Endless ways to include maple in Thanksgiving and other holiday meals
November has arrived. The harvest is complete, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the days are becoming shorter as winter approaches. November also brings the opportunity to see family and express gratitude for the blessings in our lives with Thanksgiving in the US as well as thoughts of Christmas. As we think ahead to these holiday gatherings, 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 that can be incorporated into Thanksgiving dinner. Maple has a unique flavor that can enhance the taste of well-known dishes or be the headline taste in a number of dishes.
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 easily be added to any tea or coffee that is enjoyed pre- or post-meal.
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 into stuffing that cooks inside the bird 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 or 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 holiday table. Cooking with maple syrup or concocting a maple dressing to go on vegetables can give those sides a new twist. Consider whipping up a batch of Maple-Glazed Carrots, Maple-Nut Cauliflower, or Asparagus with Maple Vinaigrette. Maple can even add a new spin to the most popular side: try Maple-Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.
Don’t forget dessert! Maple’s natural sweetness lends itself to desserts, too, as the featured taste or as an additional flavor. Of course, maple pairs well with fruit, making it an easy addition to Thanksgiving classics like Apple or Pumpkin pie, and consider it with other fruit desserts, like Fruit Crisp or Maple Apple-Raspberry Squares. Maple works in a host of other desserts from cakes to cookies to pastries to puddings. And if your menu keeps things a little simpler, just pour some pure maple syrup over ice cream for 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. You can always replace one cup of white 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/.