** This is a sneak preview of the article that will be published in today’s Villager. A local paper focused on Russell and surrounding area.**

It’s that time of year again! The days are warming up, but the nights are still below freezing. This can mean just one thing – Maple Syrup Time!  I love maple syrup not only can you source this great sweetener locally, but it has some great health benefits as well. In addition to giving you energy, maple syrup contains antioxidants that are good for your heart and immune system. So here are a couple great recipes that feature this wonderful syrup!

Maple Smoked Salmon

1 small red onion cut into rings
4 salmon fillets, skin on
4 TBSP maple syrup
2 TSP lemon juice
1 TBSP water
1 cedar plank for BBQ, soaked in water for at least an hour

Lay the salmon skin side down on the cedar plank. Top with red onion. Place plank on a BBQ that has been pre heated to a medium setting.

In a small bowl combine maple syrup, lemon juice and water. Stir to combine. Top salmon and onions with syrup mixture and cook on BBQ for 15 – 20 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Maple Lemonade

1 cup sugar
2 TBSP maple syrup
2 1/3 cup water
1 1/5 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 TSP lemon zest

Combine sugar, syrup and water in a pot. Heat over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved in the water.

Remove from heat and add lemon juice and zest. Stir and allow cooling for 20 minutes.

Pour the contents of the pot into a large pitcher and add to it an equal amount of water. Allow to chill for at least an hour before serving.

Hopefully these recipes will help you to embrace the warm weather, while celebrating the ingredients it has to offer! Enjoy.