Written By: Brenna Bartley, Educational Coordinator for Crawford Lake and Mountsberg, &
Lesley Matich, Terrestrial Planning Ecologist
Pancakes, waffles and baked goods all come to mind when thinking of how to best enjoy maple syrup but, maple syrup has a lighter side too! This sugary treat is rich in antioxidants and natural minerals such as calcium, b vitamins, zinc, potassium and magnesium. Finally, maple syrup is also lower on the glycemic index than many other sweeteners. In fact, it may even contain compounds that help to control blood sugar; although, the research is still ongoing on this particular claim! Of note, is the fact that the darker the grade of maple syrup, the greater the health benefits and concentrations of the good stuff.
However, how good can the liquid gold be for you if you only drizzle it on carbs? CH Staffer Lesley Matich has developed the following Maple Dijon Vinaigrette based on a Jamie Oliver favourite. She incorporated maple syrup and Dijon mustard into her version and her family thinks she has a winner. I tried it on a summery strawberry and feta cheese salad, whipped up when my family couldn’t handle one more evening of winter fare and we agree- the vinaigrette was the star of the show.
There are two more weekends of Mountsberg’s Maple Town for you to experience, come out to the park to learn how this nutritious natural food is made!
Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
3 part extra virgin olive oil
1 parts balsamic vinegar
1 part maple syrup
½ part Dijon mustard
A dash of pepper, garlic powder and salt
Combine all ingredients in a container with a lid and shake well to combine. Enjoy immediately or keep in the fridge for up to three days.
Note: try experimenting with different vinegars or seasonings, or use the vinaigrette as a marinade for chicken – it is very versatile!