By: Olivia Dorio, Mountsberg Educator
If you’re looking for a healthier sugar to replace refined white sugar in your baking and cooking look no further than your local sugar bush. Maple syrup is the perfect sugar substitute that will add that sweetness without sacrificing nutritional value. Unlike refined white sugars, which have no vitamins or minerals, maple syrup is a rich source of several minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Pure maple syrup also contains 54 different antioxidants, more than many fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, cabbage, and cantaloupe. Thus, eating pure maple syrup can actually boost your immune system and be part of a balanced diet that prevents diseases like cancer and heart disease (if eaten in moderation of course).
With maple syrup’s nutritional properties it is the perfect sweetener for this homemade granola recipe. Take a trip to Mountsberg’s Maple Town to see how this natural sweetener is made and then bring some home to whip up this super easy and delicious recipe.
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 pumpkin seeds
1/2 sunflower seeds
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
3/4 cup unsalted slivered or chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped dates
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 325
- Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Toss all ingredients thoroughly until dry ingredients are completely coated. Mixture will not stick together.
- Spread onto one large baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or until top is a light golden brown (this will take less time if you split mixture between 2 smaller baking sheets).
- Remove from oven and stir the granola to ensure even cooking. Return to oven for 15-20 minutes, until entire mixture is a light golden brown. Be careful not to burn as burnt dates turn as hard as rocks.
- The maple syrup adds just the right amount of natural sweetness to this granola. It is a great recipe to play around with; you can substitute just about any kind of seeds, nuts, and dried fruits. Serve on top of yogurt with fresh berries for a delicious and healthy snack!
Stay tuned to this blog for more maple recipes to come throughout the month of March. For more information on how to enjoy Maple Season in our Halton Parks look for Mountsberg’s Maple Town and Crawford Lake’s Sweetwater Season at conservationhalton.ca/events.