Maple Syrup Anyone?

I do love me so syrup!  As a once long time resident of Elmira, Ontario – Home of the record setting Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, it is kind of an unspoken rule that I support the syrup industry.  If I was caught putting a little Aunt Jemima in my cart, I could be run out of town!

Maple syrup is one of the first signs of Spring around here.  It is so fun to drive through the country side and see tree after tree set up to share its sap.  There is a sugar shack just down the hill from my house.  It is always so much fun to see the steam pouring out of the chimney signalling that there is some syrup bubbling.  We took a little family trip to the sugar shack this year.  It was neat to see up close the process behind the ‘liquid gold.’  The process has gotten simpler over the years for the farmers but they still devote much time to each little bottle we purchase.  Did you know that for each litre of syrup, 40 litres of sap must be boiled down?

I have a little something fun to share with you today!  My oldest son’s class visited a local sugar bush this past month.  The guide for our trip was the talented & funny, Sean McCammon.  This guy was a hoot!  He had us laughing and learning all morning long.  He even had the children collecting sap and bringing it back to the sugar shack.  At one point, he pulled out his guitar and sang us a couple of tunes.  I’ve included it in this post so that I can share it with you!  Take a peek and enjoy.  If you liked it, consider purchasing his cd filled with maple syrup songs.

Now I can’t really leave this article without highlighting some of the benefits of maple syrup.  We all know that it tastes great on pancakes, but maple syrup there is so much more.  Maple syrup has been shown to have antibacterial, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties and contain up to 20 different antioxidants. 

What are some other ways I use syrup?  I use it in baking, marinades & salad dressings.   Now while I do love syrup, I do admit that it is still a sugary treat and should only be consumed in moderation.  Try this dressing on a great big salad & let me know what you think!

Maple Syrup Salad Dressing

2 tbsp of unpasturized apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp fresh maple syrup

Combine ingredients in a little glass jar.  Put a lid on the jar & shake well.  Dressing will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

What are your favourite ways to enjoy Maple Syrup?