Lots of healthy in this Chopped Autumn Salad. I usually only use maple syrup on pancakes and waffles, so using a maple vinaigrette in this Chopped Autumn Salad was really stepping out of my comfort zone.
Maple Syrup in this Chopped Autumn Salad?
So why did I use REAL maple syrup in this Chopped Autumn Salad instead of Mrs. Butterworth’s or Log Cabin syrup?
Mostly because the pure version is a natural sweetener, coming directly from the sap of a maple tree, and contains many healthy ingredients:. These include antioxidants and immune and metabolism boosters that can help prevent or delay some free radical damage in our cells, wchich some researchers believe cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
In fact, there are a few polyphenols that can ONLY be found in REAL maple syrup. As for the nutritional value of the other “syrups” you find on the grocery store shelf? None.
So if there’s any way I can prevent this type of cell damage, I going to try. Besides, I love REAL maple syrup–pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, ice cream. It just plain good!
If real syrup is best, why use anything else?
First, there’s the sugar.
With all the nutritional value in maple syrup, why use anything else? Because, unfortunately, REAL syrup has a LOT more sugar per ¼-cup serving than other syrups. It’s hard to believe that there’s as much as 10 TEASPOONS in REAL maple syrup versus Mrs. Butterworth’s, who comes in with a whopping 9 ½ teaspoons and Log Cabin with 7 teaspoons.
Considering you should only have a TOTAL of 6 teaspoons of sugar a day if you’re a woman, 9 teaspoons if you’re a man, and 5-7 for a child (depending on their age), real maple syrup shoots you over your limit pretty darn quick.
Then there’s the expense.
Real maple syrup is a whole lot more expensive, $6-8 for a 12.5 oz bottle as compared to $3 for a 24-ounce bottle of the others. Even at Aldi, where most items are budget friendly, the real maple syrup sells for $6 a bottle. So even though a little goes a long way, real maple syrup definitely can make a dent in a food budget.
So what should you do?
I’ll leave the choice up to use and what’s most important–Sticking to your budget or using less sugar for health reasons, or choosing the syrup with higher nutritional value.
I’m opting for the sugary REAL syrup and it’s higher nutritional content, and I’ll just plan to use it moderation. No more pancakes floating like islands in a river or syrup for me.
As for this Chopped Autumn Salad, it turned out a whole lot better than I thought. There’s a nice tangy sweet and salty going on with the chopped lettuce combined with salty bacon and feta cheese, candied pecans and dried cherries. Tossing it with the maple vinaigrette really added just the right touch. Delicious!
Chopped Autumn Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- 6 cups chopped lettuce/greens romaine, iceberg, spinach—your choice
- 3-4 slices bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
- 1 pear chopped into small dice
- 1 apple chopped into small dice (I use Honeycrisp or Granny Smith)
- ⅛-¼ cup chopped red onion optional and to taste
- ¼ cup candied pecans or roasted pecans chopped
- ¼ cup dried cherries or cranberries
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds optional
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese also works
- ¼ cup Maple Vinaigrette can use or more or less to taste
- Maple Vinaigrette Ingredients
- ⅓ cup cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste start with ¼ teaspoon each
- For the Salad: COMBINE lettuce/greens, bacon, pear, apple, pecans, dried cherries or cranberries, pomegranate seeds, chopped red onion, and cheese into a very large bowl.
- ADD vinaigrette to taste.
- TOSS salad until all of the lettuce is lightly covered. SERVE.A little added grilled or roasted chicken to this salad will make this a full meal.
- For the Maple Vinaigrette: COMBINE cider vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard in a medium bowl. SLOWLY whisk in oil until completely blended.
- ADD salt and pepper to taste. COVER and REFRIGERATE.
- A little added grilled or roasted chicken to this salad will make this a full meal.