Quality Maple Syrup Best in Bulk For Flavor And Value
Maple syrup flavor is far more than the generic product available on most supermarket shelves.
Maple syrup has become a popular sweetener for cooking and baking. Most grocery stores have one brand of maple syrup in limited size options, however, or pancake syrup, which should not be confused pure maple syrup.
In the U.S. maple syrup is made in New England and harvested just before spring every year when the sap starts to run in the trees. Across a region of nine states, there are a myriad of small farms, tapping thousands of trees, bottling syrup and packaging other maple products.
100% pure maple syrup adds flavor and dimension to food in a way that refined white sugar cannot. Some studies have shown maple syrup is healthier, while other reports say maple syrup is sugar like any other sugar.
Premium maple syrup has been found to have a lower glycemic value of 54. By comparison, table sugar has an index of 65, honey 58. Eating foods with a lower glycemic index have healthier effects on your body.
According to Diabetic Living Online, "The glycemic index (GI) measures the increase in blood glucose levels during the two hours after eating a particular kind of food. Some foods that contain carbohydrate create a quick and more dramatic rise in blood glucose, such as white rice and dry cereal."
Foods with lower GI values have lower impact on blood sugar levels as they are more slowly digested and absorbed by the body. As such, a diet lower in high glycemic foods helps with weight loss and management, reduces risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Maple syrup, a sweet, thick liquid doesn't exactly look like maple syrup when it comes out of the tree. The sap is mostly clear water of which only 2% is sugar as it is vacuum pumped from the tree to the sugar house. There it is made into maple syrup by burning off the water and in essence caramelizing the sap.
There is a taste difference in quality between generic supermarket branded or brandless maple syrup over farm direct brands. The brands on most grocery store shelves taste mostly of sugar to appeal to a broader swath of consumers and move off shelves faster.
Smaller farms make syrup that tends to have a more complex flavor. Each farm or brand has a different nuance in flavor that makes it unique and different. There is deep pride rooted in family history and culture on maple syrup farms.
Small Brands To Try
Two brands to explore Square Deal Farm and Purinton Maple, both from Vermont, offer high quality maple syrup at a better value than many store bought brands. Buy an 8 oz glass hand bottle of amber syrup from Purinton Maple for $5.50 or a liter (33.8 oz) for $19.99. Or try their maple sugar which you can be a pound of for $15.99.
From Square Deal Farm you can buy a gallon (128 oz) of organic maple syrup for $65.00, shipping included.
How To Use Maple Syrup
There are many brilliant ways to use maple syrup and maple sugar. Add a tablespoon of maple syrup to anything you're making for a deeper richer flavor without creating a highly elevated "sweetness."
Maple syrup is fabulous on roasted or sautéed vegetables, in fillings such as dumplings, and for desserts of all kinds, especially raw vegan desserts.
Maple sugar is a 1:1 ratio replacement for refined white sugar and reduces the overall sugariness of desserts. Over time, by using more maple syrup vs white sugar, the craving for sugar lessens, which can also benefit long term health.
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Tip: Always refrigerate your maple syrup after opening to keep fresh!
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