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One of the things I used to love putting on my pancakes was Smuckers blueberry syrup. Yes, it’s mighty tasty stuff but the time came when I no longer wanted to fill myself with that many calories and all the high fructose corn syrup just to get some blueberry flavor with my pancakes. I had already given my homemade pancake mix a healthy makeover to get rid of the sugar and eggs and use whole wheat flour. It was time to give the blueberry syrup a healthier makeover too!
How I Make My Own Blueberry Syrup Topping for Pancakes
My inspiration came when I was browsing one of the Engine 2 cookbooks a while back where I saw a recipe for quick blueberry topping that was pretty much just blueberries. And for sure, if you’re going to have a healthier version of a blueberry syrup topping, the main ingredient should be blueberries.
And that’s become true for my homemade recipe for blueberry pancake topping too. Blueberries are now the star of the show, not sugar. And it’s super easy for me to remember the recipe because I only use two ingredients! All I do is take one cup of blueberries and put them in a small saucepan. Either fresh or frozen blueberries will work. Then I add a ¼ cup of apple juice. I always have apple juice around because I put it in my favorite breakfast oatmeal that I eat almost every morning.
Next I heat it up on the stove until the apple juice is just starting to bubble up and come to a boil. Then I remove it from the heat and mash things up a bit with a fork so that the mixture is a little thicker. Once I’ve done that, I put a lid on the pan and set it aside while I make the pancakes (or waffles, or French toast, or whatever you may be making). This setting time gives the blueberry topping mixture a chance to slightly cool down and it seems to thicken up just a bit more during this setting time too.
This will be a somewhat tart mixture because it is only fruit and juice. The more I eliminate sugary foods from my diet, the more I find that I enjoy these natural flavors. But if you would like this topping to be a little sweeter, you can stir about 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup or agave syrup into the mixture before serving it.
Will Other Fruits Work In This Homemade Syrup?
Blueberries seem to work especially well with this method of making a topping because they’re easy to mash up a little bit which adds some thickness to the mixture. I’ve tried this with strawberries and it made a yummy but thinner topping because they didn’t mash up quite as well . However I think other softer berries such as raspberries or blackberries would probably be tasty substitutions that could be used in this recipe.
A Homemade Syrup that’s Simple, Quick, and Healthy
I’ve come to really like this recipe because not only is it healthier for me, it’s very simple and quick to make too. There are only a couple of ingredients to measure out, and I suspect you could still get good results by just eyeballing the amounts if you were in a hurry. You can start with either fresh or frozen fruit which makes it convenient as well. The time to bring the liquid in the pan to a boil takes only a minute or two and once you’ve done the wee bit of mashing, it can just sit there in the warm pan while you prepare other things and it will still have some nice warmth to it when it’s time for serving it. All those things together make this a pretty low-stress recipe and that’s the way I like it best when I make my own!
More Recipe Ideas:
- My Simple Smoothie System
- Make Your Own Oat Flour
- Make Your Own Copycat Panera Summer Corn Chowder
- More Homemade Sauce Ideas
Quick & Healthy Blueberry Syrup Topping
- 1 cup Blueberries (either fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 cup Apple Juice
- 1 Tbl Pure Maple Syrup or Agave Syrup (optional)
- Combine the blueberries and apple juice in a small saucepan.
- Heat on the stove until the liquid is just starting to bubble up to come to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and mash the blueberries a bit with a fork to help make the mixture a little thicker.
- Put a lid on the saucepan and let the syrup mixture rest for a few minutes which will help it thicken up just a bit more too.
- This recipe will make about a 1/2 cup of syrup topping that can be served over pancakes, waffles, or french toast.