Clean Up Your Pancakes And Waffles

For an even better breakfast, try some Johnnycake-style pancakes topped with fresh blueberry preserves.


By Kelsey Marcus


Growing up, waffles and pancakes were a large part of my childhood. During the week, I began many mornings with frozen toaster waffles and, on weekends, my mom often made fresh pancakes. Typically made with refined flour (white flour) and laden with butter and syrup, these delicious comforting breakfasts can really wreck havoc on your blood-sugar levels. This can cause it to spike and then crash, making you tired, hungry, and quickly looking for more food to fill you up. 

There are ways, however, to make these breakfasts a little healthier. 

Change Up the Flour 

Instead of white flour, try using whole wheat or oat flour. You could also swap out some flour with ground flaxseeds or wheat germ- both of which are good sources of fiber and have a better nutritional content with vitamins and minerals than white flour. Vitamin C packed pureed sweet potato or squash with your “wet ingredients,” a.k.a. adding it in with your milk and eggs, is a great option during the fall (or anytime of the year!). 

Use Fresh Fruit

Rather than jams and syrup filled with sugar, keep things seasonal by using fresh fruits. 

Alternate the Toppings

How about spreading some unsweetened yogurt on top of your waffles or pancakes in place of butter? Or maybe a tablespoon or two of peanut butter for some good fats to help keep you full and fueled throughout the day? 

While you can make healthier versions of pancakes and waffles , it’s important to remember that in part with a healthier lifestyle, these should still be considered an occasional treat, rather than something for everyday! 

Johnnycake-Style Pancakes Topped With Fresh Blueberry Preserves 

This Johnnycake-style Pancake recipe clean things up by using fresh corn and cornmeal for added fiber and nutrients rather than solely relying on white flour. Using yogurt instead of sour cream also helps add some delicious tang without the added fat and calories. 

Ingredients for blueberry preserves

  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries 
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 

Ingredients for pancakes

  • 1 cup fresh sweet corn (or defrosted frozen corn) 
  • 1 cup cornmeal 
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • ½ tsp. baking soda 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (plus more for topping) 
  • 1 ½ cup milk 
  • 2 eggs 
  • Nonstick spray 

For the preserves

  1. Add the blueberries, brown sugar and vanilla extract to a small bowl. Using the bottom of a spoon stir and mash the blueberries. 
  2. Once the desired consistency is achieved, use immediately, or cover and store in the refrigerator (this can be done in advance). 

For the pancakes

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the dry mixture together and add in sweet corn and toss until kernels are coated. 
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk and eggs. 
  3. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. 
  4. Heat a skillet on medium and spray with non-stick. 
  5. Reduce heat to low and pour in 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook for several minutes until sides firm up and flip. Cook for several more minutes on opposite side. Repeat with remaining batter. Top pancakes with remaining yogurt and preserves!

Yields: 10-12 Pancakes (6 Servings) 

Nutritional Info of Pancakes (per serving without toppings or preserves): 204 cal, 3g fat, 35g carbs, 4g fiber, 2g sugar, 11g protein.

Nutritional Info of Toppings or Preserves (per serving): 21 cal, 0g fat, 5g carbs, 0g fiber, 4g sugar, 0g protein. 

Kelsey is the creative mind behind A Little Rosemary and Time. Located in Brooklyn, NY, she is a self-proclaimed “foodie”, workout addict and loves learning as much about food and nutrition as she can. She is currently working towards becoming a registered dietician and is passionate about being able to help others towards better health both mentally and physically.