Pancakes are a healthy way to have breakfast until we put some typical fatty and sugary toppings like butter, syrup and whipped cream. They’re delectable, but it adds no benefit to your health and adds inches to your waistline. Perhaps you know that butter is made of unhealthy fat, and most syrups – even the fruit flavored ones – are mostly refined sugars and has very little nutrient content. Here are some of the healthy and nutritious alternatives you can use to top your delicious pancake:
1. Fresh fruits
Your favorite fresh fruit is the best nutritious pancake topping. Fruit is low in calories if you won’t add any sugar. Also, they are rich in vitamins and minerals, depending on the fruit you choose. Berries pair perfectly with pancakes – you can chop or mash them, or simply put them at the top. Drizzle with honey if you want it sweeter. Sliced or mashed bananas are also delicious. But really, anything goes – you may top with sliced apples, kiwi, grapes, avocado and more!
Yogurt works as a creamy and light pancake topper that is also delicious and nutritious. Yogurt contains Lactobacillus casei bacteria that boost the immune system and keeps diseases away, and also helps with digestion. Opt for low-fat and/or natural yogurt for best nutrition. Mix it with mashed fresh fruit or some blueberries.
3. Fruit butters and spreads
If you like jams, choose those that are all-natural and low in sugar. Pumpkin butter, apple butter, and applesauce are great fruit-based alternatives with a nice texture that suits the top of your flapjacks. Add a dash of cinnamon for a flavorful yet healthy twist!
4. Fruit salad
Fruit salads work as a delightful dessert or snack, but have you ever thought of putting fruit salad on your pancake? What a fabulous idea, isn’t it? Plus, eating fresh fruits for breakfast can help you prevent overeating later that day. Gather a mixture of fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, grapes, bananas, and peaches. Slice them all up and mix with a concoction of unsweetened coconut milk and frozen pineapple juice concentrate.
Eggs are a breakfast standard in most parts of the world, so why not layer them up on top of fluffy pancakes? Eggs are rich in protein and can help you feel fuller in the morning, so go and fry an egg in vegetable oil, or boil it and slice them up. Season it with salt and pepper for flavor.
6. Mushroom, spinach, and cheese
If you like savory toppings on pancakes, make it nutritious. Mushrooms and spinach with cheese make a delicious combination. Spinach is rich in Vitamin A, potassium and iron; while mushrooms lower cholesterol levels, aids in weight loss and boosts the immune system. Simply sauté the mushrooms in minced garlic until it’s soft and cooked, then add the spinach. Wait for the spinach to wilt, and then spoon them onto the pancakes. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese for flavor.
7. Dark chocolate
Chocolate is a well-loved confection that can get you mentally and physically pumped up. Going dark, though it’s less sweet, gives you more health benefits than reaching for Nutella. Fuel yourself with pancakes slathered with dark chocolate. Add some fruits to add more flavor such as banana, avocado or berries.
8. Cacao nibs
Craving for chocolate but doesn’t want its calories? Substitute artificial chocolate with raw, organic, cacao nibs and sprinkle it on your stack of pancakes (or you may include it in your pancake batter). Add some sweetness by drizzling with maple syrup, honey or raisins. You may also mix the cacao nibs with yogurt for a creamy and chocolatey topping.
9. Chia seed jam
Store-bought jams are out, home-made jams are in. Chia seeds are the perfect addition to jams, since they are actually super nutritious, versatile and easy to digest. Simply soak chia seeds in water for 5 minutes or until they achieve a jelly-like texture. Heat strawberries or any type of berry and honey in a saucepan over medium heat, until berries are soft. While heating, lightly crush berries with a fork, then stir the chia seed mixture into the berry mixture.
10. Nut butter
Boost the protein content of your pancakes with the healthy addition of nut butters, whether it’s peanut butter or your preferred nut butter, like cashews and almonds. Be wary of the usual peanut butters you find in your local supermarket aisles – most of them are filled with sugars and preservatives. Choose natural and organic peanut butters with no additives so you can get the most protein, healthy fats and nutrients from the nuts. Spread the nut butter on top of your pancakes and add sliced bananas or chopped nuts.