What do you do when you forget maple syrup? You get creative.
It’s day one of our week-long camping trip. We’re up in Vermont at Woodford State Park, and I just spent the first 90 minutes of the morning hiking around the reservoir. I was hungry and very ready to make some pancakes in my cast-iron skillet. Oh yes, I brought it with me, you know how much I love cooking with this thing.
I used a pre-made (store-bought) buttermilk pancake mix, added some water and an egg, and made these surprisingly delicious flapjacks. It wasn’t until I was flipping the last set that I realized I didn’t have that signature maple syrup to go on top. Dangnabbit. So I had to think of some pancake topping alternatives on the fly.
I scrounged through our bag of goodies, along with our litter fridge drawer in our campervan, and was able to grab a few things that I figured might just work. Surprisingly, I liked the pancake topping alternatives that I thought of. They didn’t add all of that sugar you usually get when drowning your flapjacks in maple syrup, but hey, they were still perfectly delicious. And when I was eating them on a picnic table in the middle of the woods, it felt decadent.
Here are a few of the toppings I was able to find:
While any type of berry would be good with pancakes (or any fruit, really), blackberries are a top choice for me. Why? Because they get kind of syrupy on their own. When you squish them down a little, the juice from those blackberries will seep into the pancake. Raspberries would also work well if you’re looking for your fruit to have that same syrupy effect.
I like having a boost of protein in the morning, so I used one of these peanut butter packets and topped the pancakes with those. It obviously made the whole experience a little nuttier (ha, get it), and did help me to feel full for a longer period of time after. Plus, protein after a workout is always good for you, especially when you’ve been up since 7 a.m. hiking. I brought a few of these Justin Peanut Butter packets with me, which I totally recommend.
My husband was brilliant by scooping out some of his grandmother’s homemade jam into a smaller jar and throwing it in the cooler before we left Brooklyn. We didn’t add much to our plates (we’re trying to savor it for the whole week), just enough to get a yummy PB&J taste on those pancakes. Jam would also work well on it’s own with a little butter. And make sure you have coffee to go with it, because man-oh-man.
Even though my husband was outright disappointed in me for forgetting the maple syrup (and the pillows…), I kind of enjoy getting creative with our food. I’m sure I’ll be posting more of these little tips in the days ahead, but for now, here are some ideas for when you’re out of maple syrup.
Oh, and don’t worry, we redeemed ourselves and bought some Vermont maple syrup a few hours later. And picked blueberries.
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