I stumbled onto this healthy pancake syrup recipe by accident. We make a healthy version of pancakes for my daughter, who goes to college and does not get lunch until 2 PM and she needs to minimize hunger throughout the morning. I know protein would be better, but she is also mostly vegetarian so loading up on chicken is not an option.
We have had syrup in the house ever since the kids were little, but we use it so infrequently that I did not worry about it. It was more a treat and definitely not a common thing anyone ate.
So with her increase in eating banana oatmeal pancakes, I went looking for a healthier syrup to accompany them. What I found is that there are “light” syrups and more natural syrups, but really nothing that would come close to being a healthy option.
Just by accident, I found a very simple way to make something she enjoys, is much more healthy and she actually likes BETTER than store-bought syrup. Now you can modify this as you see fit, such as Stevia instead of sugar if you prefer. But my philosophy about “healthy eating” is that if I am cooking at home and I know the bad ingredients are moderate, and not loaded on to make something taste great in a restaurant, I win. Even if it is not a kale salad.
The most important issue when making a variation of this healthy pancake syrup recipe is to watch it closely. It will burn very quickly because you only use a small amount of water to start to break down the berries and then the thicker, more syrupy berry compote will burn in seconds if you do not turn off the heat.
A small squirt of ReadyWhip is also a nice addition to the berry syrup and only adds 15 calories per serving, so while not “healthy” it is certainly better than fake maple syrup bought at the grocery store. And my kids would take the berry option every time over store-bought syrup.
Healthy Pancake Syrup
- small pan
- 10 berries Raspberry, Blackberry or Large Blueberries Fresh Washed, Or Frozen
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1/4 cup Water
- Begin heating water on stovetop in shallow pan
- Add berries to water, bring to simmering boil
- Watch closely, turning berries regularly
- As berries soften, smash with fork lightly to form a sauce
- Sprinkle sugar on sauce
- As soon as berries are fully incorporated into the sauce, turn heat off
- Dribble over pancakes when ready
Some other questions people have:
Can I use Strawberries? – I like to add slices of fresh strawberries to the top as well, but I usually cook blueberries, blackberries or raspberries for the sauce.
Can I use frozen fruit? – When fresh fruit is in season, it is usually cheaper and better to use than frozen. However, out of season, it is good to use frozen fruit to make your healthy pancake syrup. Frozen fruit may have more liquid as it defrosts and often you can simply warm it up in the microwave and smash it with no water added. That is harder to do with fresh berries because they burst and make a mess.