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Is there a better excuse to slurp down a bunch of sugary goodness than celebrating National Maple Syrup Day?

Dec. 17 is a good day to treat yourself to Canada’s golden nectar, though it doesn’t have to be sopped up by pancakes to be enjoyed.

Believe it or not, maple syrup can be used to flavour healthy dishes of sweet and savoury varieties, and Canadian food bloggers have made sure everyone knows it.

To honour our nation’s liquid gold, we’ve rounded up five simple and nutritious recipes from home chefs in different provinces, just in time for the holidays.

Bonus: They make delicious gifts and side dishes too!

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1) Vegan Maple Roasted Persimmons And Figs – Abbey’s Kitchen

From the blogger:Vegan maple roasted persimmons and figs make the ultimate gluten free holiday dessert that is equally nutritious and delicious.”

Click here for the recipe!

Vegan Maple Roasted Persimmons And Figs by Abbey’s Kitchen

2) Maple Glazed Almonds – Delightful Adventures

From the blogger: “Maple spiced almonds are also a great idea to make and give as edible holiday gifts. You can even chop them up and use them as a salad topper!”

Click here for the recipe!

Maple Glazed Almonds by Delightful Adventures

3) Asparagus With Maple Syrup – Love Thy Carrot

From the blogger: “When cooking fresh asparagus, I’ve found that simple recipes are best. A quick roast in a hot oven and a drizzle of dressing is all that’s needed.”

Click here for the recipe!

Asparagus With Maple Syrup by Love Thy Carrot

4) Pear & Candied Pecan Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette – The Fig Tree

From the blogger: “My mom makes this salad for all special occasions, because it just seems like a really special treat… The combination of pure maple syrup, dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar make the vinaigrette unbelievably delicious especially combined with a quality extra-virgin olive oil and a small amount of diced shallot.”

Click here for the recipe!

Pear & Candied Pecan Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette by The Fig Tree

5) Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Walnut-Bacon Crumble – Simple Bites

From the blogger: “This recipe sounds fancier than it really is: roast sweet potato rounds, a quick sweet and sour glaze and a crunchy topping. It’s a delightful combination of flavours and textures in a dish that feels ever so decadent, thanks to the bacon and maple syrup.”

Click here for the recipe!

Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Walnut-Bacon Crumble by Simple Bites

Have you tried one of these recipes? Let us know in the comments below. 

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