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Gluten-Free Renegade Latkes

Photograph taken by Brittany Sanford

At the last minute, I decided to throw a very small gathering Hannukah Party.  And of course, what’s a Hannukah party without Latkes.  I usually make sweet potato latkes, but this year I decided to get a bit more rebellious and cook with my most favorite ingredient . . . MOLASSES!  If you want to read more about the health benefits of molasses, check out the Frankenstorm Chocolate Chip Molasses Brittle Cookies Recipe.

My specialty is sweet potato latkes.  When I realized I only had two sweet potatoes in my kitchen, I knew creativity was to be born!  I decided to mix the sweet potatoes with butternut squash, but that would cut the sweetness.  I then decided to add apple to give it a sweet burst, and upon looking in the fridge, I had this burning desire to use my parsnip.  Well, then I concluded I needed it to be a bit sweeter, which gave me an excuse to use my favorite ingredient.  That’s right!  You guessed it . . . BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES!

Personally, I thought the latkes were sweet enough without the molasses, but my guests thought the molasses really hit the spot.

Gluten-Free Renegade Latkes

Serving Size: about 22 2″ in diameter latkes

Ingredients:

2 cups of grated sweet potato, skins scrubbed
2 cups of grated butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup of grated apple, skins scrubbed and core removed
1/2 cup of grated parsnip, skins scrubbed
6 scallions chopped
1/2 onion chopped
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tbsp of blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup of gluten-free flour* (see #6 below for more details)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Frying Oil – Coconut, Canola, etc.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200*F

2. Grate the potato, squash, apple, and parsnip and put in separate containers.

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Grated Sweet Potato (front) and Butternut Squash (rear)
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Grated Apple (left) and Grated Parsnip (right)

2. Grate the potato, squash, apple, and parsnip.  The apple will need to be squeezed out.  I used a ricer to squeeze out the juices, which I caught in another cup and drank!  Then mix all the food you grated together in a large bowl.  If you decided to create your own base ingredient mix, then make sure that together it weighs about 1 lb or 16 ounces.

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3. Chop onions and scallions and toss them into the mix.

4. Add salt and pepper and toss.

5. Add slightly beaten egg and molasses and toss to mix evenly.

6. Add 1/2 cup of your gluten-free flour blend or 1/4 cup of a gluten-free 1/4 cup of a starch.  I use my hands to mix this in really well and make sure the consistency is just right.  If not, I add about a teaspoon at a time of more flour.  For one batch I used a gf flour blend, and another batch I mixed 1/4 cup of brown rice flour with 1/4 cup of tapioca starch.  As for flours, just pick one with a milder flavor and any starch will do.  Some people like to use potato starch, since you’re cooking with potato.  Other recipes call for only starch, but I really prefer the starch/flour combo or gf flour blend.

Latke Mix

7. Add oil to your pan so that it comes up about 1/4 of an inch high.  I set the burner to right below the highest heat setting and wait about 5 minutes to make sure my oil is good and hot.

8.  While the oil is heating up, I put parchment paper on a baking sheet, and set that in the preheated oven.

9. Then, I use my hands to make about a 2″ in diameter flat pancake.  I lay that on a spatula, and gently put it in the oil.  I put about 4-5 latkes in the oil so as not to decrease the heat too much.  You want the oil to bubble when you put it in.  I cook it for about 1-2 minutes per side.  When the edges start to brown, then you know to flip it.

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Frying Latkes

10. When the latkes are done, I transfer them onto the baking sheet in the oven.

11.  When all the latkes are completed, I turned my broiler onto low and just finished them off in there so that they would be super crispy.

12.  You can top with applesauce, sour cream, or some other fun dip!

The latkes turned about to be  AMAZING!!!  I was so glad I made 3 batches for 7 1/2 people.  I would not have had enough!

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