This week, I’m participating in A Healthier Holiday Table sponsored by the American Cancer Society to help raise awareness about healthier eating – an important preventive measure to fighting cancer. I was saddened this week to hear about two friend’s relatives who were recently diagnosed with cancer. My heart goes out to them and I hope they get well soon.

In preparation for Hanukah, which starts this Saturday evening, I’m sharing my favorite recipe for Low-Fat Latkes. This recipe appeared in the New York Times in 1999. (I can’t believe that I’ve been making these latkes for more than 10 years.) Similar to their creator, food writer Steven Raichlen, I too have to watch my fat and cholesterol intake, during my life after 50. That’s why I especially like these latkes which are baked, not fried, and are made with egg substitute or egg whites. I use low-fat sour cream and unsweetened applesauce as healthier toppings too.

One of the other good things about this recipe is that it creates a lot less mess and grease than when you make fried latkes. The secret is to get the baking sheets really hot and coat them with oil before placing the potato mixture on the sheets. That way the latkes come out nice and crispy. Olive oil is used as a healthier fat alternative.

Steven says you can also make sweet potato latkes this way. I decided to try half sweet potato and half Yukon gold potato latkes this year. Unfortunately, my sweet potato latkes stuck to the pan and came out more like sweet potato hash. I am definitely going to keep to the Yukon gold potatoes in the future. But it was worth the try since sweet potatoes are so full of Vitamin A.  According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, eating red-orange fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe and sweet potatoes provide protection against mouth cancers.

So dear boomer girls, here’s the Low-Fat Latke recipe. I hope you try them and let me know how your latkes turn out. This recipe may become part of your Healthier Holiday Table for years to come. Remember to keep eating your fruits and veggies. Did you know that eating lots of fruits and veggies can help reduce your cancer risk? The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2-1/2 cups of vegetables and fruits each day. (I try to follow this suggestion each day – Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness Smoothie is on my breakfast menu, an apple, orange or pear for dessert for lunch, and a big salad for dinner, plus I make baked sweet potatoes often, especially during the winter months.)

Low-Fat Latkes (Time: 30 minutes)

(Recipe by Steve Raichlen, New York Times)

  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup matzoh meal or unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon matzoh meal or unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup egg substitute, or 2 eggs plus 4 whites
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • Olive oil spray
  • No-fat or low-fat sour cream (optional)
  • Applesauce (optional)
  1. Place large nonstick baking sheet in oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Peel potatoes and onion, and coarsely grate. Squeeze handfuls of grated vegetables tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible.
  2. Transfer vegetables to mixing bowl, and stir in matzoh meal, baking powder, egg substitute, parsley and plenty of salt and pepper. Latkes should be highly seasoned.
  3. Spray baking sheet with oil. (I use a pastry brush to baste the oil on the pan.) Spoon small mounds of potato mixture onto sheet to form pancakes 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Leave 1 inch between each. (I made my pancakes a bit larger and find that they maintain their shape better.)
  4. Bake-fry latkes until bottoms are golden brown, for 8 to 10 minutes. Spray tops of latkes with oil. Turn them, and cook until tops are golden brown. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve at once with sour cream or applesauce.
The recipe says that the yield is 50 to 60 latkes; 8 to 10 servings. I made larger latkes and there were only three of us at the dinner table – me, my boyfriend L and my son D. We ate them all. Not a shred of potato was left in the serving dish.
Ooh, ooh, ooh. Don’t forget to sing the Dreidel song afterwards. Have a Happy Hanukah!