Articles by Norene  

Everyone loves latkes!
by Norene Gilletz

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Norene "the Latke Queen” was on Canada AM on Dec. 22, 2008 making Chocolate Pancakes, Cinnamon Apple Pancakes, Smashed Potato Latkes and Potato Latkes. She was then interviewed right across Canada on CBC Radio sharing her secrets for luscious latkes with listeners. It seems everyone loves latkes!

CHOCOLATE PANCAKES
Source: NORENE’S HEALTHY KITCHEN (Whitecap)

Pancakes that taste like brownies—what a decadent combination! Serve them for 
breakfast, brunch, or dessert. These make a fabulous addition to your Chanukah repertoire. Everyone’s face will light up when they taste them.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp granulated sugar or granular Splenda
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup skim, 1%, or soymilk
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries, for garnish
Vanilla yogurt, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl or food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flours, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix well. Add the eggs, milk, water, oil, and vanilla. Whisk together, or process for 8 to 10 seconds, until just smooth and blended. Stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. 

Spray a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat for 2 minutes or until a drop of water skips on its surface. Drop the batter, using a scant 1/4 cup for each pancake, into the skillet. Cook the pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbles appear on top. Turn the pancakes over with a spatula and lightly brown the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, spraying the skillet between batches. Serve warm with berries and yogurt. Top each pancake with a fresh strawberry, dipping the tip in brown sugar or Splenda Brown Sugar Blend. 

Yield: About 16 three-inch pancakes. Keeps for up to 2 days in the refrigerator; reheats well. Freezes well for up to 2 months. 

95 calories per pancake, 13.1 g carbohydrate, 1.3 g fiber, 3 g protein, 4.3 g fat (1.4 g saturated), 27 mg cholesterol, 97 mg sodium, 93 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 61 mg calcium

* Stir Crazy: Chocolate chips have a tendency to fall to the bottom of the bowl, so stir the batter often to make sure each pancake gets its fair share of chocolate chips.

* If serving these for dessert, top with a small scoop of nonfat frozen yogurt or ice cream.

CINNAMON APPLE PANCAKES
Source: NORENE’S HEALTHY KITCHEN (Whitecap)

These dairy-free pancakes are truly delicious. Make extra and freeze them—they’ll reheat in seconds in the microwave. 

2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp granular sugar or granular Splenda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups unsweetened apple juice
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 egg whites (or 1 large egg)
2 apples, peeled, cored, and grated

1. Combine the flours, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl or food processor fitted with the steel blade; mix well. Add the juice, oil, and egg whites. Whisk together, or process for 8 to 10 seconds, just until smooth and blended. Don’t overmix. Gently stir in the grated apples with a rubber spatula.

2. Spray a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat for 2 minutes or until a drop of water skips on its surface. 

3. Drop the batter, using a scant 1/4 cup for each pancake, into the skillet. Cook the pancakes on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbles appear on top. Turn the pancakes over with a spatula and lightly brown the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, spraying the skillet between batches. Serve warm.

Yield: About 20 three-inch pancakes. Keeps for 2 days in the refrigerator; reheats well. Freezes well for up to 2 months.

63 calories per pancake, 11.2 g carbohydrate, 1.0 g fiber, 1 g protein, 1.6 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 91 mg sodium, 60 mg potassium, 0 mg iron, 19 mg calcium

* Top It Up: Top pancakes with yogurt and homemade chunky applesauce. Or drizzle pancakes lightly with honey, maple syrup, or sugar-free pancake syrup.

SMASHED POTATO “LATKES”
Source: NORENE’S HEALTHY KITCHEN (Whitecap)

A no-grate alternative to potato latkes, these are a wonderful way to get rid of your frustration— just smash away. Baby red-skinned new potatoes have a lower glycemic index than baking potatoes. Small potatoes—big potassium count.

8 baby red-skinned potatoes (2 to 21/2 inches in diameter)
Salted water
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive or canola oil
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp lemon pepper (or to taste)
Dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and/or paprika

1. Boil the potatoes in salted water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well. (If desired, the potatoes can be prepared in advance up to this point and refrigerated for a day or two.)

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

3. Place the potatoes in a single layer about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Cover one potato with a piece of parchment paper. Smash it once or twice with the flat part of the palm of your hand, making a flat disc about 4 inches in diameter. Round off any ragged edges by pushing them together with your fingers. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

4. Brush the tops of the smashed potatoes lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and crispy. If desired, turn over the potatoes halfway through the cooking process.

Yield: 8 potatoes. Recipe doubles or triples easily. Reheats well. Don’t freeze.

139 calories per potato, 27.0 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fiber, 3 g protein, 2.0 g fat (0.3 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 156 mg sodium, 752 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 13 mg calcium 

* All Season Smashers: Sprinkle potatoes lightly with your favorite seasonings such as seasoning salt or coarse salt, rosemary, dillweed, or thyme. Bake as directed.

* Loxy “Latkes”: Buy the smallest baby potatoes you can find; prepare and bake as directed. To serve, arrange on a serving platter and top each “latke” with a dollop of light sour cream, a slice of smoked salmon, and a sprig of dillweed. Dill-icious!

EASY POTATO LATKES
Adapted from THE FOOD PROCESSOR BIBLE (Whitecap)

I usually use Idaho (russet) potatoes, but to make them more nutritious and lower their glycemic index, you can make them with Purple Sweeties, which are purple-peel sweet potatoes with cream-colored flesh. Serve latkes with applesauce, yogurt or light sour cream. 

4 medium potatoes peeled or scrubbed (or substitute Purple Sweeties)
1 medium onion
2 eggs (or 1 egg plus 2 egg whites)
1/3 cup flour or matzo meal
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp oil (plus more as needed for frying latkes)

Cut potatoes in chunks and onion in half. Place in processor with eggs. Process on the Steel Blade until pureed, 20 to 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients except oil; process a few seconds longer to blend into a smooth mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop potato mixture into hot oil by large spoonfuls to form pancakes; brown well on both sides. Drain well on paper towels. Add additional oil to pan as needed. Stir batter before cooking each new batch. Latkes can be placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet and kept warm in a 250 degree F oven. 

(To bake latkes instead of frying, place oven racks on lowest and middle positions in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drop potato mixture by spoonfuls onto well-oiled baking sheets; flatten slightly. Bake 10 minutes, until bottoms are browned and crispy. Turn latkes over. Transfer pan from upper rack to lower rack and vice versa. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer.)

Yield: about 2 dozen or 5 dozen miniatures. Freezes well. 

* Sweet potatoes with a purple peel and cream-coloured flesh (such as Purple Sweeties) have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes and are less sweet than orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Their taste and texture are similar to regular potatoes, but they are more nutritious. 

   

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All images and recipes © Norene Gilletz 2010 unless otherwise noted.
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