Another Acupuncture Paleo Practitioner Approved, Amazingly Yummy and Filling Non-grain "bun/pancake"; Recipe, Perfectly Balancing for Cold Winter Months
As an acupuncture paleo practitioner (I made that term up) :-), I’m always excited when I come across a recipe that’s both fabulous and medicinal, according to Chinese medicine’s nutrition principles.
I just stumbled upon another recipe that I’ve gone crazy over and have to share, for so many reasons.
First, it’s absolutely delicious and surprisingly simple.
Second, it’s the perfect go-to snack for those of you who haven’t known what to eat since trying to give up gluten and bread products, during those times when you’re just hungry NOW and need something quick and easy.
Third, it can be altered to whatever spices or ingredients a person wants: savory? sweet? Added veggies or meat to make it a complete meal? All can be done!
Fourth, it can be used in so many different situations: as a breakfast pancake; as buns for a burger the way I first tried it; as the quick snack I was mentioning; as a base for a pile of veggies to make them more filling and give some good healthy carbs.
Fifth and Lastly, it makes a perfect “Qi Building” recipe for these colder months when we still want to be eating foods that Chinese medicine has discovered store Qi in our bodies, meaning that it is very balancing for us to eat during the darker, colder seasons. (more on this a little later)
Two simple ingredients
I discovered the inspiration for this recipe in a Paleo cookbook that I’ve been using a lot lately, but as usual, changed it around so much that the recipe is now a completely new one.
The similarities that remain are two ingredients: shredded sweet potatoes and eggs; and you can use that base to make these little puppies into whatever will suit your taste or mood.
As you can see from the images, I first used a basic recipe as buns for a simple burger with a little kale and avocado topping. After tasting it and being blown away by how well it functioned as a bun (holding together surprisingly well, adding wonderful flavor dimension to the burger meat) my brain started chugging.
I realized that I could just keep some around to pull out of the fridge/freezer to heat up in the toaster oven for a quick “bread-like” snack when I wanted the comfort-food sensation of eating toast.
I decided to try some with kale and onion cooked right in (or other veggies…the possibilities are endless!) so that it would make a complete nourishing breakfast on those days when I have to run out the door quickly but still want a balanced carb, veggie, and protein meal.
Then I thought of how good they’d probably be with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, topped with some fresh berries in the spring for a more deserty experience.
Do you see where this is going? It is truly an exciting discovery indeed. :-)
But it’s not just yummy, it’s medicine! The acupuncturist and paleo practitioner in me requires BOTH in a recipe
Going back to the part about how according to Chinese Medicine, this recipe can actually help keep us balanced in the colder winter months: Sweet potatoes have long been recognized in Chinese medicine as being “Qi nourishing”, meaning they boost our digestive function, so we’ll absorb more nutrients and have better energy.
This is important for all of us, but especially important during the winter months, and even more vital for anyone who is depleted.
Also, the fact that we can alter them for our individual needs means that we can adapt them to our own imbalances to make them even more medicinal and balancing.
- if I’ve told you your liver is imbalanced and you need to eat more greens, then follow my lead and add kale!
- if you’re blood deficient and beets are on your prescribed food list, why not roast up some small cubes and throw those in!
- are you struggling with damp, mucousy conditions? Then filling the cakes with aromatic ingredients that help clear out damp–like onions, garlic, and daikon radish–will make them medicinal for you.
You can really make them into your own little medicinal patties.
So now, for the ingredients and directions:
- Sweet potatoes (I like Hannah sweet potatoes, since they’re not as moist or sweet as the orange ones)
- Eggs (pastured and organic, please!)
- Whatever veggies you want, if any, already cooked up
- Whatever spices you want
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado oil, or Ghee, for cooking
The ratio of sweet potatoes to eggs should be 2 cups sweet potatoes to 3 eggs. Using that base you can improvise from there.
Shred the sweet potatoes either by hand, or in a food processor, and set aside in a bowl. Crack eggs into a separate mixing bowl and combine with whatever spices you’re adding. If you’re adding veggies, cook them up first and then add those to the egg mixture and mix. Then pour the egg mixture over the sweet potatoes, and go ahead, get your washed hands messy by digging in and mixing it all up well with your fingers.
Heat up your oil on medium low in a large solid-bottomed pan. I experimented with olive oil and ghee, and while ghee is better for cooking at high temperatures for its stability, I didn’t like the buttery flavor on my savory cakes, so I stuck with Olive Oil after trying a couple with ghee.
When I make them again with cinnamon and nutmeg, I’ll probably go with the ghee, as the buttery flavor will mix well. The original recipe called for Coconut Oil, but I don’t like the flavor of coconut, so I didn’t use it. If you do, you could try that as well.
I also figured out that they work better if cooked slowly. If you use too high of heat, the eggs will set before the sweet potatoes are cooked. So just keep the heat at a medium low temp and be patient.
Drop a portion of the mixture onto the pan, and flatten into pancake shapes, to whatever size you want. As the picture here illustrates, it will seem at first like you’re completely messing up and doing something wrong: the runny egg part will leak all over the pan while the solid part will be a lumpy mess. Just use a spatula to keep pushing the egg portion back towards the pancake as the egg begins to set.
As the minutes pass, it will all begin hardening and there will be plenty of time to shape your pancake well. You can put a lid over the pan to keep the heat in and help the insides cook, but be sure to keep close watch on them. Cook until the outsides are golden brown.
Eat and be amazed!
As an added bonus, this seems like a treat that kids will ask for over and over again. Kid friendly and healthy? What more could a mom want!
I hope many of you get a chance to try and enjoy these little wonder discs. :-)
I’m especially looking forward to hearing from those of you who’ve been extra challenged with hunger and frustration when you don’t know what to eat as you’ve been trying to switch away from inflammatory foods.
So eat up, and report back!