Rabbie (Robert) Burns, the famous Scottish Bard, had a sweet eye for the ladies and a sweet tooth for his other great love, cakes!
Back in Burns’ day people would give up ‘luxuries’ for Lent. So for forty days and forty nights the ever canny Scots did their best not to waste them and they devised the tradition of making dropped scones to use up all the ‘forbidden fruits’ before Lent.
A dropped scone is a type of cake that was originally cooked on a griddle, a flat cast iron pan, but nowadays we use a frying pan. The name ‘dropped scones’ comes from the dropping of soft blobs of mixture onto the hot pan base.
Scones originated in Scotland and the ‘Dropped Scone’ is one of their favorites. They are not like the typical British pancake/crepe as the Scottish version rises and is more substantial.
Sadly, poor old Rabbie didn’t have the luxury of being able to pour a good dollop of delicious Canadian Maple Syrup on his dropped scones like they do today in Scotland.
Recipe for dropped scones
This simple recipe will make about 10 dropped scones.
100g/4oz self raising flour
A pinch of salt
50g/2oz caster sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp milk
Lots of Maple Syrup to serve
1. Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.
2. Place a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and brush the pan with a little oil.
3. Drop large spoonfuls of the mix to the hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, little bubbles will appear on the surface, turn over and cook for another 1-2 minutes till a light golden colour.
4. Transfer the dropped scones onto a serving plate and add lashings of maple syrup for best results.
Do a test dropped scone first to check the temperature. If it is correct, the scones should cook in about one and a half minutes per side.
No grill? No problem. With cheap balsamic vinegar and a functioning broiler these racks of baby back ribs are sinfully simple and fall off the bone, perfectly tender and mouth-watering.
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Rub the baby back racks of ribs generously with great amounts of seasoning. Using roughly equal parts salt and black pepper, with half as much garlic powder. Go crazy!
3. Put the ribs into a large roasting pan, on top of a rack so they’re a couple of inches off the bottom of the pan. This lets the heat circulate round the ribs and cooks them evenly.
4. Pour the cheap balsamic vinegar into the pan until it’s up to an inch deep. The ribs´ll steam in this and tenderize! Make sure the steam will stay trapped by covering the pan tightly and completely with aluminum foil.
5. Ninety minutes later, take the ribs out of the oven. Gently! Steam is hot!! They should look a little shriveled and gray and, to be honest, not all that appetizing. That´s perfect!
6.Now´s the time to use the broiler. Put the ribs on a sheet tray and daub them with a thick layer of sauce. Crank the broiler up high and put the rib slabs underneath. This is where you need to pay attention. They should be crispy but you don´t want a barbecue in your kitchen! You want to hear bubbles and pops, see that fabulous brown crust and smell that barbecued badness! Then, they are ready to go!
7. Leave to cool a little and slice them into portions. Serve on a large plate and drizzle extra barbecue sauce.
For the sauce
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons water
olive or canola oil
3 cups ketchup
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground pepper
Blend onion and water into a puree. Heat a three-quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add oil to coat pan.
When the pan is hot, add the onion puree. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the onion is golden and the water is almost gone.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and cook for about 20 minutes until thick. Remove from heat to cool.
Coat the ribs the night before, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
1/2 teaspoon extra smoked paprika added to the sauce gives some of the outdoors smoky BBQ flavour
If you don’t have a roasting rack, don´t bother buying one—just ball up a few sheets of aluminum foil and throw them in the pan so your meat stays high and dry. You could also cannibalize your stove’s burner grates and put them in the bottom of the pan to keep your meat suspended
If you don’t have enough balsamic vinegar, add beer, which is generally a good idea with any recipe!
Pure maple syrup is the perfect food for your face. Flowing with antioxidants it works wonders as an anti-wrinkle treatment. It has over 54 antioxidants that help control the free radicals that cause the skin to age. While Canadian health organizations recognize pure maple syrup as a super food, the same beneficial classes of antioxidant compounds found in berries, tomatoes, tea, red wine and flax seed are also found in maple syrup. A recent study by the University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Sareem found maple syrup contains over 20 health enhancing compounds, including minerals such as manganese, potassium, zinc, calcium and skin healthy vitamins A and B.
Maple syrup does a great job in hydrating the skin, drawing water vapor into and beneath the surface of the skin.
Aloe vera has been used as a healing salve since Egyptian times. It stimulates skin regeneration and is especially beneficial against wrinkles. It also helps protect and reverse sun damage.
Maple syrup and aloe vera combine into a powerful, natural and nourishing moisturizer which hydrates and protects the skin.
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
With clean hands, mix together and gently massage onto the face. It will go on effortlessly and your face will have a shiny, humid appearance. It will be tacky to the touch but just let it set.
Leave for about 15-20 minutes and rinse your face with warm water.
Don’t put your pure maple syrup away after breakfast and forget about it until tomorrow. If you’re off to the gym it’s a great source of electrolytes, gives you a burst of energy and is free from additives and artificial colors and flavors.
Maple Sports Drink
3 1/2 cups of cold water
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1/8 tablespoon of salt
Mix together and with only 60 calories it wards off dehydration, contains all natural ingredients and tastes great!
With all that goodness coursing through your veins, you deserve a night out and what could be better than a couple of cocktails to wind up your evening? The secret to any good cocktail is good quality ingredients and pure maple syrup adds depth, flavor and complexity.
The Maple Leaf
2 oz. rye whiskey
3/4 oz. pure maple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Mix in a cocktail shaker, add ice and garnish with a stick of cinnamon.
It’s a variation of the Whiskey Sour, a rustic, tasty and refreshing cocktail. The natural sweetness of the pure maple syrup nicely balances the tartness of the lemon. And while you sleep sweetly, the maple syrup goes back in the cupboard, ready for tomorrow’s pancakes.
Start your day the Spanish way on a sweet and healthy note with the typical maple syrup torta breakfast!
Easy to make, serves 8 portions, 20 minutes preparation and 5 minutes cooking.
1 stick of day old bread (French loaf style)
1 cup of coconut milk
2 eggs – beaten
Sunflower oil for frying
Pure maple syrup
Cut the bread into slices and dip it them in the coconut milk.
Coat them in the beaten egg and fry in hot sunflower oil until golden brown.
Transfer to a plate. Use a kitchen towel to soak up a little of the oil and while still hot sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Just before serving add a healthy dollop of pure maple syrup on top.
Using coconut milk is great for anyone intolerance to lactose and milk protein.
Add freshly chopped seasonal fruit.
Also known as the “Colon Cleanser” this diet contributes to the overall health and wellbeing of the body.
The colon, or large intestine, removes water, salt and certain nutrients that form the stool. A colon that´s not working properly holds onto waste.
The body should process food in 24 hours but modern living means we can lack essential nutrients that slow it down, keeping kilos of food in our guts leading to everything from constipation to colon cancer.
A clean colon pushes undigested waste straight through, improving digestion; it clears constipation, it rejuvenates the body, releasing toxins and increasing energy. It´s been shown to improve concentration and help with weight loss. It can also aid fertility, getting rid of the unwanted chemicals that damage semen and ova. Not to mention the benefits to skin, hair and nails.
When impurities are removed from the inside it shows on the outside.
This is a once in a while detox, it´s a program of 10-14 days developed by Stanley Burroughs in 1940. He called it the Master Cleanse diet but it´s now known as the Beyoncé Diet after one of its more famous fans.
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup
1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper
300ml of water
Mix together and take 5-8 times a day for at least 10days.
This is not a diet. You will lose weight but remember this is a once in a while detox.
Be picky when you´re picking your fruit to freeze! Ripe fruits with a good color, free from scars, clean and firm are worth preserving. Buy in bulk, buy in season and buy from Farmers Markets. Organic is always best, they´ll be free of pesticides and won´t be coated with wax. And remember, frozen fruit has all the nutrition and fiber of fresh fruit.
Keep the freshness in by washing the fruit thoroughly and peel, core it and cut it as quickly as possible to stop discoloration.
Fruit which is likely to discolor, like apples, peaches, apricots must be coated with lemon juice or ascorbic acid solution freezing. Currants, citrus fruit, melon, gooseberries, rhubarb and pineapple should be washed and frozen on a baking tray until they´re frozen solid then pack with maple syrup.
Make sure the pure maple syrup covers the fruit in the freezer container; take out as much air as possible.
Maple syrup helps maintain good color and texture, use ½ – 1/3 of a cup of pure maple syrup for each pint of fruit.
Thaw out the fruits at room temperature, in the refrigerator or under cold running water. If cooking or baking, they can be added straight from the refrigerator.
Stone fruits should be packed with a maple syrup with a concentration that suits the flavor of the fruit, i.e. a sour fruit needs a darker grade and sweeter fruits would be better with lighter syrups.
Most fruits are good to freeze for 9-12 months
Pineapples 3-4 months
Berries 6-8 months
Fruit juices 4-6 months
Don’t forget to label and date your freezer bags
This maple syrup glazed-vanilla ham is perfect for entertaining a crowd. The maple syrup adds a natural sweetness to the salty ham and the vanilla creates a touch of warmth that is sure to impress!
10-pound ham, bone-in, skin removed
2 cups pure Canadian maple syrup
1 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 vanilla pods
1/2 cup maple sugar
Place ham in a large Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cover, lower heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
Split the vanilla beans and scrape out seeds into a medium bowl. Cut the pods crosswise into a total of 12 to 15 pieces; set pod pieces aside.
Add to the bowl with the vanilla seeds: the maple syrup, orange juice and pepper. Stir to combine; set the glaze aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain ham and pat dry before placing on a rack in a roasting pan, fatty side up.
With a knife, make diamond-shape incisions in the fat of the ham. Stud each incision with a piece of vanilla pod.
With a basting brush, cover the ham with some of the glaze and roast uncovered 1-1/2 hours, basting every 15 minutes.
Fifteen minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle ham with maple sugar. Return ham to oven and roast until the sugar caramelizes to a glossy brown.
Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before carving. Collect the cooking juices, strain and serve with the ham.
Number of servings (yield): 8 to 12
These chewy and low-fat snacks are a delicious alternative to store-bought energy bars. They are easy to eat on-the-go and provide the necessary fuel to keep you going those long distances. For variation, top these snacks with dried fruit and nuts.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup maple sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup from Canada
1/4 cup canola oil
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 ripe banana, mashed with a fork
Pieces of nuts and dried fruit for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and lemon zest. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the maple sugar with the canola oil and maple syrup. Add the egg whites and beat until smooth and uniform. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients. Then stir in lemon zest and banana. Drop a heaping teaspoon of thick batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 2″ of space between each. Add one or two pieces of nuts or dried fruit to center of each disc, if desired. Bake, one sheet at a time, for about 8 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies have browned.
Number of servings (yield): 48 bites Calories: 185
This easy-to-make maple syrup recipe was specially formulated for your fitness regimen. Not only does the fruity maple refueler shake have the seal of approval from sports nutritionists, it is absolutely delicious.
Including pure maple syrup in your recovery meal provides you with replenished energy, manganese to help with muscle recovery and 54 different antioxidant compounds to help protect the body from oxidative stress.
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (or any berry or cut-up fruit)
3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 frozen banana, cut in chunks
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
4 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in blender; whirl until smooth. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired. Serve immediately.
Number of servings (yield): 2 portions (about 10 ounces each)