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Maple Syrup

Maple_1~ A healthy and more natural substitute for sugar ~

When anyone says the words "maple syrup", we immediately think of good old Aunt Jemima's, and how much we love to put her on our pancakes and waffles! In fact, some people would not consider their Sunday morning complete without a little (or a big) helping of Aunt J. There's just one little problem: Aunt Jemima's isn't real maple syrup, it's maple-flavoured syrup. What's the problem with that?

Well, for one thing, it does not have any of the health benefits, nor is it as natural as maple syrup. On a health level, while maple syrup may not be so great on the sugar front, it is undoubtedly purer and non GMO modified. Maple syrup also contains minerals and antioxidants that are not found in fake or substitute syrups. In fact, maple syrup has the same amount of antioxidants found in berries, tomatoes and other fruit. Maple syrup contains zinc and manganese – both of which are known cold stoppers.

If you substitute maple syrup for sugar in a baking recipe, you will not only get a delicious tasting treat; but you will lower the amount of bloating that normally happens after you eat baked goods. To top it all off, scientists have found a natural compound known to prevent cancer in maple syrup. So, seriously, skip the fake syrups that drench your pancakes in nastiness, and go straight for the gold: Pure Maple Syrup.

You see, maple syrup comes out of a tree in a process that has been refined for centuries. Ever since the Native Americans have been around, they would harvest sap from the maple tree and boil it until a thick syrupy substance was left behind. Today, the process hasn't changed very much. A maple tree with a minimum diameter of 10 inches is tapped anywhere between late January to early April, depending on the temperature.

To get the correct sap flow, the temperature of the area has to be above freezing during the day and below freezing at night. A tree is then tapped and a bucket or a container is hung underneath to collect the sap. The bucket is taken in each night to prevent bacteria growth. In commercial maple sap collecting, clear plastic tubes are strung all the way down to the sap refining area to make sap collecting more efficient. The sap is then boiled until it is 67% sugar or thick and darker.

Commercial maple syrup goes through a refining process to remove any pieces of tree, bugs or unwanted sugar clumps. It can take 40 gallons of maple tree sap to create one gallon of pure maple syrup. The darker the syrup, the later in the season it was collected. Light syrup is generally the first of the season's syrups; whereas, the darker syrups are from the end of the season.

What are you waiting for? Go out and buy some maple syrup to either use in a recipe or on your morning porridge or pancakes.

 

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