In Canada, we’re so lucky to have a bounty of real maple syrup readily available in most grocery stores. Sure, it may be a bit more expensive than the imitation stuff, but real maple syrup is worth the splurge. It’s delicious and can be used in so many ways beyond a topper for pancakes or French toast (although, that certainly is a good way to use it). Here are some ideas for incorporating a little more maple syrup into your life:
Maple syrup drizzles… but maple cream is spreadable, which gives you a more concentrated hit of maple flavour. It’s basically just maple syrup incorporated into cream or butter (try this recipe), but you can spread it on your pancakes for a more decadent breakfast or spread it on scones or other baked goods.
Use it as an ice cream topping
Who needs chocolate or butterscotch syrup when you have a bottle of perfectly good maple syrup? A splash or two of maple syrup on vanilla ice cream creates an instant dessert.
Pair it with salmon
One iconic ingredient deserves another. Glazing salmon with maple syrup is one of the easiest (and most delicious) ways to prepare a quick fish dinner.
Make a cocktail
A little bit of maple flavour can lend some interest to a homemade cocktail. Maple goes well with a number of different spirits — here are some ideas to inspire the amateur mixologist.
Stir it into a vinaigrette
Maple salad dressing? Why not? Add a little bit of maple syrup to a mustardy vinaigrette (try this recipe) and serve it over mixed greens for a sweetened-up salad.
Glaze your veggies
Kids who don’t want to eat their veggies might be enticed if they’re glazed with a little bit of maple syrup. The syrup will heighten the vegetables’ natural sweetness to jazz up an otherwise boring side dish.
Maple-ize your bacon
Packaged maple bacon can taste a little synthetic, but you know you’re getting real maple flavour if you make it yourself. This recipe for Maple and Black Pepper Bacon is dangerously simple.
Dress up a snack mix
Savoury snack mixes are always a hit at parties (who doesn’t love old fashioned nuts and bolts?), and they’re even better when you create a combination of sweet and salty. This recipe also adds a little bit of heat with some red curry paste.
Stir it into oatmeal or yogurt
If you can’t handle homemade oatmeal without a little bit of sweetness, a drizzle or two of maple syrup can completely transform your morning bowl. It’s also great stirred into a bowl of plain yogurt.
Roast it with squash
Winter squash is a natural match for maple syrup. Cut your favourite squash into cubes and toss with a mixture of canola oil and maple syrup before roasting.
Use it on pork tenderloin
Pork loves a bit of sweetness and the natural sugars of maple syrup is pork-perfect. If you can throw some apples into the mix while you’re at it, you’ve got yourself a killer entree.