The Best Way To Use Sweet Potatoes For A Fall-Inspired Breakfast

While pumpkin spice gets the lion's share of the autumn love, pumpkin isn't the only product that signals fall. Of course, there are apples, but sometimes, it's nice to switch things up even more, like with the sweet potato.

The potato and the sweet potato share a similar name, but that's about all. Precision Nutrition explains that regular potato comes from the Solanaceae family, which are nightshades that include peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants. On the other hand, sweet potatoes are from the Convolvulaceae family, which are flowing morning-glory vines (and, yes, you can eat the leaves from sweet potatoes). With 5,000 varieties of sweet potatoes in the world, our grocery stores see just a fraction.

According to the Washingtonian, sweet potatoes are considered a superfood. They're antioxidant-rich, thanks to beta carotene, which boosts the immune system and is great for skin and bones as well as vision. They may even help fight cancer. And while the benefits of breakfast may be overstated (via MedicalNewsToday), you can get this antioxidant boost first thing by adding sweet potatoes to your a.m. eating. Of course, savory breakfast lovers can substitute them for regular potatoes in hash and eggs. But if you like pancakes for breakfast — or dinner — why not try making them with sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes bring fall flavors to flapjacks

Since sweet potatoes get sweeter as you cook them, adding them to your morning flapjacks makes delicious sense. CulinaryLore explains sweet potatoes contain the enzyme amylase, which breaks down into maltose, a simple sugar, as it's heated. In fact, the way you heat a sweet potato can impact its sweetness. Cook them too fast, and the sugar won't have time to develop. If you really want to amp up the candied flavor, be sure to pick potatoes with dark orange flesh.

Leftover mashed sweet potatoes from last night's dinner work just fine for pancakes, according to Serious Eats. But if you have none on hand, Delish says canned will do. The site recommends adding some pecans to make the pancakes more like a decadent sweet potato pie. The Kitchn uses sweet potatoes as the pancake base, leaving out the flour, milk, and leaveners, making them perfect for those avoiding gluten and dairy. A tahini maple syrup adds an ultra-unique spin to the classic pancake topper.

So while you indulge in your pumpkin spice latte, adding a stack of sweet potato pancakes can give an added nutritional and autumnal boost.