Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a major foodie, with a haphazard cooking philosophy, currently making that transition from cooking and baking for friends and family to 'wonder if I could make this my career'. Follow me for recipes, the outcomes of a few experiments, and general lovely foodiness. Opinions, reviews and recommendations are all my own.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Superfood Pancakes, and a Review of Clarks Maple Syrup

Scotch Pancakes, Blueberry Pancakes, Drop Scones
Superfood Pancakes

I was recently sent some samples of Maple Syrup and Honey from Clarks to try, and within the same week, in fact literally a few days later, there was an article published by the Daily Mail detailing how maple syrup had been elevated to the lofty status of 'superfood'. I was curious to explore the science behind the idea of 'superfoods' a little, as it is a term that is used seemingly quite feely, and I wasn't entirely sure of the substance behind it. As it turns out, there are two opposing camps out there on the subject of superfoods, on the one side those who believe that superfoods contain high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals that have substantial health benefits, and the other side, those who believe the terms is one invented and exploited by marketing companies. (It is worth noting that there is no legal definition to the term 'superfood'.)

A selection of Maple Syrup and Honey from Clarks

If we choose to look on side of those that do believe in the power of superfoods, then in simple science superfoods are those that are especially high in key nutrients, such as Omega 3, antioxidants and potassium, which are considered to have affects such as reducing the risks of cancers and cardiovascular diseases, increasing your immune system, and reducing depression. 'Famous' superfoods include blueberries, broccoli, oily fish and green tea to name but a few, and now, maple syrup can be added to that list. 

Predominantly maple syrup contains phenol compounds that house enzymes that convert carbohydrates into sugars, and the recent studies suggest that this could be the basis of an anti-diabetic compound. In addition, maple syrup also contains a high density of antioxidants, which are key in slowing down the oxidization, or ageing of the bodies cells, something that is not found in other natural sweeteners, even including honey. You can find more information on the health benefits of maple syrup on the Clarks website here.

All this talk of superfoods got me thinking, and as someone who constantly strives and yet falls short of eating a healthy diet, I wanted to have a go at creating something with my maple syrup that would make the most of it's new 'superfood' status. I had a look at some of the other ingredients that are also considered superfoods, and came up with this recipe for 'Superfood Pancakes', which is loosely based on scotch pancakes, or drop scones as they are also known in some parts of the UK. Containing blueberries, oats, and wholemeal flour, there are four, yes four, superfoods in this recipe! Which makes them really very good for you in my book (if you overlook the milk, sugar and butter content). 

Superfood Pancakes


150 grams wholemeal self raising flour
50 grams rolled oats
100 grams golden caster sugar
200 ml semi-skimmed milk
1 large egg
150 grams frozen blueberries

a little butter to cook

maple syrup to serve


These are the easiest breakfast/ brunch/ snack to make, just beat the batter together and cook it! The quantities given should make 12 - 15 pancakes.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the oats and golden caster sugar, and mix well...

Whisk together the milk and egg, make a well in the centre of the dry mix, add the liquids, and whisk together to form a batter...

Add the frozen blueberries and mix well into the batter...

Melt a little butter in a frying pan or on a griddle, and drop three dessert-spoonfuls of the batter into the pan. It will spread a little but not greatly...

When the pancakes start to have little bubbles in the surface, and are colouring around the edges, flip them over carefully to cook on the other side...

And then serve hot, with a good healthy drizzle of maple syrup!

Gary and I had three pancakes each, which we topped with each of the three maple syrups in order to 'judge' each one. The vanilla maple syrup was noticeably sweeter than the others, although honestly I didn't get much of a vanilla flavour coming through. The Grade 1 and Grade 2 syrups were great, the Grade 2 definitely being my favourite, with a real earthy flavour coming through which worked perfectly with the pancakes.

I'm entering this recipe into Credit Crunch Munch, run by Camilla and Helen, and hosted this month by Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen, as it is made from store cupboard ingredients, and cheap to make.

I'm also entering into Made with Love Mondays run by Mark over at Javelin Warrior, as it was made totally from scratch, on a Monday, with a lot of love... simple! ;-)

Disclaimer: I was sent a selection of maple syrups and honey to try by Clarks, however all opinions expressed in the post are 100% honest and my own.

1st June 2013 - I am updating this post to be entered into the Feel Good Food challenge, hosted by myself, as the theme is blueberries, and these pancakes are super-nutritious!


  1. Interesting. I'm the same trying to eat better....but then I eattoo many sweet things which cancel it out :(
    They do look yummy+they have fruit in them!
    ps i put the strawberry cpks up

    1. I think there is a line somewhere between eating healthy and eating well, and actually healthy can still be tasty... I'm working on a project with a friend at the moment and hoping to start posting more healthy but tasty recipes for people like us soon... :-)

  2. Mmm your pancakes look splendid and I would never think to use wholemeal flour and oats in a pancake so may have to give this a go:-) Was not surprised that it was the Daily Mail with that article as there is a kind of pr machine behind all their "informative articles"! Taps nose!

    1. I really need to make an effort to be more healthy, but I can't bring myself to do it at the expense of taste, so I'm trying things that I'd normally make with a wholemeal twist - this one worked particularly well I have to say! These articles always interest me, people can generally put any kind of spin on anything they want can't they!

  3. I had never heard of Clarks Maple syrup before.
    The bottle looks so convenient. (Mine always drips and gets mucky)
    Thank you for sharing a great new product

  4. I loved your explanation regarding the details of what makes a superfood a superfood. Because you're right - it often feels like a marketing gimmick. I always figured maple syrup would be better for me than say, granulated sugar or corn syrup. But now I have something to point to! Love the pancakes and I'll never turn down maple syrup...

    1. I'm still not 100% sold on superfoods in so much as the reaserch seems somewhat inconclusive, however anything that is natural has got to be better for us, and if the terms superfoods makes us eat our brocolli then it's got to be worth it! And anything that tells me to eat more maple syrup I'm going to listen to! ;-)

  5. A very interesting post, I always learn things from your blog! Also love adding a health benefit to baking as it can so often be looked upon as unhealthy.

    1. Thanks Kat, I think that there's a few things that we can do to make baking better for us, I'm trying to learn a little and work it into my recipes, as there's no chance of me ever dieting or cutting cake out, so I might as well try and make it a bit better for me! x

  6. I love maple syrup and am quite happy to believe that it's a superfood if it means I can eat more! Your pancakes look so tasty too...this would make a great weekend brunch! :-)

    1. I love them on a Saturday morning when I have a little bit more time to make breakfast, usually I use white flour but they were really tasty with the whole meal will be using that from now on. :-)

  7. Amazing.. thanks for share, Take a look at some of our july Best superfoods.


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