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Creamy butternut squash soup

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This fall-inspired dish brings together aromatic spices and freshly harvested vegetables. Enjoy it after a stroll through the park or an afternoon raking leaves.

Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active)
Servings: 6

Ingredients

· 1 tablespoon butter
· 1 yellow onion, diced
· 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
· 1 teaspoon curry powder
· 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· Salt and pepper, to taste
· 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
· 1 potato, peeled and diced
· 3 cups chicken stock
· 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
· 1 tablespoon tomato paste
· 1 tablespoon maple syrup
· Juice of 1/2 lemon
· A few sprigs of chives, chopped

Directions
1. In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook at medium-high heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the curry and cinnamon, and cook for an additional minute. Salt and pepper generously.
2. Add the squash and potato. Mix until the vegetables are evenly coated in the spice mixture.
3. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, tomato paste, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Use a hand blender to purée the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chives.

Make it vegan!
For a plant-based version of this soup, replace the butter with olive oil and use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.

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Maple zucchini ricotta roll-ups

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It’s Maple Syrup Season!

Prep time
15 minutes

Servings

4

Ingredients
• 2 zucchinis (about 2 inches thick), green or yellow
• 1 cup ricotta
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon salt (or less)
• 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
• 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
• Ground pepper, to taste
• Espelette pepper

Directions
1. Use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to slice the zucchini lengthwise into ribbons about 1/16 inch thick.
2. Place the zucchini ribbons onto a clean cloth and allow them to dry.
3. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, maple syrup, parsley, chives, and salt and pepper. Adjust the seasonings as you see fit.
4. Spread a thin layer of the ricotta mixture onto each zucchini strip. Roll them up and place them vertically onto your serving plate. Sprinkle with Espelette pepper and garnish with sprigs of parsley or chives.

Created by Stéphanie Côté, nutritionist

Source: Pure Maple from Canada / puremaplefromcanada.com

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Maple mania: How to turn your home into a sugar shack

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It’s Maple Syrup Season!

As the ground slowly begins to thaw in the weeks leading up to spring, the starches stored in maple trees during winter turn into sap. In Quebec, Vermont and other maple producing regions, this period of warming signals the start of the sugaring-off season.

Far more than your average agricultural event, the making of maple syrup is a cause for celebration. This is especially true in Quebec, where families and couples head out into the wilderness to visit producers, sample syrups, and enjoy a hearty brunch doused with plenty of the sweet stuff.

Fortunately, the tradition of sugaring-off is starting to spread across North America, and you can now enjoy the flavors of the season in your own home.

To recreate the cabane à sucre experience, you’ll need the following:

• Copious amounts of maple syrup. (It’s impossible to have too much.)
• A variety of brunch foods including scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, and ham.
• One or more traditional salty dishes. Think savory meat pies, baked beans, cretons, and pickles. Salt will help cut the sweetness of the syrup.
• Beverages of your choice. Coffee and juice are traditional, but mimosas are more fun.
• Hungry friends, family members, and neighbors.
• Lively music and a roaring fire, if possible.

Ask guests to arrive in their comfiest jeans and lumberjack shirts.

After everyone has eaten more than their fair share of the maple-infused food, it’s time for dessert. Indeed, no sugaring-off experience is complete without sampling a bit of maple taffy. Simply fill a bowl or baking dish with fresh snow and drizzle thin ribbons of hot maple syrup on top. The syrup should be heated to about 240 F. Let the syrup cool for a few seconds, then twirl it onto wooden popsicle sticks.

Bon appétit!

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Maple “shepherd’s pie” dessert

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It’s Maple Syrup Season!

Prep time
15 minutes

Cook time

5 minutes

Servings
4

Ingredients
• 1 cup maple syrup
• 1/4 cup cocoa powder
• 2 cups plain bran cereal (such as All-Bran)
• 2 mangoes, cubed
• 2 cups Mediterranean style plain yogurt
• Maple sugar (for decoration)

Directions
1. In a saucepan, pour maple syrup and add cocoa. Mix well and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
2. Remove from heat and add cereal.
3. In 4 glass dishes (dessert bowls, mini Mason jars, or other), preferably wider than higher, assemble “shepherd’s pie” in successive layers: cereal mixture for meat, mango cubes for corn, and yogurt for mashed potato.
4. Sprinkle with maple sugar and serve.

Source: Pure Maple from Canada / puremaplefromcanada.com

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Heart-healthy roasted butternut squash with red onion and tahini sauce

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This heart-healthy, vegetarian-friendly recipe, adapted from Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, features roasted butternut squash, which is naturally rich in potassium to help regulate blood pressure.

Butternut squash is also high in insoluble fiber, which helps control blood sugar and promote fullness. Tahini-based sauce, made from sesame seeds, is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Olive oil is used to roast the squash and contains omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol. The result is a sweet, flavorful, warm side dish, perfect for a simple, healthy, filling meal. Za’atar spice is available in the international section of many grocery stores or Middle Eastern specialty grocery stores.

Ingredients
1 large butternut squash, peeled and sliced (discard seeds and pulp)

2 red onions, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons light tahini paste
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon za’atar spice
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss squash and onion in a bowl with olive oil, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and some black pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables have taken on some color and are fully cooked. The onions may cook quicker and need to be removed earlier than the squash. Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool.

For the sauce, whisk the the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until you have a liquid the consistency of honey. Add more water or tahini as necessary.

To serve, spread the vegetables on a serving platter and drizzle with the tahini sauce, followed by the za’atar and parsley.

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Maple-nut caramel corn

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It’s Maple Syrup Season!

Prep time
15 minutes

Cook time

8 minutes

Rest time
30 minutes

Servings
4

Ingredients
• Canola oil
• 2 cups popped corn
• 1 cup your choice of mixed nuts
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions
1. Brush a cookie sheet with canola oil.
2. In a large bowl, mix together popcorn and nuts.
3. In an 8-cup bowl, combine the maple syrup and butter. Use a little butter to baste the inside rim of the bowl and prevent the caramel from overflowing while cooking. Microwave 8 minutes.
4. While stirring vigorously, add baking soda, then pour the caramel over the popcorn and nuts. Mix to coat well.
5. Immediately, spread the mixture on a cookie sheet, then leave it to harden for 30 minutes. Break the caramel corn into small pieces and munch away.

Source: Pure Maple from Canada / puremaplefromcanada.com

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Maple-arugula pizza

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It’s Maple Syrup Season!

Prep time
10 minutes

Cook time

20 minutes

Servings
4

Ingredients
• 4 fresh Italian tomatoes or small tomatoes, sliced
• 2/3 cup maple vinegar OR 1/2 cup cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup maple syrup (preferably amber syrup, for its rich flavor)
• 4 pieces of flatbread, thick pitas or naan
• 4 tbsp (or more if desired) basil pesto, home-made or store-bought
• 2 fresh mozzarella balls, about 1/2 pound each, sliced
• 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
• Salt and ground pepper
• 2 cups baby arugula

Directions
1. Lay the tomato slices on paper towels and leave them for 5 minutes to draw out excess moisture.
2. Pour the maple vinegar or cider vinegar and mix with the maple syrup in a saucepan and boil it for 5 to 7 minutes or until it takes on the consistency of thick syrup. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to stop it from cooking further. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 425° F.
4. Arrange your pieces of bread on 2 baking sheets. Brush with pesto, lay on the tomatoes, mozzarella, and Parmesan, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
6. Place pizzas on plates and garnish with arugula and the maple reduction.

Storing
The maple reduction will keep at room temperature for several weeks. It will crystallize if overly reduced. The pizzas will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Source: Pure Maple from Canada / puremaplefromcanada.com

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