Beyond the Pancake: 15 Recipes to Try for Maple Syrup Season

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different color variations of maple syrup on porch outside
Photo credit: Cindy Creighton/shutterstock

Real maple syrup is essentially boiled sap graded for color and intensity of flavor; the rule is that the darker the grade, the bolder the flavor, and a bottle of the good stuff can run between $7 and $20. It can last up to a year in the fridge, though, and can be so much more than a pancake and waffle topping. It goes in everything from salads and glazes to cocktails -- even sport drinks.

Strawberry Focaccia With Maple-Balsamic Onions
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Give flavor to white, tasteless strawberries by using them atop a robust bread with onions sautéed in Grade A very dark maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. When baked, the strawberry flavor intensifies, while the syrup and vinegar add a balancing tartness terrific when paired with goat cheese. This recipe gives instructions to make focaccia from scratch, but you can cheat with a store-bought loaf.
Recipe: Saveur

Rainbow Chard With Maple-Vinegar Drizzle
Photo credit: Anna Hoychuk/shutterstock

Swiss chard can be limp and heavy when just tossed in a pan. Toasted cashews and raisins (for texture) and sherry vinegar and maple syrup (for extra zing) give delightful complexity to these winter greens. Try a Grade A very dark syrup for even more intense flavor.
Recipe: Food52

Maple-Roasted Root Vegetables
Photo credit: Paul_Brighton/shutterstock

Spice up this traditional fall side dish with some very dark syrup added halfway into the roasting process. Be sure to cut the vegetables -- carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, and parsnips -- into same-size chunks for even cooking.
Recipe: Real Housemoms

Maple Roast Pork
Photo credit: hlphoto/shutterstock

Maple syrup and pork blend perfectly for cooler-weather meals. The tenderloin gets a punched-up glaze of maple syrup combined with cider vinegar and whole-grain mustard. Save half to pour over the pork as it's served with apples and sweet potatoes.
Recipe: Epicurious

Crispy Maple Spareribs
Photo credit: TalyaAL/shutterstock

Plan ahead and marinate spare ribs for up to two days in this spicy-sweet mix of Asian chili sauce and maple syrup combined with Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar. Save half the marinade for basting to ensure crispiness.
Recipe: Recipes From 4EveryKitchen

Pork Chops or Chicken with Maple Barbecue Sauce
Photo credit: MariaKovaleva/shutterstock

This sweet, smoky, and fruity barbecue sauce -- with chipotles added for an extra kick -- can be saved to enhance whatever meat is on hand. Just baste the meat before it goes into the oven or on the grill, and again halfway through cooking.
Recipe: Daring Gourmet

Maple Cardamom Glazed Salmon
Photo credit: Kondor83/shutterstock

For a lighter option, maple syrup pairs well with fish such as salmon. Combining syrup with cardamom, paprika, and a pinch of cayenne harmonizes the sweetness with some spice. Brush the salmon with the glaze before popping it into the oven or onto the grill.
Recipe: Food52

Trout with Maple-Sage Butter
Photo credit: Shaiith/shutterstock

Pan-fried, corn-meal coated trout gets a flavor boost with a dollop of maple-sage butter from syrup maker Robb Turner. Chop sage leaves finely to combine with two tablespoons of butter and four teaspoons of dark syrup.
Recipe: The Crown Maple Guide to Maple Syrup

Sweet and Creamy Maple Tahini Fruit Dip
Photo credit: Alexander Prokopenko/shutterstock

Tahini, made from ground sesame seeds, is a protein, mineral, and fiber powerhouse. There are even some beauty-enhancing claims for hair and skin in suggesting this mix of orange juice, lemon juice, and maple syrup as a dip for apples, bananas, kiwi, or other fruit.
Recipe: Feeding Your Beauty

Maple Mustard Buttermilk-Crusted Chicken Tenders
Photo credit: Joshua Resnick/shutterstock

Satisfy a chicken fingers craving by whisking together buttermilk, maple syrup, mustard, and garlic and pouring over chicken tenders, allowing them to marinate before coating with breadcrumbs and oven-baking.
Recipe: How Sweet It Is

Maple Sports Drink
Photo credit: Layland Masuda/shutterstock

This natural sweetener can add flavor to beverages too -- try swapping out sugar with maple syrup for a new twist on an Old-Fashioned -- though very light or light syrups are best. A DIY sports drink combines orange juice, lime juice, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt with cold water for a post-workout refresher.
Recipe: Pure Canada Maple

Mulled Maple Cranberry Cider
Photo credit: Yulia Davidovich/shutterstock

This cider adds maple syrup and cranberry juice for a deliciously warm treat for nippy fall afternoons. Cinnamon sticks, cloves, and vanilla bean create a smoky undertone.
Recipe: The Crown Maple Guide to Maple Syrup

Triple Berry French Toast
Photo credit: Elena Elisseeva/shutterstock

A decadent take on a breakfast standard uses a slow cooker instead of a griddle, combining cubed challah bread with sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, heavy cream, and syrup for an easy Sunday brunch option. Just spoon it out and add a dollop of whipped cream.
Recipe: PureWow

Breakfast Quinoa with Almond Milk
Photo credit: Stephanie Frey/shutterstock

Swap the oatmeal for quinoa -- nothing packs a protein punch like this gluten-free grain, and it absorbs syrup and almond milk perfectly. use any toppings you choose, but slivered coconut, almonds, and berries add a flavorful crunch.
Recipe: PureWow

Mock Maple Syrup
Photo credit: Suto Norbert Zsolt/shutterstock

If you discover the last drop of syrup has been drained from the jug, make a facsimile in a pinch by bringing equal parts water, white sugar, and brown sugar to a boil and stirring in some maple-flavored extract. (More brown sugar means a thicker syrup.)
Recipe: Allrecipes

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