different veggie like cauliflower, Thanks for a healthier gluten free latke!

    • I so understand about the carbs thing. Yes! I think that this may be workable with cauliflower… well, maybe. The potatoes have their own kind of binding property. Perhaps using some flax meal and a bit of tapioca flour with the cauliflower would work. I'm gonna try that! Thanks for the feedback, Judee!

    • Toni Dill says:

      As I understand according to Dr.McDougall it isn't the carbs that are unhealthy, it is fat content and abundant calories that cause weight gain+sedentary lifestyle. Look up a plan called the starch solution. It's one of the reasons I looked up this recipe. I was looking for fat free.

  4. Diane says:

    Ha! I've been eating and making these since I was a kid. We cube the potatoes and dry them with a towel to try to remove as much moisture as possible. Then we blend and stir into the mix diced scallions. You could also stir in some thinly sliced greens. Not too many though! I use the blender instead of the food processor. My FAVORITE! When I was a kid I would eat them right out of the frying pan. Mum couldn't make them fast enough! 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    My son is sensitive to all grains–how much tapioca did you use in the reject batch? Was the taste ok?

    • Actually, you can omit all flours for this if you want. I made them without any and they were okay. A little less fluffy but still good and tasty. Just make sure you drain some excess water from the potato/onion mixture before you cook them or they will take forever. I would suggest putting the "batter" in a mesh strainer over a bowl and scooping it from there to drain the excess liquid. Hope he likes them!!

  6. Helyn, these are wonderful. I've been trying to re-create oil-free potato latkes for 2 years and haven't been successful… UNTIL NOW!

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