Smooth skin, a healthy immune system, a strong heart and calm digestion. Maple syrup is a sweet all-natural, superfood that can help support health. According to Omni Barton Creek’s Executive Chef André Natera, you can substitute maple for sugar in just about any recipe.
“Maple as an ingredient is for more than just pancakes, French toast and waffles,” he said. “Tasting maple syrup and all the different grades of maple syrup when they’re fresh, when they’re hot, when they’re warm, when they’re coming right out of the tree, it really changes the way I look at cooking with it.” Here are a few reasons to add pure maple syrup to your diet, and a few innovative, Omni exclusive recipes.
Superfood Maple Vinaigrette Salad
Packed with antioxidants, maple syrup also adds calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium to your plate, as well as and vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and B6. Pair maple with other nutrient-rich foods like blueberries, kale or protein-packed quinoa to multiply the health benefits.
- 3.5 ounces Cooked Black Rice
- 3.5 ounces Cooked Quinoa
- 2 ounces Pomegranate Seeds
- 2 ounces Dried Blueberries
- 1/2 ounce Marcona Almonds
- ½ ounce Maple Vinaigrette
- ½ ounce Chopped Baby Kale
- ½ ounce Mint, chiffonade
- Garlic cloves, peeled/chopped 1 each
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil 4 ounces
- Sherry Vinegar 2 ounces
- Grade A Dark Maple Syrup ½ ounce
- Dijon Mustard ¼ ounce
- Kosher Salt pinch
1. Cook the quinoa and black rice separately in a pot of water over medium heat covered using a 1.5 to 1 ratio of water to grain. Chill thoroughly.
2. Combine the quinoa, black rice in a bowl and fold in the remaining ingredients mixing thoroughly.
3. Season as needed with salt and pepper.
4. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well.
5. Toss salad and vinaigrette.
Nature’s Candy – Sugar on Snow
Swap maple for sugar in cakes, muffins and other treats and you’ll give yourself a great excuse to say yes to dessert. This maple candy recipe is an old favorite of pioneer kids, when maple was often used as a sweet treat and a home remedy for everyday aches and pains.
- Grade A Dark Maple Syrup (1/4 cup per person)
- Finely Crushed Ice or Snow (about a cup per person)
1. Boil maple syrup in a saucepan to 234 degrees on a candy thermometer. Cool slightly and test by spooning a tablespoon of syrup over the snow or ice.
2. When the syrup sits on top of the snow but sticks to a fork like taffy, it is ready.
3. Traditionally sugar on snow is served with pickles and doughnuts. It also works well with tropical fruits.
Savory Maple Meat Rub
Using maple instead of brown sugar in your meat rubs and marinades can add some disease-fighting vitamins and minerals like zinc and manganese without losing the savory-sweet flavor.
- 8 ounces Maple Sugar
- 1 ounce Cumin
- 1 ounce Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 ounces Onion Powder
- 2.5 ounces Sea Salt
- 3 ounces Ancho Powder
- ½ ounce Cayenne Powder
- 2 ounces Garlic Powder
Combine all ingredients and rub meat – like pork tenderloin – generously before cooking. To save, mix well and store in an airtight container.
Maple-Staple Happy Hour – Blueberry Maple Lemonade
Your favorite cocktail just got a little sweeter. “Maple syrup is a much healthier alternative to a simple syrup,” said Kim Hassarud, Omni’s Corporate Mixologist. “It’s versatile enough that you can use it to enhance flavors in a wide range of spirits without an overpowering maple taste” she said. “You can hardly detect that it’s there.”
- 1.5 ounces Tito’s Handmade Vodka
- 1 ounces Lemon Juice
- 1 ounces Amber Maple Syrup
- 0.5 ounces Blueberry RE’AL puree
- Garnish: skewered blueberries + lemon moon
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktails shaker with ice. Shake moderately and strain into an iced glass. Garnish.
Neutralize the free radicals that cause skin damage and aging by adding maple to your skin care routine. Polyphenols, a plant-based antioxidant, is packed with an enzyme dismutase, known for its ability to detoxify and repair.
- 1 tablespoon warm milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons finely ground oats
Stir together milk and syrup. Add 3 tablespoons finely ground oats; stir again. Massage gently onto your face, leave on for up to 20 minutes, rinse off, and follow with a moisturizer.