GREENWICH, N.Y. — November has arrived. The harvest is nearly complete, the leaves have mostly fallen from the trees, and the days are becoming shorter as the winter approaches. November also brings the opportunity to see family and express gratitude for the blessings in one’s life with Thanksgiving. When looking ahead to Thanksgiving (or Christmastime for any Canadian readers who celebrated Thanksgiving in October) don’t forget to include maple and maple products in your feast.
Maple is a versatile product that comes in many different forms. Apart from its most well-known form of maple syrup, maple is also made into products like maple cream or butter, maple flakes, maple sugar, and many more which can be incorporated into Thanksgiving dinner. Maple has a unique flavor which can enhance the taste of well-known dishes or be the feature taste in a dish or bake.
For starters, maple is usable in many alcoholic and non-alcoholic specialty drinks. Maple blends well in various cocktails like a Maple Amaretto Sour, or in a punch that all can enjoy such as Maple Berry Punch or Apple-Cranberry Maple Spritzer. Maple can also easily be added to any tea or coffee that is had pre- or post-meal to liven the taste.
The main feature of the Thanksgiving meal is usually the turkey. Maple can be used in various glazes or rubs to season the bird, such as Maple-Pear Glazed Roasted Turkey, or Maple-Glazed Ginger Turkey. Maple can also be incorporated in stuffing that cooks inside or other dressings that pair with the turkey adding a distinct flavor to the main course. Some examples include Maple Cider Roasted Turkey with Cherry Compote and Turkey Rolls with a Maple Ground-Cherry Sauce. If going a non-traditional route and featuring a different meat or no meat at all, maple still pairs well with foods like beef, chicken, seafood, tofu, and more.
Maple can be incorporated into side dishes at the Thanksgiving table. Cooking with maple syrup or concocting a maple dressing to go on vegetables can give less popular sides more appeal. Some examples include Maple-Glazed Carrots, Maple-Nut Cauliflower, or Asparagus with Maple Vinaigrette. Maple can even add a new spin to more liked sides too, such as Maple-Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.
Don’t forget dessert! Maple’s natural sweetness lends itself to desserts too as the featured taste or an additional flavor. Maple pairs well with fruit making it an easy addition to Thanksgiving classics like Apple or Pumpkin Pies, as well as other fruit desserts like Fruit Crisp and Maple Apple-Raspberry Squares. Maple works in a host of other desserts from cakes to cookies to pastries to puddings. If keeping things simple, pouring some pure maple syrup over ice cream is an easy treat too.
While Thanksgiving is typically a day when people indulge, for those who want to make their desserts a bit healthier maple serves as a good sugar replacement. Simply replace one cup of sugar with one cup of maple syrup while decreasing the overall liquid ingredients to ¼ cup. If replacing other liquid sweeteners like honey or agave syrup keep the quantity the same.
Whatever your family decides to include in your Thanksgiving spread this year, look for ways to make maple a part of it while you celebrate and give thanks for the blessings in your life.
All of the recipes mentioned in this article and hundreds more can be found at https://maplefromcanada.ca/.
About Real Maple: Real Maple is the only natural sweetener made from one botanical ingredient – maple sap – with no added colors or flavors. 100% pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener that contains vitamins and minerals that help maintain and support a healthy body. Real Maple truly is The Smarter Sweetener. Keep up with Real Maple on Facebook and Instagram (@userealmaple) for nutrition information, fun facts, recipes, and more!