Maple Syrup: What's sap with that?!
Fun fact… I LOVE maple syrup. For starters, I am from New Hampshire and we have the BEST maple syrup. Maine and Vermont COME AT ME! Second of all it satisfies my sweet tooth at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And lastly my amazing boyfriend has been a “sugerer” or a maple syrup woodsman for years! He taps the trees, takes care of the pumps, and assists in the actual boiling process that turns sap into syrup. Take your girlfriend to work days are my favorite! I learn something new every time I go. Our dream is to one day own some land in northern New Hampshire and have our own maple syrup operation!
Nutritionally maple syrup is a pretty simple carbohydrate. It has a slightly lower glycemic index score when compared to white sugar (54 vs 65). This means that maple syrup will not raise blood sugars quite as high as sugar does. Calorie wise white sugar and maple syrup are about the same. A little added bonus is maple syrup contains antioxidants. This is no reason to start guzzling it, but it is a nice perk! I tend to use maple syrup often in baking. It goes great in cakes, breads, and granolas. When using maple syrup in place of white sugar replace 1 cup of white sugar with ¾ cup of maple syrup (or a 1 to 0.75 ratio). You may also need to cut back a little on the wet ingredients in your recipe so it’ll turn out like the desired consistency.
Here are 4 of my favorite non-traditional maple syrup recipes!
Sweet & Spicy Tofu
Serves about 3-4
· 1 block extra firm tofu
· 2 Tbsp cornstarch
· ½ cup maple syrup
· 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
· ~1/2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
· dash of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes ( I use about 1 tsp because I love some spice!)
· 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
1. Slice tofu into half inch strips, wrap in paper towels and place between 2 plate. Place a something heavy on top (I used my cast iron pan) for about 30 minutes to squeeze out extra water.
2. In a small bowl mix together syrup, ACV, Sriracha, salt/pepper/garlic powder/red pepper flakes. Add some cornstarch to thicken I used about 2 tsp. Set aside.
3. Once tofu has been pressed cut it into cubes. Place tofu in a bowl and sprinkle the remaining cornstarch. Gently mix bowl to get an even coating on the tofu.
4. Heat olive oil to medium high heat. Add in tofu, flip every few minutes until the tofu is lightly browned on all sides.
5. Turn heat down to low. Add in the sauce and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes. It should cover the tofu and begin to thicken.
6. Goes great over brown rice!
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves about 3-4
· About 3 cups Brussel’s sprouts
· 1 Tbsp olive oil
· 2 Tbsp maple syrup
· dash of salt/pepper
· 1 tsp dried rosemary
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Rinse off your Brussel’s sprouts. Cut off the stems and cut them in half. I usually take off the outer layers if they are dirty or wilted.
3. Mix Brussel’s sprouts with olive oil, maple syrup, and spices.
4. Place Brussel’s sprouts in 13 x 9 baking dish and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir Brussel’s sprouts and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. They should be tender on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.
Note: Thomas likes this one best with a bonus ½ cup of roughly chopped raw bacon added and cooked with the Brussel’s sprouts. Talk about savory!
· 2 salmon fillets
· ¼ cup maple syrup
· 2 tbsp olive oil
· 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
· 1 tsp AVC
· Dash of salt/pepper/ garlic powder.
1. Turn oven broiler on high and place an oven rack about 6 inches from the top of the oven.
2. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly coat with olive oil or a non-stick spray.
3. Mix syrup, olive oil, mustard, ACV, and spices.
4. Place salmon skin side down on the cookie sheet. Brush the top of the salmon with ½ of the sauce.
5. Place salmon in the oven for about 3 minutes. Then flip the salmon and brush it again with the remaining sauce.
6. Place back in the oven. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. Salmon is done when it begins to flake.
Note: it is easy to overcook when broiling so try keep an eye on it (and not get distracted by IDK cute puppies on your Instagram feed or whatever)
Makes about 1 cup- I usually store in a mason jar, lasts about 1 month.
· ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
· 1/3 cup of olive oil
· ¼ cup maple syrup
· 1 tsp Dijon mustard
· ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp garlic powder
1. Whisk together all the ingredients. Time to taste test! If it tastes too tangy add a little more syrup. If it’s too bland add a little extra mustard and or ACV.
Note: This goes great on salads with feta, roasted nuts, and fruit. Diced pears, apples, dried cranberries, or berries go great on salads!