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We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Magazine Fund for the creation of this website.

The Country Connection regularly features food and recipes on its pages, including:

Homemade Pickles and Relishes by Linda Gabris
Japanese Rice Rolls by Linda Gabris
Old-fashioned Grain Soups by Linda Gabris
Cooking with the Three Sisters by Liz Clark

The recipes below, all using maple syrup, have appeared in The Country Connection over the years. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Illustration courtesy the
Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association

Cooking with
Maple Syrup

Recipes in memory of
Nancy Zylstra (1955-2005)

These delicious, plant-based recipes were all adapted and tested by Nancy Zylstra.

Read more about maple syrup in Dan Boileau's story: The Sweet Truth About Maple Syrup

Delicious, Decadent and
Dairy-Free Cheeze Cake

Dairy-free Cheese Cake

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbs. maple syrup
1/4c vegan margarine or oil *

12 oz. soft silken tofu, drained*
227 g. imitation cream cheese *
4 tbs. pineapple juice, frozen concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup oil
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbs. corn starch/arrowroot, dissolved in 2 tbs. water

For the crust: Melt margarine and mix with graham cracker crumbs and maple syrup. Press well into the bottom of a pie plate. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes. Let cool.
For the filling: Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy. Pour into crust and bake at 350ºF for 45-50 minutes. Cool and chill until set. Decorate with fresh or frozen fruit.

* In this recipe we used Mori Nu Soft Tofu for the silken tofu, Earth Balance Spread for the vegan margarine, and 1 tub of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese for the imitation cream cheese.
Adapted from a recipe found on Veggies Unite,

Maple Baked Beans

2 1/2 cups cooked navy beans (drained)
1 onion chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup oil
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
3 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon prepared mustard

Bake at 350º F for one hour covered.

Maple Lemon Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
cayenne (optional) to taste
Shake well.

Curry Dressing – add curry powder or paste to taste
French Dressing – add ketchup, prepared mustard and curry powder to taste

Maple Corn Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup corn meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1-2 Tablespoon oil
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Mix together and pour into paper muffin cups in a muffin pan. Bake at 350º F for 15-20 minutes.

Bean Salad

1 cup yellow beans, canned/cooked
1 cup green beans, canned/cooked
1 cup kidney beans, canned/cooked
1 green/red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced (red onions are great)


1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cloves minced garlic (more to taste)
salt & pepper
Mix ingredients for dressing and pour over the vegetables.
Chill before serving.

Maple Almond Flan

4 cups soymilk
1/4 cup agar flakes
4 tbsp. kudzu (dissolved in small amount of liquid)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tbsp. vanilla
Whisk together in a double boiler. Bring to a boil, whisking regularly to avoid lumping. Pour into dish and chill untill solid. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle toasted, slivered almonds on top before serving.
Serving suggestion:
pour Flan into small serving dishes or mould. When solid turn out onto a serving plate. Drizzle with maple syrup and slivered almonds.
Adapted from a recipe in The Natural Gourmet by Annemarie Colbin.
ISBN 0-345-37028-7

Vegan Bacon

1 tbsp maple syrup
liquid smoke to taste
1/8 cup tamari/shoyu/soy sauce
1/8 cup water
firm tofu slices approx 1/8th inch thick
3 tbsp oil

Heat the oil in a cast iron frying pan. Add the tofu, turning until the tofu gets crispy brown on both sides. Hint—the tofu tends to get unstuck as it gets a little cooked. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the tofu. Turn down the heat and allow the liquid to soak into the tofu and evaporate off.Serving Suggestion: Use as a replacement for bacon in a bacon/lettuce/tomato sandwich.
Adapted from a recipe at Veggies Unite.

Caramelized Maple Popcorn Sauce

1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes *

Mix ingredients in a measuring cup and let sit a minute to thicken. Stir and pour over fresh popcorn.

* Nutritional Yeast is an inactive yeast and dietary food supplement with a distinct, pleasant aroma and delicious cheesy taste. It is different from baking yeast and has no fermenting power. Do not confuse it with brewers yeast which is not so pleasant. Six teaspoons (about 10 gm) provide: 6 mg each of vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6; 5 mcg vitamin B12; 35 mg niacin; 5 gm protein (50% by weight); 4 gm carbohydrates; and 30 calories. Contains no fat. Store in a cool dry place or refrigerate. Will keep indefinitely if stored properly. Available in flakes or powder at natural food stores (Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula T6635+).

Sesame Milk

1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
2 cups water
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Blend until liquid and foamy.

1/2 to 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup water
4+ cloves garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp maple syrup
cayenne pepper
1/2 cup oil
Blend all the ingredients except the oil until liquefied. Gradually add the oil as you would when making mayonnaise
Serving Suggestion:
Use this recipe on salads, sandwiches, for vegtable dip, in potato salad and anywhere else you use mayonnaise. It also makes a delicious sour cream substitute in borscht!

Apple Crisp

6 cups apples chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp whole wheat flour
6 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flakes
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup sunflower oil

Toss apples with 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1 1/2 tbsp flour in baking dish. Drizzle with 3 tbsp maple syrup. In a separate container combine the flour, oats, salt, soda and rest of the cinnamon. Mix in the sunflower oil and drizzle on the remaining maple syrup. Mix with a fork and spread over apples. Bake 45 minutes at 350F (or until apples are tender)

Almond Cream
1 cup blanched almonds
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup water
Blend until smooth and creamy. Use in place of whipped cream.
Great in coffee.

Note: A heavy-duty blender will give better results in recipes requiring blending.

  • One tablespoon of maple syrup has only 40 calories. Honey has 64, brown sugar 51, corn syrup 60.
  • Maple syrup contains Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, Niacin, Iron and Calcium.
  • White sugar is basically empty of all nutrients.
  • Replace brown sugar in recipes with maple sugar (eg., grated maple sugar leaves).
  • Replace honey in recipes with maple syrup.
  • To ensure you are getting real maple syrup and not an imitation breakfast syrup, check the label for "Pure Maple Syrup" and the name of an Ontario producer.
  • You can freeze maple syrup for up to one year in a tightly-sealed container, but be sure and leave 2 cm of head room for expansion. It will take about one hour at room temperature for the maple syrup to become pourable.
  • Opened containers should be refrigerated. If you see mould appearing, discard immediately.
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