Chefs Are Tossing Trader Joe's Maple Syrup In Unexpected Places

If you're starting your day with a stack of pancakes or waffles, chances are you're pouring on a generous amount of maple syrup to sweeten things up. While maple syrup is often thought of as a breakfast enhancer, more and more people are appreciating maple syrup's other uses, including in savory applications, desserts, and even as a sugar substitute in alcoholic drinks. When it comes to savory recipes, add maple syrup to salad dressings for added sweetness and balance to an otherwise tart dressing. If you're wanting to incorporate more veggies into you diet, adding maple syrup to roasted brussels sprouts is a great way to add some sweetness.

When shopping for a pure maple syrup, customers need to be wary of pancake syrup — a clever marketing phrase meant to trick you into purchasing a cheaper and not pure product. Pancake syrup is filled with high fructose corn syrup and maple extract, while pure maple syrup is simply melted down maple tree sap. Those looking for the real stuff may enjoy Costco's brand Kirkland Organic Maple Syrup for its quality and size at an affordable price. Not to be left behind, Trader Joe's also sells a pure maple syrup that's garnering attention for its versatility, especially in overlooked applications.

Savory, sweet, and everything in between

Fans of Trader Joe's know and love the chain for introducing unique products like its cookie butter and beloved frozen orange chicken. A professional chef shared with Insider that there are certain Trader Joe's items that are must-haves for the home pantry. On the list was Trader Joe's Organic Vermont Maple Syrup. The 100% real maple syrup retails for $4.99 for 8 ounces (depending on location), which makes it a pretty reasonable deal as far as maple syrups are concerned. While it goes without saying that the syrup would be great atop french toast, or even drizzled over scrambled eggs, the real hit is using it when cooking dinner.

Maple syrup is especially good in place of honey when making spicy stir fries. The sweetness from the syrup helps to balance the heat from any chilis and the tanginess from soy sauce. Maple syrup is also an unlikely best friend to salmon. The sweetness from the maple pairs well with the mild salmon flavor and when used as a marinade turns into a sticky syrupy sauce of deliciousness. Since maple syrup has a pretty long shelf life, it's best to stock up and start exploring all the ways to enjoy it for every meal.