I always loved latkes and potato pancakes in general, but seldom made them because they were a bit tedious to prepare and eventually when I became plant-based, I actually couldn’t eat them because they had egg in them.
For starters, instead of potatoes, we use less starchy, higher-fiber parsnips and turnips. Eating potatoes give us a high glycemic response as compared to parsnips (low-moderate response) and even more so, turnips (low response). These modest roots also work to lower cholesterol in the blood stream. A meta analysis of 24 studies on diabetics saw amazing improvements in blood glucose values, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides when eating the high fiber diets. The generous amounts of fiber also help everything keep flowing through the digestive tract nicely. In fact, parsnips are actually considered both a probiotic and prebiotic food. A particularly dynamic-duo: a special type of sugar called fructans, wich encourages good bacterial growth, combined with inulin, which serves as an effective prebiotic, (which feeds the good bacteria).
Parsnips may come up a little shorthanded when it comes to antioxidant pigments, although they make up for it with their own type of photochemical cancer-buster called falcarinol. Falcarinol packs its own powerful punch, actually inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
But if it’s antioxidants you seek, fear not, the onions in these pancakes will be throwing down a healthy dose of the mighty quercetin (among others). These little underground compadres may actually be associated with lower mortality from coronary heart disease. The researchers noticed quercetin was highest in the red and yellow onions, but not so much in the white onions.
If you have ever chopped an onion, then you’ve noticed these pungent bulbs fight with brass knuckles on. That’s due to the sulfur compounds releasing from the onion when it is cut, causing the familiar emotional outbursts (use a sharp knife to minimize crushing). But it turns out onions don’t just fight back against being cut open, they also seem to put up a good fight against cancers of the digestive tract! In a comprehensive review of research done on onions (and garlic), they found study after study touting the onion’s victories against cancers of the digestive tract,.
This might look like a ragtag group of ingredients, but this little trio of subterranean veggies never backs down in the fight for your health.
SAVORY PARSNIP PANCAKES RECIPE
15 mins prep, 15+ mins cook time, makes 12, 4"-inch pancakes
Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free
Ingredients for Pancakes:
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup grated parsnips (ok to substitute with turnips or carrots)
1 cup grated turnips (ok to substitute with parsnips or carrots)
4 cloves garlic
¾ cup garbanzo bean flour
4 tsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground coriander (*optional, or use other spices/seasonings as preferred)
½ cup cold water
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil (or spray) or less, as needed for cooking latkes
Ingredients for Yogurt-Dill Sauce (*optional, or simply use plant-based sour cream)
⅓ cup unsweetened non-dairy yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest from ½ lemon
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 2-3 tsp dried dill)
¼ tsp granulated/powdered garlic
2 pinches of salt
Heat oven to 225 degrees (to keep latkes warm will cooking) and prepare a baking sheet with a layer of paper towels
Chop onions and garlic (I did this quickly in a mini processor).
Grate 1 cup parsnips and 1 cup turnips.
In a medium bowl make batter by mixing ¾ cup garbanzo bean flour, 4 tsp cornstarch, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp coriander, and use a fork to whisk together.
Add parsnips, turnips, onions, and garlic and stir to combine until everything is coated evenly.
Plop it Like its Hot:
Heat 1-2 tbsp on a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Place about 2-3 tbsp-sized scoop onto plan and flatten into 4-inch pancakes, ensure they aren’t too thick (generally less than ¼-inch).
Flip once pancakes become medium-golden brown, cooking about 4-5 minutes per side, and press to flatten after flipping.
Transfer to the baking sheet to keep warm in the oven and add more oil to the pan as needed between batches.
Do You Tang:
Make yogurt will sauce while latkes are cooking by mixing ⅓ cup non-dairy yogurt, the zest of ½ lemon, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1-2 tbsp fresh chopped dill, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and 2 pinches salt in a small bowl (or to keep it simple add dried garlic and/or dried dill to ⅓ cup sour cream).
Serve with sauce and garnish with hand-torn fresh dill or chopped chives