Hi everyone! Julia from The Roasted Root here, checking in to talk to you about topping your pancakes in the utmost delicious ways! We all know it’s tough to beat a Saturday morning stack of pure pancake lovin’, but sometimes we get stuck in the same ol’ butter and maple syrup routine and overlook the variety of flavor, texture, and (believe it or not) nutrition that we can inject into our pancake sessions. Fret not: I’m here to help break the mold and give you healthful ideas to make your pancake endeavors that much more pleasing.
Because I eat a wheat-free diet, I have taken a personal interest in developing gluten-free pancake recipes using an assortment of Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free flours and nut meals. From Almond Flour Pancakes, Lemon Poppy Seed Coconut Flour Pancakes, to Brown Rice Flour Banana Pancakes, whipping up fun and inviting hot cake recipes is a big hobby of mine.
But let’s talk toppings! Yes, I have been known to eat pancakes layered with fried egg and bacon. Ham and cheese? Check! All sorts of fruit, yogurt, nut, and homemade syrup concoctions? Always on board! I’ve even made chocolate syrup using coconut milk, cocoa powder, and pure maple syrup. In essence, I always enjoy coming up with new ways of serving pancakes.
Let’s face it: butter and store-bought syrup is tough to beat as a pancake topping; however, unless you buy pure maple syrup, which can be expensive, you end up using syrup that is full of artificial ingredients and cane sugar. From fresh fruit and nuts to compotes or homemade syrups, many toppings don’t require much time at all, just a little forethought. Let’s gather some ideas for our next stack of pancakes, shall we?!
Fruit, nuts, yogurt, seeds, nut butters:
I love chopping fresh fruit and adding it to a pancake breakfast, along with raw nuts, yogurt, seeds, and/or nut butters. Peanut butter and banana will always win me over. I also love fresh mango or pineapple along with chia seeds and/or pumpkin seeds. Taking the raw and fresh route is fast, easy, adds health benefits to your meal and helps avoid the temptation to douse a stack of pancakes with syrup.
Compote is made by heating fruit, a small amount of liquid and sweetener in a saucepan and allowing it to gently boil until it softens and becomes juicy. For soft fruit (like berries), this process only takes about 15 minutes. For heartier fruit (such as apples and pears), the process takes about 35 to 40 minutes. I like to add a little bit of a natural sweetener, such as honey or pure maple syrup, in order to keep the compote healthful yet sweet. Mimicking apple or berry crisp using fruit compote and granola makes for such a treat, and makes you feel like you’re eating dessert for breakfast!
Homemade syrups are easier than you’d think! They can be made using a large variety of fresh fruit. You simply start by cooking your fruit of choice with water and sweetener (just like you would a compote), and then strain the fruit pulp in order to achieve a syrup. You can add your desired amount of pure maple syrup or honey in order to sweeten the syrup to your liking.
In addition to a fruit-based syrup, did you know you could make thick, creamy toppings using full-fat coconut milk? Simply heat up a can of coconut milk and allow it to boil for 40 to 50 minutes until it thickens. You can keep it simple by adding a natural sweetener and vanilla extract. For a citrus-y topping, add lemon zest, a small amount of lemon juice, and maple syrup. Also try a chocolate-y topping by mixing the coconut milk with cocoa powder, a pinch of cinnamon, and some pure maple syrup for a decadent yet healthful treat!
- Plain Greek yogurt (or crème fraiche) and fresh berries
- Almond, peanut, or cashew butter and sliced banana
- Fresh chopped peaches, honey and chia seeds or pumpkin seeds
- Full-fat coconut milk, chopped mango, chopped walnuts
- Bob’s Red Mill’s Blueberry Chia Jam and chopped nuts
- Homemade chocolate syrup using canned coconut milk
- Fried egg and bacon
- Country-style ham and cheddar cheese
- Apple Crisp Topping (see recipe below!)
- Blueberry, blackberry, pear, or apple compote (see recipe for blueberry compote below)
What are your favorite pancake toppings?
Apple Crisp Topping
- Add all ingredients except for the granola to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow the mixture to boil gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, stir in ¼ to ½ cup of granola and continue to cook until most of the moisture has burned off.
- Add desired amount of topping to fresh-off-the-griddle pancakes.
- 2 cups Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 3 to 4 Tbsp Water
- 2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
- Pinch of Salt
- In a small pot, heat all of the ingredients until mixture comes to a full boil.
- Reduce heat, cover, and allow mixture to gently boil until blueberries are juicing out and have softened, about 15 minutes.
- Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened and berries are coated with a syrupy consistency, about 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately on pancakes or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and reheat when ready to use.
Julia Mueller’s two greatest passions are food and the great outdoors. Creator of the food blog, The Roasted Root, Julia enjoys whipping up and photographing nutrient-dense recipes that are healthful yet comforting, and are approachable to make any night of the week. Most of her recipes are vegetable and meat-based, gluten-free and refined-sugar free. Julia is also the author of the cookbooks, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and Let Them Eat Kale! An avid mountain biker and snowboarder, Julia enjoys balancing work with playing outside in the mountains. Keep up with her onFacebook and Twitter.