Daylight savings has thrown a real wrench into our daily routine and it’s taken the little one a lot longer to adjust this time around. And this means that sometimes we have plenty of time to wake up, reading books, sipping tea (me) and milk (her), and picking out fun outfits for school. Other days, it feels like a mad dash to get out the door. But I have been trying my best to deal with the randomness of our mornings with yummy breakfasts, and on the days we have a little more time, I love to make pancakes with Miss L.
She always asks: “Can we get our ingredients?” and climbs up in her learning tower ready to help stir the batter. I measure everything out, she dumps them into a bowl. I stand watch beside her as she stirs, first with a spoon and almost always eventually with her hands. Do we make a mess? Absolutely. Is it a fun way to start the day? Always. (Plus, the vacuum is never far away to help with cleaning up all of the flour on the floor.) And these Sweet Potato Pancakes, which started as a way to use up some lingering produce, are the best pancakes we’ve had in a long time.
I picked up some purple pancakes at the store recently since they were a great price and I thought that the bright color would be fun for L. Turns out they also have a really nice flavor that pairs well with cinnamon and vanilla. And before you worry that this is a time-intensive recipe, know this: the sweet potato cooks quickly in about the time it takes you to gather the rest of the ingredients and mash up a banana.
I used a gluten-free flour blend, but you can use whole wheat flour if you prefer. You can also use orange sweet potatoes if they are easier to find or simply more family. Between the three of us, we ate nearly the entire batch topped with extra banana, a little syrup, and some peanut butter. And while I don’t advocate sneaking veggies into kids food because I want my girl to know what I’m serving her, it was fun to offer her a familiar and beloved food with a little extra nutrition tucked within.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
I heat the oven to 200 F and keep the cooked pancakes warm on a baking sheet while I finish the batch, though you could also serve them as you go.
Makes about 12 smallish pancakes
- 1 small purple or orange sweet potato, finely chopped
- 1 cup gluten free or whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 very ripe banana, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1/4-1/3 cup milk
1. Place the sweet potato in a heat-proof bowl (a 4-cup glass measuring cup works well) and cover with about 2 inches of water. Cook in the microwave until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Let cool slightly. Drain and mash lightly with the back of a spoon.
2. Stir together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, vanilla, banana, and eggs. Add the sweet potato and stir to combine, adding enough milk to make a pourable batter. Heat a nonstick or cast iron pan or griddle over medium-heat. Add a sliver of butter, let melt, swirl to cover pan and cook batter, about 2 tablespoons at a time, for 2-3 minutes per side or until set and lightly brown. Add more butter and repeat to cook the rest of the pancakes.
3. Serve warm with syrup, nut butter, or yogurt.
Use plain yogurt in place of the milk.
Add 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans.
Serve as sandwiches with cream cheese or nut butter between two pancakes.