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Smart Ways to Cook with Maple Syrup (That Don't Involve Pancakes)

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Did you know pure maple syrup is a source of polyphenols, antioxidants that help your body fight inflammation? It's also a source of minerals like potassium, manganese, calcium and iron. Though maple syrup might not be as good, nutritionally speaking, as fresh fruit, you should give it a try in place of honey. Katie Webster, author of Maple, an entire collection of recipes using pure maple syrup, also makes a great point: "Maple syrup is sweeter and more flavorful than white sugar, cup for cup, so you end up using less than you would sugar." Dive into these beautiful recipes that are sure to fit into your meal plan next week.

Photo: Shutterstock

Maple Cookie Cake with Chocolate Frosting

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Most cookie cakes call for over one and a half cups of sugar (yikes!). Keep your blood sugar in check with this low-sugar cookie cake. It's sweetened with only 1/3 cup of maple syrup, so you're cutting the empty calories but still packing in plenty of sweetness.

Get the recipe: Maple Cookie Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Photo: Shaw's Simple Swaps

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Glaze and Pichuberries

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This is a fun twist on your traditional veggie side. Filled with vitamins D and A and a bit of tartness from the pichuberries, this acorn squash comes together beautifully with a hint of maple syrup. No need for a thick butter sauce to get all the sweet and salty flavor.

Get the recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Glaze and Pichuberries

Photo: Shaw's Simple Swaps

Roasted Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts

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A hint of maple syrup creates a balance of savory and sweet in this dish. Brussels sprouts never tasted so good.

Get the recipe: Roasted Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Photo: RDelicious Kitchen

Maple Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa

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Maple syrup adds a hint of natural sweetness to this pork tenderloin recipe and brings out the juiciness of the pineapple. Maple syrup is lower on the glycemic index than sugar and even contains some antioxidants that may promote brain health. Fun fact: Pork tenderloin is just as lean as chicken breast.

Get the recipe: Maple Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa

Photo: 80 Twenty Nutrition

Cranberry Spritzer

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Guests will never know this spritzer is a low-calorie cocktail. The cranberry flavor shines with the light sweetness from the maple syrup. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg combine perfectly with the cranberry and mint flavors. This signature cocktail can be served with or without alcohol and is just the touch you need at your next party.

Get the recipe: Cranberry Spritzer

Photo: Create Kids Club

Healthy Gingersnap Pumpkin Mousse

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Decadent mousse gets a makeover with a few secret, nutrient-rich ingredients. For this recipe, simply blend together canned pureed pumpkin, frozen banana, pumpkin pie spice, low-fat cottage cheese (it gives the dessert a luscious texture and a nice protein kick), and pure maple syrup for a hint of sweetness. With just 110 calories per serving and over a day's worth of vitamin A, it's hard to believe this recipe is actually a dessert.

Get the recipe: Healthy Gingersnap Pumpkin Mousse

Photo: Meal Makeover Moms' Kitchen

Orange Maple Salmon

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This salmon is a quick and easy dish that's full of flavor. Omega-3-rich fish is coated with a mixture of freshly squeezed orange juice, maple syrup, whole-grain mustard, and minced garlic for a sweet and tangy entrée perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Get the recipe: Orange Maple Salmon

Photo: Nutritioulicious

Maple Nut Energy Bites

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Energy bites are having a moment, and these vegan and gluten-free versions feature maple syrup for the perfect pre-run energy boost.

Get the recipe: Maple Nut Energy Bites

Photo: Fannetastic Food

Maple Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Eggs

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A beautiful way to get your vegetables in: Combine the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes with a touch of maple syrup and a dose of protein with a fried egg.

Get the recipe: Maple Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Eggs

Photo: Healthy Aperture

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