Here’s a healthy-ish avocado maple pineapple milkshake for you to kick back and enjoy on a sunny day.
Did you know that I went to the University of Toronto for History and Sociology? Somehow I ended up focusing more on Canadian history for my undergrad (I swear, it just happened) and I thought hey, why not put my degree to use here? This year is Canada’s 150th birthday and I’m starting a mini food series here on the blog. To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, I’ll be sharing some Canadian dishes or recipes using ingredients that are “Canadian” and a little bit of history behind it. Yes, Poutine is on the list, don’t you worry ;)
To kick start this series, I’ll be starting with Maple Syrup. I literally just came home from my run and whipped together this avocado maple pineapple milkshake. I say healthy-ish milkshake because while it uses whole ingredients such as avocado and pineapple, I did a tablespoon of condensed milk and maple syrup to make it sweet.
Maple syrup, one of Canada’s oldest industries. The world’s production of maple syrup is limited to the Maple Belt, which is the hardwood forest that stretches from the midwestern US through Ontario, Québec and New England and into the Maritimes in Canada. During the time of year where the snow melts and spring starts, there is a 6 week window where the maple sap is collected. There is the traditional bucket collection and the newer vacuum-tubing system that reduces labour and creates a more sanitary environment for collection.
Before Canada was settled by the Europeans, the skill and responsibility of collecting and processing the maple sap was known and valued by the Indigenous peoples in North America. The Indigenous people would place wooden bowls under a trough they made to catch the sap leaving the tree before bringing it to their “sugar hut” to evaporate the water from the sap. Their process was long and tedious as they placed stones heated in a fire inside the pots of sap to turn the sap into a syrup. It takes approximately 30-45 L of maple sap to produce 1 L of pure maple syrup as sap is about 97% water. Seeing how long the process can be and how much sap is needed to make syrup, I’m sure you can imagine the outrage of the Great Maple Syrup Heist of 2012 in Quebec!
According to The Canadian Encyclopedia “Maple syrup is a pure, natural sweetener, the only other liquid natural sweetener being honey. Maple syrup has an abundance of trace minerals that are essential to good nutrition: potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, zinc, copper and tin, as well as calcium in concentrations 15 times higher than honey. It contains only one-tenth as much sodium as honey, an important consideration for those on a salt-restricted diet.” But keep in mind when you’re purchasing maple syrup, you’re purchasing pure maple syrup! There’s “table syrup” where it is imitation of maple syrup and does not have the same nutrients in it.
Healthy-ish Avocado Maple Pineapple Milkshake
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 cup pineapples
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp condensed milk
- 1.5 cup water
- Place everything into the blender and blend until smooth.
Let’s chat! What do you use maple syrup for?
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