While syrup is certainly a food group on its own…


… That doesn’t mean I always want to drown my pancakes in the sugary stuff.  Also, the group stuff (real maple syrup) is kind of pricey, so I usually don’t buy syrup and sub it out for other sweet toppings.


Normally, I scoop Greek yogurt over my pancakes.  This special twist really kicked it up a notch.


Sweet Syrup Alternative


Ingredients (for one servings):


  • 1/4 cup plain regular or Greek yogurt
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates (if using smaller dates, use 4 – 5)




  • Combine in food processor until mixed well.  You’ll have to scrape down the sides.
  • Pour over pancakes and enjoy!


Dates are nature’s candy – don’t you think? 


Whole wheat pancakes with 1/2 a banana, Sweet Syrup Alternative, and cashews on top.


And… I’m off!



  • Khushboo May 3, 2011, 8:53 am

    Lately the pancake topper which I have been digging is Greek yogurt mixed with strawberry fruit preserves and then fresh strawberries! It tastes so indulgent, almost like a strawberry cheesecake!

  • Amanda May 3, 2011, 8:55 am

    That is one thing I love about living up north… we make our own maple syrup! I have 60 gallons canned 🙂 It was free but takes a lot of work to make!

  • Errign May 3, 2011, 8:57 am

    I actually don’t really love maple syrup on pancakes because for me, it’s a fine line between just enough and WAY too much in terms of sweetness. I do love it for baking though, so thankfully I live in New England and my dad makes his own maple syrup. 🙂

    You are so creative with your recipes & I love that a lot of them are designed with a little thriftiness in mind!

    • Samantha Angela May 3, 2011, 9:06 am

      Your dad makes his own? That’s amazing!! I’m insanely jealous.

    • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 3, 2011, 9:18 am

      ooo does he sell it? I’m up in NH and love to buy local if I can!

      • Errign May 3, 2011, 9:50 am

        I live in NH too..pretty much smack dab in the center! 🙂

        He does it pretty small scale, but I can ask him if he’d be willing to sell some! How much would you be looking for? 🙂

        • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 3, 2011, 9:55 am

          I’m over by the seacoast. Used to be over in Nashua and then Milford.

          OH no worries, if he doesn’t already. I was just curious. 🙂

        • Caitlin May 3, 2011, 9:25 pm

          I want some too!!!

          You should make this an online business, Errign!

        • Errign May 4, 2011, 7:47 am

          Caitlin, maybe I can bring some with me when I move to NC in June! 🙂

        • Errign May 4, 2011, 7:49 am

          Caitlin, maybe I’ll bring some with me when I move to NC in June! 🙂

    • Caitlin @ The Caitie Experiment May 3, 2011, 11:22 am

      As another NH girl, I always get TONS of funny looks because I can’t stand maple syrup on bread products — I only eat it on meat (bacon, sausage, pork chops to de-glaze the pan)! I hate the soggy, sticky bit and how the bread soaks it all up. I can sometimes tolerate tipping into a tiny cup, but I refuse to put syrup on my plate in case of cross-contamination! 🙂

  • VeggieGirl May 3, 2011, 9:03 am

    LOVE the syrup swap!

  • Samantha Angela May 3, 2011, 9:05 am

    That’s a pretty good idea!

    If I’m out of maple syrup I use a bit of jam that I heat up on the stove or in the microwave

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) May 3, 2011, 9:09 am

    Mmmmm… I like to use fresh berries that I heat in the microwave and crush up. 🙂 Delicious!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 3, 2011, 9:11 am

    I also put Greek yogurt on my pancakes ALL the time but I thought I was weird because I don’t know anyone else that does! I’m not a big maple syrup fan (although as a kid, Aunt Jemima was my best friend.. but I’m not sure that actually counts as syrup) so Greek yogurt is what I roll with!

  • rebecca lustig May 3, 2011, 9:12 am

    i loveee putting yogurt over my pancakes! so gooey and still sweet!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine May 3, 2011, 9:12 am

    That’s an awesome idea!! I love maple syrup, but yeah, it’s pricey. Thank goodness for Costco and their bulk gallons of the stuff!

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 3, 2011, 9:17 am

    I can’t help myself but I just LOVE syrup. Pancakes/french toast aren’t the same without it. Whether it’s the fake crap or the real deliciousness. I actually splurged and bought some of the real stuff this week. So excited.

  • Kelly May 3, 2011, 9:18 am

    I hate toppings on my pancakes of any kind. (waffles too) I know I am weird. But I just like the plain with butter!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) May 3, 2011, 9:18 am

    These look delicious! I don’t do syrup all that often on my pancakes. I like to add almond milk to some peanut butter, heat it up and pour that all over them too! It’s good with diced apples or bananas. Have a great day Caitlin!

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION May 3, 2011, 9:23 am

    Mm…I love maple syrup but for the most part, I would much rather have the extra boost of protein in the morning. This sounds superb! 😀

  • chloe @ 321delish May 3, 2011, 9:25 am

    awesome idea! So simple yet so clever 🙂

    cant wait to try it!

  • Sarah @ The Pajama Chef May 3, 2011, 9:25 am

    mmm….i love real maple syrup & usually use just a little bit. or brown sugar, that works too.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg May 3, 2011, 9:26 am

    I like putting a little jam on my pancakes, or dark molasses. They’re still sweet toppings, but you can use less and still get a big flavor kick!

  • Katie @ running4cupcakes May 3, 2011, 9:30 am

    OMG I LOVE that scene from Elf! One of my favorites. And what a great alternative to syrup – dates are awesome.

  • Katie @ running4cupcakes May 3, 2011, 9:31 am

    OMG I LOVE that scene from Elf! One of my favorites. And what a great alternative to syrup – dates are awesome.

  • Katie @ running4cupcakes May 3, 2011, 9:31 am

    OMG I LOVE that scene from Elf! One of my favorites. And what a great alternative to syrup – dates are awesome.

  • lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner May 3, 2011, 9:36 am

    Oooh, that would taste good! I love dates. When I’m having a movie night at home I make air-popped popcorn and have dates instead of fake butter popcorn and candy. My husband and I joke that when we have kids, all of their friends are going to think we’re super crunchy hippies!

  • Lindsey May 3, 2011, 9:38 am

    That sounds awesome! I put Greek yogurt on my pancakes all the time and love dates – great idea!
    PS Elf is one of my favorite movies, we watch it every Christmas Eve as a family – a little tradition.

    • Caitlin May 3, 2011, 9:25 pm

      Me too! Love me some Elf at Christmas.

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 3, 2011, 9:39 am

    I haven’t had a pancake.. in I can’t even tell you how long! While I am currently relying on overnight oats.. I suppose it would be just as easy to make pancakes at night and heat em in the morn!

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged May 3, 2011, 9:40 am

    PS – Target’s Archer Farms pure grade A maple syrup is only $4 a bottle – not even on a particular sale, that was just their everyday price! Definitely affordable 🙂

  • Jackie @ Baking Charms May 3, 2011, 9:47 am

    I like to heat some berries on the stove for a “syrup”!

  • Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 3, 2011, 9:54 am

    That is a great idea! mmm mmm

    I have to send this on to my mom she is a date addict! 🙂

  • Clarissa May 3, 2011, 9:54 am

    OMG I told my dad about the syrup on pasta thing when that movie came out and he said he thought it would seriously taste good and wouldn’t let go that it was a crazy idea until we showed him the video and realized it wouldn’t be good at all. Hahaha. I love Elf. “Smiling’s my favorite!”

  • Lisa Fine May 3, 2011, 9:59 am

    That’s a great idea. I think you can buy date syrup, but I’d rather make my own too.

    I love making jams and pumpkin and apple butter in the summer and fall, freeze them, and eat them all winter long. I’m working through some blackberry jam now, which makes an excellent homemade pancake and oatmeal topper.

  • jen @ taste life May 3, 2011, 10:00 am

    Mmm, dates are definitely nature’s candy! I love real maple syrup, but I definitely use it sparingly, either by dipping my pancakes in a little container of it instead of pouring it on, or just doing a teeny drizzle. I love Greek yogurt and fruit on pancakes!

  • Tessa @ Amazing Asset May 3, 2011, 10:00 am

    Haha that is one of my favorite scenes from Elf 😀
    When I was younger, I used to drown my pancakes in good old Aunt Jemima syrup- the super sugary kind mmmm!
    Now that I try to avoid foods like that, finding other toppings is fun! I enjoy putting berries over pancakes/waffles and I will be trying your Greek yogurt/date combo soon!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 3, 2011, 10:00 am

    Yum, I love dates! Greek yogurt is awesome on pancakes. So creamy!

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 3, 2011, 10:08 am

    That’s a great idea! I love dates, and this would be the perfect sweetness and consistency.

    I usually just add strawberry jelly to greek yogurt, or add some jam to a skillet with some water to reduce it to a syrup.

  • Parita @ myinnershakti May 3, 2011, 10:23 am

    Oh yum! I never ever thought I would like dates and then came Larabars! 🙂

  • Laurel May 3, 2011, 10:27 am

    I will have to try this! I’m not a syrup fan because I always drip it everywhere so this is a great alternative. Thanks for the great idea.

  • Amber K May 3, 2011, 10:36 am

    I love maple syrup, but I definitely agree that dates are nature’s candy. They are so delicious!

  • Rachel (Olalliberry) May 3, 2011, 10:51 am

    I cannot get enough dates these days! I’m putting them in everything. This looks like such a great idea.

  • chelsea May 3, 2011, 10:59 am

    I think that sounds awesome! Dates and greek yogurt! I must try that soon!

  • Rachel @ The Perseverance Diaries May 3, 2011, 11:34 am

    Thanks for that sweet syrup recipe! I was in quite a predicament the other day trying to make pancakes for my mom and sister without buying over-the-top sugary maple syrup. I took Earth Balance and melted it down on the stove with cinnamon and stevia. However, your recipe looks great and creamy! yum 🙂

  • Ashley @ the fit academic May 3, 2011, 11:37 am

    mmmm – sounds so good! You are so creative to think of that!

  • Jordan May 3, 2011, 11:37 am

    What an awesome idea!!! I’m definitely gonna try this.
    P.S. Elf is one of my favorite movies of all time. 🙂

  • Raina May 3, 2011, 11:45 am

    This is one of my favorite Christmas movies!!! We have 4 main food groups, “Candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” Classic! I also read somewhere that the shot were he chugged the soda was unedited and he had to practice to do it! I don’t know if that’s true or not…
    Your syrup looks really good!

  • meg c May 3, 2011, 11:47 am

    i love real maple syrup and anything else on pancakes is just not worth it to me. it’s nature’s candy too, you know.

    • Caitlin May 3, 2011, 9:27 pm

      That’s true!!!! LOL. I mean, it is a food group. 😉

  • Jamie@everydaydolce May 3, 2011, 11:53 am

    Dates are totally nature;s candy…love that! Greek yogurt topped pancakes sounds really good right now. I agree that to much syrup is never a good thing. Real Maple Syrup is so rich even in the smallest amounts!

  • Marina May 3, 2011, 12:04 pm

    Dates, greek yogurt and cashews are a really amazing combo! Love all the ingrediets!

  • Ashley @ Feeding Ashley May 3, 2011, 12:04 pm

    I love syrup, but the real stuff is expensive. I love to pop warm cinnamon apple on my pancakes. I can’t get into dates, maybe I’ve just bought the wrong kind.

  • Natalia - a side of simple May 3, 2011, 12:16 pm

    I’ve only recently started topping my pancakes with yogurt and all I’ve got to say is Mmmm! I had no idea it would add such a great texture and flavor! But I’m a syrup girl at heart. Buddy knows his stuff, and by stuff, I mean major food groups 🙂

  • Natalia - a side of simple May 3, 2011, 12:22 pm

    I’ve only recently started topping my pancakes with yogurt and I can’t get over the flavor and texture it gives them. Love it! But Buddy knows his food groups and I’m a true syrup lover at heart 🙂

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 3, 2011, 12:26 pm

    That looks amazing – I love using dates as a natural sweetner! So delicoius.

  • Molly @ RDexposed May 3, 2011, 12:48 pm

    I just used the real stuff on my oatmeal this morning! Your version sounds tempting as well.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman May 3, 2011, 12:49 pm

    That sounds great. I do love syrup on pancakes, but I know it’s so bad–especially in the amounts I use!

  • Brittany @ Pretty Fit, Pretty Healthy, Pretty Happy May 3, 2011, 2:07 pm

    I love Elf!! 🙂 And I can’t wait to try the syrup alternative… I’m a pancake junkie, so this will definitely come in handy.

  • kyndra May 3, 2011, 2:39 pm

    i love dates! i’m a low fat raw vegan (lfrv for short), meaning i eat all raw fruit and veg. dates are a huge staple for me- i eat at least a pound per day. i know you like coconut water- try blending it with dates. it makes a sweet, creamy liquid that would go really well with pancakes and banana. i actually use it as a milk and pour it over banana slices. that’s my version of cereal, ha.

  • Amanda May 3, 2011, 3:56 pm

    You can buy maple syrup for a reasonable price at Costco and Trader Joe’s!

    • Caitlin May 3, 2011, 9:28 pm

      Oh yes I miss Costco so much!

  • lisa May 3, 2011, 4:21 pm

    Elf is my favorite Christmas movie! I must’ve watched it a thousand times this December!

  • Karlee @olivewineandfood May 3, 2011, 5:10 pm

    i love swimming too. it is a total body work out that i feel like tones my whole body. i am completely exhausted after an hour of swimming, but in a different way than i am after running. the hardest part is getting my suit on and that first jump in the water! i hate that. also, i love elf and i’ve never thought to top pancakes with yogurt!?

  • Sam May 3, 2011, 6:29 pm

    this is AWESOME! genius! I am so going to try this now 🙂

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit May 3, 2011, 8:18 pm

    Mm I love greek yogurt on pancakes and waffles!

  • Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) May 3, 2011, 9:00 pm

    Wow this looks amazing 😀

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 3, 2011, 9:04 pm

    LOVE this idea! I’ve been obsessed with dates lately.

  • Stephanie May 4, 2011, 2:57 am

    As much as I would like to say it’s greens, if I had to live off one thing for the rest of my life it would be dates. They are just too good.

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