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Maple Syrup: A Natural Food
Pure maple syrup is a 100 percent natural food, processed by heat concentration of pure maple sap. Maple flavored syrup, commonly found on the shelves in the store and in restaurants, is actually corn syrup flavored with a bit of pure maple syrup syrup to keep the cost down.
This sap is a sterile, clear liquid, which provides the trees with water and nutrients prior to the buds and leaves opening in the spring. In the boiling, concentrating, and filtering processes, all the nutrients remain in the syrup.
Mohawk Indians and other Northeastern tribes used maple bark to prepare a blood purifier, eye medicine, and cough medicine, in addition to boiling it as a sweetener.
Sugars: Sugars are an important source of energy. The main sugar in pure Maple syrup is sucrose.
The darker grades of maple syrup, especially Grade B syrup, contain small and variable amounts of fructose and glucose. In order of sweetness, sucrose is less sweet than fructose, and sweeter than glucose.
Minerals: Minerals have specific and nonspecific nutritional functions in the body’s metabolism. In pure filtered maple syrup the main minerals present are: calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
Vitamins: Vitamins are essential to maintain health; they cannot be manufactured by the body (except Vitamin D) so they must be acquired through food or taken separately. In pure maple syrup trace amounts of vitamins are present, mainly B2 (Riboflavin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), PP (Niacin, B1), Biotin, and Folic Acid.
Amino Acids: Amino Acids are the building blocks of the proteins.
In pure maple syrup many amino acids are present in trace amounts.
Did you know?
Did you know that maple bark has been used medicinally? Mohawk Indians and other Northeastern tribes used it to prepare a blood purifier, eye medicine, and cough medicine. Like us, they cherished the sap, boiled, as a sweetener.
Two tablespoons of original maple syrup added to the root of the plant once a month should revive it.
Try maple sugar sprinkled on scones or biscuits or stirred into hot apple cider.
Make Your Own Maple Syrup
This will, of course, alter the above nutritional aspects of pure maple syrup; however, if you’re in a pinch, or just don’t have budget that can include genuine maple syrup all the time, try making your own! It is very easy but is not Vermont syrup quality.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon pure maple extract
Mix sugar and water in saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add maple extract; cool.
Alternate Maple Syrup Recipe
- 1 cup light Karo syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
Combine Karo, water and brown suger. Boil for a few minutes. Remove and add vanilla extract and Mapleine flavoring.
Mock Maple Syrup Recipe
Go easy on your food budget by substituting this mock maple syrup for the genuine article when necessary.
In a glass or enamel saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a fast boil. Add 4 cups dark brown sugar and stir until it dissolves into a smooth syrup. Remove it from the heat and let it cool, then stir in 2 teaspoons maple extract. Mix well.
Pour the syrup into a clean glass jar and let it stand at room temperature for at least 24 hours before using. It will keep for up to six months in the refrigerator.
Warm Maple Banana Cereal
Pour one-half cup fat free milk over 1 cup Post Spoon Size Shredded Wheat Cereal in microwave-safe bowl. Top with one small banana, sliced. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Microwave on high one minute or until heated through. Makes one serving. Calories: 310, Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: <5mg, Carbohydrate: 70g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 24g, Protein: 11g
Vanilla Maple Pudding
Whisk 2 cups whole milk, 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, 1 large egg yolk and 3 tablespoons cornstarch in a medium saucepan until smooth. Whisk over medium high heat until mixture thickens and bubbles. This will take approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, whisk 1 minute more. Strain into bowl through sieve. Stir in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap and chill three hours.
Maple Popcorn Recipe
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- 4 cups popped popcorn in a large bowl
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt a half stick butter in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup to the melted butter and stir it together. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and mix it with a wooden spoon. All set for movie night!
Super Summer Treat
Maple Walnut Blend Milkshake: 1 pint vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup milk and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Put jarred walnuts in syrup in each glass and top with the ice cream mixture.
Maple Lemonade Beverage
- 2 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup real maple syrup
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- Mint sprigs
Place the water, lemon juice and maple syrup in a small pitcher or bottle and stir well. Serve over ice with lemon slices and mint for garnish.
Nutrition information: Calories: 76; Fat: 0.1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 3mg; Carbohydrates: 20.2g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Protein: 0.1g
Read More: Food Facts