Mid summer is often not the time when most people crave maple syrup! Folks are often more interested in honey, nature’s summertime sweetener.
We often think of maple as a late winter treat. In our everyday experiences, maple syrup is most often relegated to breakfast, enjoyed on pancakes and waffles. These days, many people don’t get to enjoy maple syrup at all, as quite a few people have developed intolerance to gluten or are limiting their consumption of grain for other health reasons.
What are some other ways to enjoy maple syrup? Well, it isn’t just for pancakes or waffles! Here are a few ideas on how you can enjoy maple syrup that you may not have considered. For my gluten sensitive friends, you may want to experiment with wheat alternatives to achieve desired results with your tried and true baking flours!
1. Chocolate chip cookies with maple syrup
Who doesn’t like maple syrup? Hands-down, the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is the best, most fool-proof recipe I have found. I simply add 1/2 c maple syrup to the recipe and have at it. The maple syrup adds a bit of depth to the brown sugar, and though subtle, the taste does come through.
2. Maple syrup on yogurt or ice cream
If you’ve never enjoyed maple syrup on your ice cream, by golly you are missing out! Simply pour a bit of maple syrup on vanilla ice cream and there you have it. It will change your life. I promise.
3. Maple Expresso Shake
Adapted from a recipe by Ken Haedrich, Maple Syrup Cookbook
¼ c. pure maple syrup
¾ c. brewed espresso/strong coffee, cold
3 ice cubes (Note: I freeze coffee in ice cube trays for just such an occasion)
½ pint good-quality vanilla ice cream
½ c. milk1 tbsp. coffee liqueur if you’re feeling squirrley, but it’s optional
Directions: Crush the ice cubes just a bit. (I use a rolling pin, but you do you.) Combine the crushed ice, espresso, milk, maple syrup, ice cream, and liqueur in a blender. Process briefly, until desired consistently. Pour into glasses and enjoy.
4. Cantaloupe bread with maple glaze
This is the recipe that I use:
I make a simple sugar glaze with milk and maple syrup. Here’s my bare-bones method:
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
About 1/4 milk and 1/4 maple or enough milk to make a thick glaze of your desired consistency.
5. Maple zucchini bread
I simply add 1/2 cup of maple syrup to my favorite zucchini bread recipe. I also use it with a chocolate zucchini bread recipe I have had for many years. Here’s a good one if you need some inspiration:
It’s pretty close to the one that I use, except I don’t use coconut flour and use 100% all purpose flour.
6. Maple Smoothie
1 c. plain yogurt
½ c. milk
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
1 ripe banana, peeled
Several crushed ice cubes
Combine the yogurt, milk, maple syrup, and banana in a blender. Add the crushed ice and process until smooth. Enjoy!
Maple syrup is a versatile pantry staple that adds flavor and depth to most recipes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with it in your homemade BBQ sauces, salad dressings, and sweet summer treats!