Holidays in JP: Secret Recipes: Chef Phil’s Sweet Potato Pancakes


The Gazette asked various JP people and institutions to share their favorite holiday recipes. Whole Foods Market at 413 Centre St. offered the following:

A Jamaica Plain resident since 2004, Phil Donahue has always been passionate about food. As a child, Phil preferred watching instructional culinary television shows and learned how to cook for his family this way at a young age. Last year, his passion for food came into full fruition when he was offered a job as Whole Foods Market Jamaica Plain’s Healthy Eating Specialist, where his love of food grew into a love of healthy food.

“The biggest takeaway I can give to a friend, customer or fellow team member is to add more plant-based ingredients to your plate,” he explains of the “Health Starts Here” program he promotes at the grocery store’s JP location. The program features meals that are free of dairy, refined sugars and extracted oils, but are still full of flavor.

Donahue is sharing a recipe that is not only deliciously vegan; it is also gluten-free and will be a savory-sweet hit at any holiday brunch, sure to satisfy guests with and without special diets.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cranberry & Apple Compote

Serves 6-8



1 cup canned sweet potato puree

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 cups whole grain sorghum flour

2 tablespoons almond flour

2-3 tablespoons date sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt

Optional: non-stick spray


2 cups fresh cranberry

2 granny smith apples, cored and chopped

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

¼ cup 100% apple juice

¼ cup date sugar


Mix together sweet potato puree, almond milk, vanilla and date sugar in a large bowl until fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until fully mixed. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet while constantly whisking wet base until all ingredients are incorporated and there are few lumps. Add more almond milk if batter is too thick.

Heat a high-quality non-stick pan over medium heat while allowing batter to rest. Using a ¼ cup measure of mix, spread into a disk. When bubbles begin to form around the edges, the cake is ready to flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. For the compote; add all ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook ingredients for 10 minutes, stirring often. When cranberries have popped, it’s ready to pour over the pancakes.

Phil Donahue, healthy eating specialist at JP’s Whole Foods Market. (Courtesy Photo)

Phil Donahue, healthy eating specialist at JP’s Whole Foods Market. (Courtesy Photo)

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