When you peruse the shelves of your local grocery store, many items are packed with preservatives, artificial flavors, and artificial sweeteners. It is refreshing to come across a pure organic condiment like maple syrup. It's versatile, pure, and not too expensive.
Maple syrup is sticky sweet brown sap that farmers tap straight from maple trees using special metal spigot devices. Naturally sweet because it contains natural sugar, it is used as an alternative to cane sugar and honey to flavor candy, top pancakes and waffles, even sweeten coffee and peanut or almond butter.
Maple farms, typically in Vermont and the Northeastern United States extract organic maple from rows of trees, into huge cans. These large cans are then sent to candy manufacturers, organic supermarkets, and distribution facilities that refine the sugar and package the maple syrup into plastic or glass bottles that are sold in grocery stores.
There's nothing more delicious on a cold winter morning than a piping hot waffle or stack of pancakes drizzled with melted butter and topped with pure maple syrup and whipped cream. Diet food, it absolutely is not. Comfort food, yes it certainly is!
Maple syrup can be used in any recipe in place of corn syrup or other sweeteners. One benefit of making the switch is that the maple imparts a unique earthy flavor to whatever you're cooking or baking. Banana-maple bread, for instance, is delicious. Maple syrup swirled into homemade ice cream also is a wonderful treat for dessert. Maple is also used to sweeten pasta sauces, believe it or not.
If your pantry does not contain this staple, it should!