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How to reproduce Dr. Praeger's Spinach / Sweet Potato Pancakes at home?

Hey there, Hounds.

As a recent dad, I've been pretty pleased that my infant son has taken a liking to Dr. Praeger's pancakes. They are fairly healthy, and they are convenient from a nutrition and preparation point of view, making them a good day-care take-along food.

PROBLEM: Where I live they are also expensive, ringing in at about $5 for a pack of 4. We buy quite a few packages a week, and the cost can add up. I keep wondering: can't I make something like this at home for less (and probably even healthier)?

After looking at the ingredients they seem pretty simple, but I've got zero experience with this kind of recipe, and I can't find any clones online. Anyone have any ideas? Here are links to the two product pages. If any of you hounds think you can construct an ingredient proportion or suggest a recipe, that would be oh so appreciated from this new dad.

Spinach Pancake page:
http://www.drpraegers.com/Spinach-Pan...

Sweet Potato Pancake page:
http://www.drpraegers.com/Sweet-Potat...
Thanks in advance!

 
 
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  1. Wow, no one's got any ideas, huh? It can't be that hard!

    2 Replies
    1. re: fr1p

      Well, maybe because not many of us have bought these?

      I looked at the photo and ingredient page. And because of the photo, I'm thinking they are pretty dense in texture?

      I would start by either sauteeing fresh spinach just enough to wilt it, or thawing out frozen spinach, rinsing, and wringing in a kitchen towel to remove all moisture.

      Boil a potato or two - whole, then peal and mash really well. Place spinach in a bowl, add enough mashed potato to be able to form a patty, add finely diced onion, an egg or egg white, spices, and a little flour. You can use arrow root like the recipe if you prefer (and if you can find it). I don't know what the oat bran does, but throw some of that in as well, before the flour, I suppose.

      This is very similar to what I do with left over mashed potatoes. I add chopped onion, egg, flour, then fry in a very small amount of oil. Just enough to shine up the skillet. Use either cast iron or a non-stick skillet.

      1. re: thymetobake

        The spinach ones aren't as dense as the potato ones. But you are pretty close to spot on, otherwise.

        Myself--I don't have the time or energy to make them. They're good to keep in the freezer when I don't have time to cook fresh veggies or don't have any left-over ones in the fridge.

    2. It might take you a few tries to get it right but it's not that hard.

      The same approach would apply to a sweet potato pancake,

      Boil or bake sweet potatoes
      Peel and mash
      Add potato flakes, onions and spices
      Fry in a small amount of oil

      As you go you'll learn the touch or 'feel' of the stuff and know when you need to add more or less of this or that.

      Sorry I can't give you specific measurements. I've never had these things. But that's how I do it in my kitchen with the potato pancakes and it differs every time according to moisture in the potatoes, or the flour, etc.

      They are always good, btw, even if a little too moist or too dry.

      1 Reply
      1. The one thing I know about Dr Praeger is that he uses egg whites in his products. That's his claim to fame. I'd love to know how to make his veggie burgers but now that I can finally get them at Trader Joe, probably won't bother. Shouldn't be that hard to just wing it from the ingredient list, but now that I'm looking at it online, I think it's worth $1 each to just buy them.

        1. http://www.joyofkosher.com/recipe/spi...

          While the photo on this link is horrendous the ingredients, portions and technique should be helpful. You can use just egg whites, not whole eggs, if you want.

          http://homemademothering.com/2012/05/...

          This recipe is another alternative, just omit the garlic for your young child.

          1 Reply
          1. I think the egg whites are key -- I've eaten them, and I think that's where the texture comes from. I'd try cooking and pureeing the fresh vegetables, whipping egg whites to soft peaks and folding in everything else (including potato flakes rather than actual potatoes -- potatoes would add a lot of moisture), spooning into greased muffin tins in thinnish layers, and baking.

            1. I have been searching for a recipe to replicate the Dr. Praeger's spinach pancake as well. My son is such a picky eater- these patties are a heaven sent. My local Whole Foods did not have them in stock this week. I don't have the time or money to try and figure out the portions of each ingredient. So here I am searching. I was so excited thinking I found a link that would finally help. Close but no cigar :(

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mama123abc

                So, I never found a great clone recipe, but I did find a replacement that my kid loves: http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/spina...

                Excerpt:

                Spinach Healthycake Recipe

                (makes 7 small pancakes

                )

                1/2 pound frozen chopped spinach
                3/4 cup whole grain flour (wheat, oat, barley, etc.)
                1 tablespoon baking powder
                1 egg
                1 cup low-fat milk (or any level of fat milk you own)
                non-stick spray
                optional ingredients:
                1 teaspoon cumin
                1 teaspoon salt
                3 scallions chopped

                Thaw spinach in microwave and then place in fine mesh sieve. Using the back of a spoon press out the water in the spinach.

                Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix. Add egg and milk, mix until smooth and then stir in spinach. Add optional ingredients.

                Heat a large fry pan over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Place a soup ladle full of batter on the pan and cook until the wet side of pancake bubbles (about 3 minutes). Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until brown.

                Enjoy!

                These pancakes are great for freezing and will keep in the fridge for a week.

                For one pancake using low-fat milk and zero added salt: 80 calories, 1.8 g fat, 13.8 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g protein, 2.5 g fiber, 53 mg sodium, 2 PointsPlus

              2. I have recently fallen in love with this item myself, and likewise am trying to devise a way to concoct a low cost version I can freeze myself...
                I haven't tried it yet, but what I am planning on is (I've lost touch with measuring ingredients - sometimes better to eyeball it):
                organic frozen spinach, thawed, and well wrung out
                organic frozen hashbrowns
                some chopped, sauteed garlic and onion (I add to everything)
                almond flour/rice flour (I am newly gluten free)
                eggs to bind the mixture
                himalayan salt to taste
                .
                I guesstimate about 1 cup hashbrowns, 1/4 cup spinach, 1/4 cup flour, 1 egg (maybe add a little milk if it looks to dry)
                If you want to get really fancy, pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor to get a uniform texture, then add the egg and milk. Form patties, and pan fry in olive or coconut oil. Or flash freeze the patties before cooking.

                1. This is absolutely the best copycat recipe I've ever found for the Dr. Praeger's spinach pancakes. My alterations to this recipe are pretty minor: I patty them up to the size of the full size pancakes (not the spinach littles), I bake them to set a bit longer, and I add a smidge more seasoning before I form the patties. My son loves them, and they freeze very well. When I take them out of the freezer to prepare for lunches, I usually prepare them more or less per the Dr. Praeger's instructions, broiling them for about 6 minutes per side.

                  http://professionaltwinmommy.blogspot...

                  1. I sautee a finely minced shallot and chopped, cooked spinach and add it all to this simple pancake recipe:http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... It's just as good as Doc Praeger's.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Grosso

                      How can it be as good without the string beans, zucchini, peas, corn, red pepper etc?

                    2. I would like to suggest that you use whole eggs instead of just whites. The fat and nutrients are better for young minds and bodies.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sandylc

                        The thing is, they were originally developed for his patients with heart issues (Dr Praeger is a cardiologist). But of course you can riff on it as you like, it's a great basic recipe.

                        1. re: coll

                          Hi, Coll, as to your question above, the spinach pancakes are the only ones I make, and Dr. Praeger's don't contain string beans, zucchini, peas, corn, red peppers OR etcetera. ;)
                          http://www.drpraegers.com/SpinachVegg...

                          1. re: Grosso

                            Ah well, I only use his California Veggie Burgers, I've never seen most of these others anywhere retail.
                            http://www.drpraegers.com/CaliforniaV...
                            But I have 100% faith in all his products, so riff away.