Dian Thomas
Fruit sauces are easy to make, are tasty and are much healthier than sugary syrups for pancakes and waffles.

When I started my journey to lose more than 115 pounds, I decided that pancakes were no longer in my food program because of the high-calorie syrups.

About a year ago I had a huge craving for my pancake sandwich, which consisted of two pancakes and a scrambled egg in between the cakes. I had a hard time getting it out of my mind. Then one day the light bulb went off and I found Lehi Roller Mill whole-wheat pancake mix. Now all I needed was a healthy topping to go over the pancakes.

I bought some plumbs and raspberries at the farmers market. I pitted the plumbs and sliced them and put them into a pan to cook until they were softened and mixed together. Then I added some of the raspberries.

The next morning, I put it over my pancake sandwich and it was so much better than the high-calorie syrup I used to use.

That was the beginning or my pursuit of making my own fruit sauces.

The next week at the market I picked up extra peaches. I peeled and sliced them into my saucepan and cooked them for 15 minutes. I learned that I could add a little water if they need it but most of the time just cooking the fruit down gave nice, sliced fruit with a thin sauce over it.

The next fruit I tried was pears. I learned that I did not need to add any sugar to the mixture. Only once did the fruit seem like it needed a little more sweetener and I added just a little bit of Stevia (a natural sweetener).

Once the fruit was cooked down, I let it cool then put it into canning bottles making sure I left plenty of room at the top for the fruit to rise in the bottle when I put it into the freezer. I let the bottles freeze without the lids. When the fruit was frozen I placed lids on the jars and put a label on that had the name and date I bottled it. I stored it away in the freezer waiting for that perfect day that I decided to have my pancake sandwich with delicious fruit sauce over it.

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I also put the fruit sauces over yogurt or cottage cheese for a snack or to use on my cottage cheese sundae (I use no-fat cottage cheese instead of ice cream and then put these delicious sauces over the cottage cheese with a few nuts for a great sundae). The fruit can also be use in a fruit smoothie.

Now that we are going into the season of wonderful fruits pick up some extra and prepare it to use throughout the year. It's easy to fall in love with these fruit sauces and find even more ways to enjoy them in your journey to healthy lifestyle.

TV personality and author Dian Thomas shares her journey of weight loss, exercise and life on the run every other Wednesday in the Deseret News and at www.DianThomas.com. She also takes tour groups to China. Contact her at www.dianthomas.com/travel.htm