What comes to mind when people think of maple syrup? Probably either Log Cabin or Aunt Jemima. And who can blame them? These are iconic brands from childhood, mainstays of Americana. But, deep down, we may feel a slight sense of guilt, knowing that these products aren't the real thing and should really be called pancake syrup. This week, though, we thought it would be a great cooking challenge to feature the real stuff, maple syrup straight from Canada.
Maple syrup can be used for so much more than just pancakes, waffles, and French toast. With a little imagination and creativity, you can breathe new life into some other everyday favorites using maple syrup, too. Check out the highlights from this week's contest for some great cooking ideas:
Maple syrup isn't just great for cooking, though. It has numerous health benefits as well, according to sports nutritionist Barbara Lewin, R.D., L.D. Lewin says maple syrup has 54 distinct antioxidants and has greater amounts of manganese and zinc, two minerals that are important for post-workout muscle recovery, than other sweeteners. It has fewer calories than corn syrup and honey, and it is also a good source of riboflavin and potassium.
With such great versatility and so many different health benefits, maple syrup is an ingredient that should be in everyone's pantry. So run out there and go buy some maple syrup!
All of the recipes featured here can be made at home for about $32 or less, excluding the cost of small amounts of basic ingredients such as butter, oil, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and other dried herbs and spices.
Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.