I recently made the mistake of reading the nutritional information on my favorite brand of berry syrup: 200 calories for a quarter cup serving. Ouch. This delicious stuff that turns plain old pancakes into something magical does it the same way most other magical food does – with lots of sugar. I’m not sure why I didn’t realize that before. Maybe it’s because I normally just avoid reading nutritional labels, because why should I ruin my favorite food by knowing how bad it actually is?
Seriously, though, we actually have been making an effort to make some better food choices, so I tried making my own berry topping last time we had pancakes. It’s not quite a syrup – you just can’t make syrup without quite a bit of sugar – but it’s delicious, full of berry flavor, and has just over a third of the calories per serving as the berry syrup I usually buy.
And it’s extremely easy to make. All you do is cook frozen berries, water, and a little honey in a small saucepan. By the time you’ve made the pancakes, your healthy triple berry pancake topping is ready to go!
The best part is that it works well with other healthy breakfast foods. It’s perfect for stirring into plain yogurt or steel cut oats. Plus it’s pretty!
To make 1 cup of triple berry pancake topping, you need:
2 cups frozen berries (I used the triple berry blend from Costco, but you can use whatever you want)
1/2 cup water
1.5 tablespoons honey
Just put all three ingredients in a small saucepan over med-hi heat. Bring to a boil, smashing up berries a bit with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat, but let it continue to simmer 7-8 minutes until it starts to get nice and thick. Serve hot or cool.
If you want spiced berry topping, add a good shake of cinnamon and nutmeg as it simmers. This is especially delicious and will make your house smell like Christmas! If you’d like an even sweeter topping, you can certainly add more honey or sugar. As written, this ends up being about 80 calories per 1/4 cup serving, which is more than you’ll need for 2-3 pancakes.
One cup of topping is just about right for 4-6 servings of pancakes. We usually eat through this in a day or two, but I think it would keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days at least.
Let me know if you give it a try!