Reserving maple syrup for breakfast is like only eating pie on holidays. What a waste! While we all know about the magical emotional healing powers of a good pie (at any time of year!), many people still aren’t aware of maple syrup’s superfood status or of how versatile an ingredient it is. So let’s shed a little light, shall we?
Beware of poseurs
First of all, it’s important to make sure you’re buying the real deal. You won’t reap any of the health benefits (or flavor) of maple syrup if you’re unknowingly buying the fake stuff. As a rule of thumb you can generally assume anything you see at the grocery store labelled “table syrup” will be high in processed corn syrup, which is processed sugar (gross!). Just look at the ingredients and pick a bottle with pure maple syrup as the only ingredient. It’s all you need!
Here are some awesome, unexpected things you can do with maple syrup past breakfast time.
Winter Kale Salad Dressing
Maple syrup is incredibly high in zinc and manganese, both of which help to prevent sniffles, sore throats and other illness. Combining it with kale (our favorite nutrient-dense winter green), packs an extra powerful punch to flu season. The following recipe comes highly recommended. By us. It’s next level.
- 2 tbsps maple syrup
- 2 tbsps Dijon mustard
- 5 tbsps olive oil
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- a splash of water to thin
Simply shake it up and drizzle on a large bowl of chopped, massaged kale. Top with one cup cooked and chilled quinoa, chopped granny smith apple, pecans, and feta cheese or cubed, baked tofu to really up the flavor factor — voila!
Super Food Face Scrub
Applying maple syrup topically to your skin can have some pretty rad benefits. The natural sweetener has over 50 antioxidants that work to prevent aging and wrinkling, and it’s also super moisturizing. So while this recipe from Clementine Daily may sound a bit like breakfast, your skin will thank you more than your tummy.
- 4 tbsps maple syrup
- 4 tbsps ground oats
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Simply mix ingredients into a paste and apply to your skin in small, circular motions. You can either rinse it off immediately, or let dry for a more traditional face mask. After rinsing the scrub off with warm water, moisturize as usual and continue your day looking and feeling amazing!
Cut the (crap) sugar!
Have you ever come across a super scrumptious looking recipe, but stopped yourself when you saw granulated sugar on the ingredients list? North Americans are starting to become more and more aware of the dangers of refined sugar consumption and its link to obesity and heart disease. Cutting out refined sugars is a great way to improve your health, but we can still enjoy a sweet treat! Next time you’re about to toss out a perfectly good recipe, try swapping out the refined sugar for maple syrup in the same proportion. While we can’t guarantee this will turn out EVERY time (baking is a science, after all), we’ve found it usually works out really well. Plus, you’ll reap all these other maple health benefits we’ve been describing.
When it comes to baked goodies, we have a hard time limiting it to one. Instead, we've collected recipes by the bunch on our maple syrup-inspired Pinterest board. Follow us for many more recipes and DIY ideas!
Image courtesy of Clementinedaily.com