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Mouthwatering Sweet Potato Latkes

Everyone in my home loves Sweet Potato Latkes, even my littlest ones. Savory, aromatic, and melt-in-your mouth delicious, they are oh so satisfying — particularly when fried in a flavorful fat like coconut oil or bacon grease.

These latkes use just a hint of buckwheat flour & eggs to hold them together. Contrary to it’s name, buckwheat is not a cereal grain. It’s the seed of a flower, and it can be ground fine into a powder.  It also happens to be gluten-free and relatively low in phytic acids, so it’s easier for our bodies to digest.

The Players

The How-To

Begin by grating your sweet potatoes and gathering your ingredients. These will come together quickly, so it helps to be prepared!

Next, chop up your scallion (I use the whole plant, minus the roots at the end). In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped scallion with the egg.

Now, add in your salt, pepper, & flour and stir until well mixed.

Now for the fun part. Add your grated sweet potatoes to your flour mixture and mix it together well. I use my hands for this, as it helps to sqeeze moisture out of the sweet potatoes and make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

In a skillet, heat the oil over a high flame until hot but not smoking. Whatever you do, don’t use a flavorless fat like lard for this. These latkes are what they are because of all the great tasting fat they soak up when frying! So use an aromatic, flavorful oil like unrefined coconut oil or bacon grease. In this example, I’m using coconut oil.

Form the sweet potatoes into patties and place in your heated oil.

Turn the flame down to medium and let cook until golden, then flip and cook the other side until golden. When done, remove to a serving plate. After they’ve cooled for a minute or so, serve them with a dollop of cultured sour cream or creme fraiche on top.

This post is my entry into the Fight Back Fridays blog carnival of Real Food Lovin’ links. If you’re interested in finding other delicious recipes, meal ideas, testimonies, tips, or stories about people resisting the dominate food culture and choosing Real Food, be sure to check it out!

It’s also participating in the Real Food Holidays – Hanukkah carnival hosted by Real Food Digest!

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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38 Responses to Mouthwatering Sweet Potato Latkes
  1. Local Nourishment
    March 27, 2009 | 8:55 am

    Can you tell me about that beautiful pan?

    Local Nourishment

  2. vehement flame
    March 27, 2009 | 11:03 am

    yeah, my mouth is droooling..not just watering! Just found out what we’re having for lunch, thanks!

    vehement flame

  3. Spinner
    March 27, 2009 | 11:17 am

    How did you know I love sweet potatoes! I’m definitely trying this. They will make good heat-in-a-toaster-oven lunch options.



  4. Angela
    March 27, 2009 | 1:17 pm

    These look absolutely delicious- but 2 questions:
    1. shredded sweet potatoes? I’ve never done that- just peel and shred raw?
    2. the buckwheat flour- do you get that at a health food store? I’ve never bought it.

    Thanks! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  5. KristenM
    March 27, 2009 | 2:18 pm

    Local Nourishment — Not much to tell. It’s something my mother bought for me a few years back — basically a 4 inch deep skillet with a lid. It’s got some sort of non-stick coating, so it’s really not ideal cookware. I’m hoping to replace it with a similar stainless steel pan soon, but don’t know when that will be.

    Angela — Yep. Just grate raw sweet potatoes just like you would potatoes to make hashbrowns. As to the sprouted buckwheat flour, I make that the same way I do all my flours — sprout it, dry it, & grind it fresh (a lot cheaper and more nutrient-dense that way). That said, I’ve seen unsprouted buckwheat flour on the flour aisle at my local grocery store, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard to find. Plus, you really could use any flour. I’m just going grain-free for a season, and this is a fairly suitable alternative to cereal grains (particularly if used sparingly).

  6. Fumi
    March 27, 2009 | 3:16 pm

    mmmm, I love sweet potato and I love potato cakes. This should be a winner!


  7. rachel-asouthernfairytale
    March 27, 2009 | 4:05 pm

    YUM! oh my gosh! those sound delicious!!!

  8. lizriz
    March 27, 2009 | 4:38 pm

    These sound amazing, and I am over the moon that I stumbled onto your site and found this recipe. :)


  9. Shari Voigt
    March 27, 2009 | 5:03 pm

    These sound wonderful. I’m sure the coconut oil adds to the aroma as they’re cooking. I’ve got buckwheat flour in the freezer, but I’m out of sweet potatoes … so they’ll have to wait for the next trip to the grocery store.

    Shari Voigt

  10. KAthy
    March 27, 2009 | 9:41 pm

    can’t wait to try it. Thanks

  11. vehement flame
    March 27, 2009 | 10:35 pm

    we made these for lunch- added aome cajun season- real good stuff! Thanks!

    vehement flame

  12. KristenM
    March 27, 2009 | 10:45 pm

    Lizriz — Thanks for stopping by. Hope you stick around for a while and make yourself at home! :)

    Vehement flame — Yes, these lend themselves well to variation. I could totally imagine doing a chipotle cilantro version.

  13. peggy
    March 28, 2009 | 10:39 am

    Your website is so wonderful. I have enjoyed everything that I have read and seen here. These look DELICIOUS! I will definitely try them. I really liked the chipotle cilantro idea. Going to the market today. Thanks!!

  14. R.A.
    March 28, 2009 | 11:02 am

    Is that a chotki bracelet in the mixing photo?

  15. KristenM
    March 28, 2009 | 12:10 pm

    R.A. — Yes. That used to be obvious on my About page, but I guess I took it off at some point because it wasn’t particularly relevant to the site. :)

  16. Sasch
    March 28, 2009 | 6:52 pm

    These looked so delicious, I had to try them right away! I didn’t have buckwheat, so I substituted with spelt. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t stay in patty form, but once they started frying in the pan (in coconut oil) they stayed together just fine. They were absolutely delicious and my husband, who typically doesn’t care for sweet potatoes, loved them! Thanks so much!

  17. Roxanne
    March 28, 2009 | 8:10 pm

    These look delicious!! I liked the part about how lard is tasteless. I never could figure out why things just don’t taste as yummy when I use lard.
    Is there a variation that would make them taste similar to candied sweet potatoes?
    Ooh, or maybe like sweet potato fries you can dip in a sour cream with onion n spices sauce…. That would go over well with children, I bet!
    Happy Spring, Everyone!

  18. Rod Newbound, RN
    March 29, 2009 | 12:57 pm

    Thanks Kristen.

    I never would have thought about grating sweet potatoes, but since they are one of my favorite root crops, I’m looking forward to trying this one.

    I’ve been using coconut oil for several months now and my wife loves the smell. I’ve found it adds a unique flavor to some dishes, but appears to add none to others. My primary reason for using it, is because it doesn’t break down at high temperatures like olive oil. Which makes it perfect for stir-fry.

    Thanks for the info on buckwheat – something else I didn’t know. One of the many reasons I love the Internet is learning new things.

    Rod Newbound, RN

  19. KristenM
    March 29, 2009 | 2:59 pm

    Sasch — It’s great to know these work with spelt. I imagine they’d also work with coconut flour and an extra egg for those who want to avoid anything grain-like! Anyhow, I know how you feel about worrying that they’ll stay together! The first time I made these, I was sure they weren’t going to. But just like you, I discovered they did!

    Rod — I love coconut oil, too. I just found a fantastic deal on Tropical Tradition’s gallon-sized extra virgin gold standard oil, and WOW. It’s the best tasting coconut oil I’ve ever had!

  20. Sarah
    March 30, 2009 | 12:04 pm

    These are on the menu for tonight! I forgot to buy any sour cream, so I’m thinking about throwing together some creme fraiche… but with only 5 hours to culture it, I might just skip it.

  21. Heidi / Savory Tv
    March 31, 2009 | 12:51 am

    What a great recipe, and I love the fact that there are antioxidants as well as a spot of protein. Thank you for sharing your technique! PS. The bowl is gorgeous!

    Heidi / Savory Tv

  22. KristenM
    March 31, 2009 | 2:25 pm

    Heidi — Thanks! It was a Christmas present from my mother in law a few years back and has a special place in my kitchen.

  23. HilaryM
    July 8, 2009 | 5:27 am

    I love your site and your recipes are fabulous. I’d love to be able to print some of them out – does the site have a printer-friendly facility that I’ve missed somewhere? I have looked, honest, so if there is one and I just haven’t found it, accpet my apologies!

  24. HilaryM
    July 8, 2009 | 5:33 am

    Well, no sooner did I submit that comment than I found the “print this post” button!! I adore sweet potatoes and this recipe sounds like heaven, but printing it out is running to four pages and is very heavy on printer ink. A cut-down version for printers that consists of one picture and the recipe would be good :-) By the way, I loved the article on the urban farmer. What an inspiring man!

  25. Helen T
    September 6, 2009 | 2:07 pm

    You tweeted this just in time for dinner, and they made an excellent accompaniment to our thai chicken curry. I think I’ll be making these again!
    .-= Helen T

  26. Elizabeth Mincey
    December 23, 2009 | 2:12 pm

    I just found this recipe and can’t wait to try it! It will just have to wait til after the Nativity fast.
    I noticed your prayer rope, do you have any suggestions on how I could make this recipe lenten?

  27. Lillea Woodlyns
    February 24, 2010 | 5:16 am

    Lately I’ve been thinking about buckwheat because I haven’t had it for such a long time, and it’s great to read about a unique creation like this! Super to have a gluten AND grain free dish. I wonder if most people realise that buckwheat isn’t a true grain. I feel better on a grain free diet with the occassional use of foods like quinoa and buckwheat, but finding recipes can be tricky. Thank you!
    .-= Lillea Woodlyns´s last blog post …Gluten Free Oats? =-.

  28. Shaun
    April 27, 2010 | 8:53 pm

    Wow, these are wonderful! I’m eating some as I type this. One question: Can coconut oil be saved and reused? I know a lot of it gets soaked into the latkes, but there’s a bit leftover.

    • KristenM
      December 1, 2010 | 5:51 pm

      Yes, you can “save” your coconut oil, though you’d probably want to save it the same way you would tallow — either keep a special place for your “used” oils so that you can distinguish between them or clean the oil.

  29. Lisa @ Real Food Digest
    November 30, 2010 | 12:39 pm

    This look so good – maybe I can get my kids to eat sweet potatoes with this recipe.
    Are you making the sprouted buckwheat flour yourself or buying it?

    • KristenM
      December 1, 2010 | 5:52 pm

      I make all my own flour, but you can buy it online from the suppliers on my Resources page.

  30. ImaYisroela
    December 1, 2010 | 5:46 pm

    Latkes with bacon grease!
    Good luck finding a Jew to use this recipe.
    LOL! ROFL!

    • KristenM
      December 1, 2010 | 5:52 pm

      That’s why they’re made with coconut oil. :)

  31. bh
    December 2, 2010 | 1:17 am

    how many latkes does the recipe make? can you bake them instead of frying?

    • KristenM
      December 2, 2010 | 9:15 am

      That depends on how large you make them. I usually get about 10-12. I would not bake them. Latkes are meant to be fried!

  32. Kate
    December 15, 2011 | 8:03 pm

    I loved these! I scaled the recipe to use 4 big sweet potatoes. I made half savory and added curry. The other half got a little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon with some cardamom – served the sweet ones with applesauce and shaved ham and the family LOVED it! Thanks for the recipe!

  33. christine@onceuponatimeinabedofwildflowers
    November 12, 2013 | 2:38 pm

    The look amazing!!! :)

  34. Sharon
    November 12, 2013 | 4:14 pm

    These sound wonderful but could I use almond or coconut flour rather than buckwheat as my husband is allergic to buckwheat. Thank you.

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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