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Sweet Potato and Pear Latkes

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December 20, 2011 | Issue 379


Brighten Up Your Holiday

Sweet Potato and Pear Latkes

This twist on traditional latkes uses sweet potatoes to add rich color and nutrition to your table. The vibrant orange seen in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots comes from beta-carotene, an antioxidant phytochemical with cancer-fighting power. Fresh pears add fiber and a natural sweetness. Replace the whole eggs with whites and the frying pan with the oven for a special holiday meal without the grease or guilt. Serve them up with a dollop of fat-free sour cream or unsweetened applesauce on the side for dipping.

Makes 8 servings, 3 latkes each.

Per serving: 180 calories, <1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 39 g carbohydrate,
5 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 210 mg sodium.

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 2 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 2 Bosc pears
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Canola oil spray
  • Fat-free sour cream (optional)
  • Unsweetened applesauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place two nonstick baking sheets in the oven.
  2. Peel the potatoes; peel and core the pears. Grate each using a food processor. Strain any excess liquid. Grate the onion. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, bread crumbs, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir in the potatoes, pear and onion. Mix until coated.
  4. Remove the hot baking sheets from the oven and spray thoroughly with canola spray. Spoon latke mixture onto sheets, forming 2-inch patties. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes per side, turning once with a spatula.
  5. Serve with fat-free sour cream and/or warm applesauce, plus a sprinkle of dried cranberries on top of each serving, if desired.

Grocery list

Sweet potatoes
Bosc pears
Egg whites
Whole-wheat bread crumbs
Canola oil spray
Fat-free sour cream (optional)
Unsweetened applesauce (optional)

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Did You Know?

Called latkes in Yiddish, potato pancakes are a traditional Hanukkah dish. You'll also find variations in traditional Irish, Central European, Russian and Swedish cuisines.

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