Pancakes are an all-time favorite breakfast food, especially in the United States. They are perfect for breakfast, brunch or even a midnight snack. Not only do they taste great, but they fill you up and keep you satisfied for hours. Pancakes can be enjoyed plain, with some butter or different toppings. However, traditional pancake toppings can be high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats. If you want to enjoy pancakes without guilt, then you have come to the right place. In this blog post, I will share some tasty, nutritious, and healthy low calorie toppings for pancakes.
How to Make a Healthier Pancake
Pancake lovers, rejoice! Pancakes need not be reserved for lazy Sunday mornings; they can be a delightful part of your weekday breakfast routine. Crafting a healthier pancake involves a thoughtful selection of ingredients. Consider the following tips for a guilt-free pancake indulgence:
- Whole Grains for Wholesome Delight: Ditch the all-purpose white flour and embrace recipes featuring oats (like Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes) or almond flour. Whole grains add a hearty touch to your breakfast.
- Sugar Watch: Opt for recipes with minimal or no added sugar. Banana Oat Pancakes are a sweet treat without the guilt. Alternatively, reduce the sugar content in your chosen recipe for a healthier option.
- Fruits and Veggies Integration: Get a nutrition boost by trying recipes with fruits and veggies. Try spinach pancakes for a delightful twist!
- Protein Boost: Boost the protein content with Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or hydrolyzed collagen powder, and enjoy a protein-packed pancake that keeps you fueled throughout the day.
Healthy and Low-Calorie Toppings for Pancakes
Say goodbye to traditional high-sugar pancake toppings and welcome a new era of healthy alternatives:
Fruits are incredible on pancakes. Not only do they add a punch of sweetness, but they are also rich in fiber and vitamins. You can choose from a variety of fruits to suit your taste like strawberries, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, apples, bananas, or oranges. If you’re feeling adventurous, add kiwi or pineapple for a tropical twist. With fruits, you will also get a colorful and appealing presentation that is perfect for Instagramming your breakfast.
If you are looking for healthy and low-calorie toppings, peanut butter is a go-to option. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fats that can help you feel full throughout the day. You can use whipped peanut butter for a light and creamy consistency or crunchy peanut butter if you want to add texture to your pancakes. If you are feeling extra, try adding chopped nuts and fruits alongside the peanut butter to enhance the flavor. Peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter are all great choices for adding flavor and healthy fats to your pancakes. Spread a little over your stack or mash banana and nut butter together for a delicious topping.
Greek yogurt is a versatile addition to any pancake breakfast. It is thick, creamy, and high in protein. You can even add a spoonful of honey or maple syrup for some extra sweetness. Try mixing in some chopped berries or fruit slices into the Greek yogurt for a compote-like feel that would take your pancakes to the next level.
Cinnamon is not only a great flavor booster but it’s also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Sprinkle some on your pancakes with a little yogurt or fresh fruit for a simple yet delicious topping.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber and omega-3 acids. They can give your pancakes a crunchy texture, which is perfect for those who like a little bit of texture in their pancakes. Chia seeds also add a lovely nutty taste to pancakes that complements other flavors. You can add chia seeds to your pancake batter or sprinkle them on top of your pancakes for a healthy and nutritious topping.
Cottage cheese is another high-protein topping that is perfect for pancakes. It is low in calories and high in protein, making it an excellent option for those looking for a healthy breakfast. You can mix some cottage cheese with some honey or fresh fruit to add some sweetness and flavor. Cottage cheese is also a great way to add some creaminess to your pancakes without the added calories.
For a tropical twist to your pancake indulgence, consider the exotic allure of coconut. Coconut, whether in the form of shredded flakes or creamy coconut cream, introduces a luscious and indulgent element to your stack. The natural sweetness of coconut perfectly complements the pancake’s soft texture, creating a delightful harmony of flavors. Opt for toasted coconut flakes for an added crunch or drizzle with coconut cream for a velvety finish. The versatility of coconut allows for a myriad of combinations, from pairing it with fresh pineapple to adding a sprinkle of cacao nibs for a decadent touch.
For a unique and savory pancake topping, consider the unexpected richness of hummus. Hummus, crafted from chickpeas, tahini, and a touch of olive oil, introduces a delightful creaminess to your pancakes. This unconventional choice not only adds a burst of flavor but also infuses your breakfast with a satisfying and wholesome character. Opt for classic hummus for a smooth consistency or experiment with roasted red pepper or garlic variations for an extra kick. Elevate the experience by sprinkling fresh herbs like parsley or basil on top, enhancing the savory notes.
Last but not least, who can refuse a luscious dark chocolate topping? Not only is dark chocolate yummy, but it is also a good source of antioxidants and is naturally low in sugar. Dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder are both amazing options to add a chocolatey goodness to your pancakes. Sprinkle some nuts or fruits onto the chocolate for additional flavor and texture.
Ideas for Savory Toppings and Spreads
Trade the sweet for the savory with these wholesome savory pancake toppings:
- Scrambled, boiled, sliced, fried, or smashed eggs add a protein punch to unsweetened pancakes.
- Veggie Delight:
- Fresh Herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, dill)
- Cheese Please:
- Cottage Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Protein Powerhouse:
- Roasted Chickpeas add crunch, fiber, and protein to your pancake stack.
- Hummus Haven:
- Hummus adds a savory kick to your breakfast.
Healthy Pancake Topping Combinations
Discover delightful pairings to elevate your pancake experience:
Peanut Butter and Banana Bliss: Spread your pancakes with peanut butter and top with banana slices for a tasty combination.
Blueberry Almond Butter Delight: Use almond butter as your spread and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.
Mediterranean Berry Yogurt Delight: Coat your pancakes with creamy Greek yogurt and crown them with fresh strawberries and granola for a delightful combination.
Apple Crisp Extravaganza: Load your pancakes with applesauce (or sautéed apples) and top with cinnamon granola.
Trail Mix Treat: Generously spread peanut butter over your pancakes, then sprinkle a medley of chopped roasted nuts, raisins, and cacao nibs for a crunchy, flavorful experience.
Tropical Temptation: Indulge your taste buds by spreading coconut cream over your pancakes and topping them with diced pineapple and toasted coconut flakes for a tropical delight.
Goat Cheese, Tomato, and Herb Fusion: Enhance your pancakes by spreading them with creamy goat cheese, then elevate the flavors with freshly chopped parsley and basil. Complete the masterpiece with a finishing touch of sliced tomatoes.
Pancake breakfast can still be enjoyable and healthy at the same time. There are plenty of healthy and low-calorie toppings you can choose from, and I have mentioned some of the best ones here. Whether you go for a fruity flavor or a nutty crunch, these low-calorie toppings can make your pancake breakfast feel even more indulgent without compromising your health goals. So, next time you make pancakes at home or visit your favorite pancake spot, opt for these toppings and enjoy a guilt-free and scrumptious breakfast.