Want to eat healthier but just can't help craving the sweeter things in life? Let's face it; a sweetener is no substitute for sugar. It's time to get creative with your pantry ingredients, which means finding more nutritious alternatives. That's where maple syrup comes in; it's the ingredient you've been waiting for!
This versatile sweetness can be added to any of your traditional sweet treats as a sugar substitute, from baked goods to pancakes to, yes, even your morning oatmeal. But that's not all! Maple syrup is not exclusively the domain of desserts and sweet treats; you can make delicious savory dishes with this sweetener. Try, for example, a cold pasta salad with a maple syrup vinaigrette. Breakfast is made all the better by adding maple syrup – Test it out atop coconut pancakes! Ultimately, a sweet treat is a must-have now and then, but how to indulge without adding to your waistline? Healthy snacks are great in that case, such as these healthy maple oatmeal cookies.
In addition to tasting delicious and being an unrefined sugar, maple syrup is high in antioxidants, which can help boost your immune system. It's also a good source of manganese and zinc, essential for healthy bones and skin. And on top of that, maple syrup is an excellent option because it affects blood sugar levels less than other sweeteners.
If you'd like to enjoy your food with a touch of maple goodness without indulging too much, here are 11 healthy maple syrup recipes to try that we absolutely love.
Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Start by making the maple syrup glaze. Combine 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, 1 tablespoon minced shallot, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside until ready to use.
Roast brussels sprouts until tender but still bright green and charred around the edges (about 40 minutes total).
Transfer Brussels sprouts to a large serving bowl or platter; drizzle with maple syrup glaze before serving.
Brussels sprouts have risen in popularity in recent years for a good reason. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin C and potassium. They also contain fiber, manganese, and a host of phytonutrients that may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
This take on Brussels sprouts is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. The sweet glaze adds sweetness, while the charred edges give it some crunch. If you want to add some meat, sautéed bacon or ham would be delicious in this dish. This dish is sure to become a new family favorite!
Maple Syrup Candied Walnuts
To make candied walnuts:
- Combine 1 cup maple syrup and 1 cup brown sugar in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add 2 tablespoons butter and stir until melted.
Cool for 5 minutes, then add 10 cups of raw walnuts (1 pound). Stir until coated in syrup mixture and return to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half and the nuts are glazed.
Allow cooling completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Candied Walnuts are perfect for salads, desserts, and snacks. Walnuts are rich in nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and antioxidants. Candied walnuts are easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.
Heat 1/4 cup maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat to make maple-glazed salmon. Cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half and is syrupy.
Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add salmon and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned on both sides. Remember to season the salmon filets with salt and pepper before adding them to the pan. Transfer the salmon to plates, drizzle each plate with maple syrup before serving.
This salmon is best served with steamed broccoli and brown rice. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. The combination of salmon and broccoli is also a good source of protein, which can help you feel full longer after eating. Salmon is also one of the best foods to eat if you want to improve your cardiovascular health—it's rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that may lower triglyceride levels.
French Toast with Maple Syrup
When making French toast, maple syrup is a great addition. The sweet flavor and enhanced texture make for a delicious dish everyone will love. If you're looking for ways to add sweetness to your food without adding sugar, maple syrup is an excellent choice. You can also use this sweetener in other dishes like pancakes or waffles!
Maple Glazed Carrots
Maple syrup is a sweetener packed with health benefits. It's lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, which means it won't spike your blood sugars like white or brown sugars. Maple syrup also contains some minerals, including zinc, manganese, and antioxidants—one reason why traditional cultures have used maple syrup for so long.
To make maple-glazed carrots, heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Remove from oven and drizzle with maple syrup! Roast for 20 minutes or until tender, flipping halfway through.
Besides being delicious, maple syrup makes a beautiful carrots glaze because of its sweetness and flavor! A few things taste better than roasted carrots with a slightly sweet glaze from the natural sugars in maple syrup or honey.
Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Maple Syrup
The sauce is a delicious alternative to sugar-laden cranberry sauces and is easy to make. Just combine 4 cups fresh cranberries and 1 cup orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat, then simmer until the berries start to pop.
Add 1 tablespoon maple syrup per cup of cranberry mixture, then continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool for about 30 minutes before serving on top of turkey or ham (or just by itself!). If you want an extra tangy kick, add a pinch of salt before serving!
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Maple Syrup
Roasting sweet potatoes is an excellent way to prepare them; this recipe takes it up a notch! The maple syrup caramelizes in the oven, which gives it a slightly crunchy texture. To make this dish, heat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then set aside. Cut the sweet potatoes into cubes (about 1/4-inch thick), toss them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and lay them on your prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper, then roast until they start to brown (about 20 minutes). While the potatoes are roasting, prepare the maple syrup glaze; whisk together 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Mix the chopped nuts and after 20 minutes, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven. Gently toss through the nut and maple syrup glaze and pop them back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes until the syrup is bubbly.
Ham with Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup Glaze
For this dish, start by drizzling 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter over a medium-sized skillet. Add 1/2 cup diced ham and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Pour in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, then reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and serve with mashed potatoes and steamed green vegetables.
Easy Peanut Butter, Banana, & Honey Sandwiches
Peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwiches are a classic. But why not try maple syrup for extra flavor? Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread. Add a banana and drizzle with maple syrup. Sandwich together with another slice of bread.
Maple granola is a great way to add flavor to your morning meal. Mix 1/4 cup maple syrup with 1/4 cup vegetable oil, then add in 2 cups rolled oats and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir until well combined. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let it cool before eating.
Apple Crisp with a Pecan Crumble Topping
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener and can be used in place of refined sugar. The sweet, caramel-like flavor of maple syrup lends itself to many recipes. In addition to pancakes, waffles, and oatmeal, it can also be used as an ingredient in cooking dishes such as this apple crisp with a pecan crumble topping.
To make this, you'll need 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 large apples (such as Rome Beauty), peeled and diced, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and 1/2 cup water. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the apples with the cornstarch and water until well mixed. Pour the apple mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish or equivalent oven-safe dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
Pour the maple syrup mixture over the top of the apples. Sprinkle 1 cup of crumbled pecans. Bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender and bubbly around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.
This recipe is excellent if you want something sweet but not too indulgent.
Maple Syrup- the real MVP
Maple syrup is a brilliant way to add sweetness to your dish. Its versatility makes it an excellent sweetener substitute when you're looking to cut back on processed sugar but still want something delicious!
The best part about maple syrup is that it's easy to use. You can add it to your recipes as a sugar substitute or drizzle it on top of desserts for a spot of flavor. Or, take some inspiration from the divine recipes above and create your own mouth-watering dish.
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