My father made the best potato pancakes for my brother and I when we were kids. I can still picture him standing next to the sink in our then avocado green kitchen, peeling potatoes one by one and then shredding them with a box grater into a colander in the sink. He didn’t cook often but when he did, I’m quite certain it was appreciated by my mother who normally handled the meal preparation for our family. We loved those potato pancakes. Preferably slathered in well-chilled, full-fat sour cream. They were a welcome treat for us well into our teenage years and beyond and my father was pleased to have something he could prepare that we enjoyed so much.
I was really looking forward to introducing those pancakes to Emma. Introduce her to a bit of my heritage. But, as luck would have it, Emma doesn’t even like potatoes.
One evening when we needed dinner quickly, a survey of our refrigerator turned up a lonely zucchini, a couple of onions, a bag of carrots and a carton of eggs. (And chocolate cake, but chocolate cake does not a dinner make!) Still inspired by my father’s potato pancakes, the veggies and eggs came together, and after a few iterations, have become Emma’s version of those beloved pancakes.
They are very quick to prepare and much healthier than the original potato pancakes. Zucchini, carrots, peas, corn, spelt flour, fresh chives – yes, even fresh chives (aka those green things) which Emma enjoys now since she has grown them in our garden herself. I chose to use spelt flour since it is higher in protein and has fewer calories than wheat flour. My father occasionally used to cook his pancakes in bacon fat (I know!) and since it tasted so good, I’ve added a little bacon into this mix. And although I tend to use frozen peas and corn, using fresh if you have it would make these even more delicious. Try them tonight – they come together in less than 30 minutes!
Mixed Vegetable and Bacon Pancakes
Inspired by: my father
- 3/4 cup spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, ground
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, shredded
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1/2 cup frozen summer sweet peas (or fresh if you have it)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn (or fresh if you have it)
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium bacon, chopped
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
Heat a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil in a pan on medium-high.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. Then whisk the eggs into the flour mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Drop a scant 1/4 cup full of batter into the pan. With the back of a spoon, gently smooth the batter down slightly and let it cook for 3 minutes or so. If the pancake is falling apart and very sticky, give it a little more time. Once you can slide your spatula under it easily, flip the pancake and let it cook for another 2 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Serve immediately, with my favourite sweet chili sauce, chutney or alone.
Tips and suggestions:
- These are easily prepped ahead of time and can be reheated. Put them on to a baking sheet in a single layer and into an oven preheated to 375F for 5-10 minutes. They will regain some of their crisp too.
- If you don’t have spelt flour, these can be made with whole wheat flour too. Substitute in the whole wheat flour for the spelt flour and add about 1/4 cup of cold water when mixing the batter together.
- Leave the bacon out and make them even healthier and vegetarian.
Looks good. I dont think you need to be wary of bacon fat or full fat sour cream though. Check out Peter Atia’s website “war on insulin” to read some eye opening info on fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Carol Loffelmann
Thank you, Carol! I just started skimming Peter’s site (for anyone else interested: http://waroninsulin.com/) and it is indeed eye-opening! Provides some food for thought on what we feed our families.
I’ll have to try this. Sounds so good.
I hope you’ll love it. They are super easy and so delicious.
It’s really good..I made it sometimes with seafood..instead bacon..not exactly same recipe..
but it always yummy…and my kids like that..
What a great idea, Julie. I’ve been meaning to try them with shrimp since Emma loves them so much. Pleasing the kids with something that we want them to eat is a good thing.