Try A Lighter Potato Pancake

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Light Potato Latkes

THE holiday food of Hanukkah is the potato pancake (AKA latke). The traditional recipe for potato latkes can include 3-4 cups of oil.

Yikes! (but that does sound delicious :)

I actually think latkes are a GREAT holiday food. Potatoes, onion, egg, and flour - there isn't anything but yumminess in the basic recipe.

And, latkes ARE nutritious when compared to Egg Nog, Christmas cookies, and candy canes. One latke has 24% of your daily value of Vitamin C - take that chocolate Santa!

They are also easy to make and will disappear fast if you make the mistake of leaving the room after cooking them.

First, I used my grater on my food processor. There was NO WAY I was going to grate 3 potatoes and an onion without one. This made making the latkes really fast and easy.

I squeezed out the liquid from the potato and the onion, added egg and flour, and then attempted to fry them with less oil than 3 cups. I used a cast iron pan and managed to use one tablespoon of oil for every four latkes that I cooked.

They were seriously tasty and left the plate as soon as I placed them there. If you are trying to serve people that can WAIT, put them in the oven at 200F to keep them crispy.

Other lighter latke recipes used zucchini, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes to lighten the recipe. These make a great, fast, easy and comforting last minute dinner. We served them with some chicken apple sausages. YUM!

Do you have a tip for a lighter latke? Please share.

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Lighter Latke Recipe

(makes 16)
3 large Russet potatoes
1 large onion, peeled
1/4 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil

Grate potatoes and onion in food processor with a coarse grater. Transfer to colander and squeeze out potato liquid. Mix eggs and flour into the potato-onion mixture. Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet with one tablespoon oil until the oil starts to smoke.

Fill your palm with the potato mixture and pat into a 2 inch diameter circle. Put four pancakes into pan and cook until brown on both sides (about 6 minutes). After you remove the first batch, add one tablespoon oil to cook the next batch. Repeat with all of the batter.

Keep hot in a 200 F oven and serve! These taste great cold and room temperature as well (but they will lose their crispness).

For one latke = 100 calories, 4.3 g fat, 13.3 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g protein, 1.9 g fiber, 16 mg sodium, 3 Points+

Points+ values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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9 Comments:

I am so guilty of using too much oil to cook potato pancakes, they are one of our favorite things to eat! Is really only 1T of oil enough? Did they stick to the pan at all?

on December 5, 2012

I never had them until I met my husband, who is Jewish. I did not like the heavy fried ones so I set about finding a healthy version. "Real Simple" published a wonderful recipe (on-line) & instead of frying you bake them! They are super crispy and yummy. If you search at Real Simple for "latkes" it is the only result.

on December 5, 2012

Thanks De I was wondering if you could do them in the oven.

on December 5, 2012

I have another version that my family loves:
Grate: 2 small zucchini (enough for 2 cups) and onion (about 1/4 cup)
Add 1 cup frozen hash browns (low sodium version) Do not thaw.
Toss with 1/8 cup whole wheat flour.
Mix with 1 egg and 3 egg whites.

This makes 6 pancakes, each about 4 inches in diameter.

Prepare as above, and fry on non-stick griddle with cooking spray.

Nutritional data:
Calories: 65 each
Fat: 1.2g, Sat fat: 0.4g, Chol: 35mg Sodium: 50mg, Carb: 9.7g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 4.3g

It's good to have many options.

on December 5, 2012

I never liked latkes because of all the oil. I am going to try this version! I saved the zucchini version recipe, too! Thanks Lisa & Trevor!

on December 5, 2012

@Gail - I was careful and measured and it worked. Yes, it surprised me that you could get a crispy exterior with so little oil (and a good taste) - but try it - you can always add more. I like the zucchini idea! I gotta try it.

on December 5, 2012

I do a combination of frying in very little oil (3 tablespoons for the whole recipe!) and baking on a cooling rack. They taste like real latkes and they still honor the holiday by using a little oil, but they're waaaay less greasy/oily. Details here: http://debbiekoenig.com/2010/12/02/less-oil-latkes/

on December 5, 2012

thank you so much for sharing this!

on December 5, 2012

I cooked my last batch of potato pancakes on my waffle iron. I just spray with Pam first - very crispy & no oil.

on December 6, 2012


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