We are extremely pleased to now be offering maple syrup products from a local Michigan farm that produces their maple syrup products the old fashioned way consistently only of maple sap - they've been providing syrup to local farmer's markets for over 50 years, making it the old fashioned way in their sugar shack. Their syrup, maple butter (a thickened spread of pure maple syrup), and maple candies are exceptionally tasty and would be good to use in cooking and for natural holiday treats. It is of gourmet quality. You can even make maple syrup icing (if you wish, simply dilute the maple cream spread with a little water) and ice cream (my kids used to make snow ice cream by pouring maple syrup over snow).
MIchigan is the 5th largest maple syrup producer in the United States. It takes about 40 galloins of maple sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. Several different varieties of maples are used to make the syrup, adding to the rich diversity of nutrients in the syrup. In our biased opinion, our syrup is tastier than most of the Vermont maple syrups we have sampled over the years and we have yet to sample a tastier maple cream than ours.
Our Maple Syrup Products
We offer Grades A and B. Grade A has a milder flavor that is the traditional gourmet quality maple syrup. Grade B is more opaque and has a darker, richer flavor, providing a higher concentration of nutrients. Some people use Grade A for pancakes and Grade B for baking.
We also offer a fabulous maple cream spread that is the thickness and spreadbility of chilled butter and is fabulous on toast. It is simply maple syrup boiled down to just the right consistency.
If you are going to use a sweetener, make it a natural one. Luckily maple tress are not genetically modified (unlike sugar beets) and don't require tons of pesticides to grow the crop (such as cane sugar and sugar beets). Maple syrup has many nutritious advantages over other sweeteners. It naturally contains magnesium and zinc. Researchers at the Unviersity of Rhode Island have identified 54 compounds in maple syrup. In laboratory studies, they acted as anhti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents. Initial studies also suggest that maple compounds may inhibit enzynme contributing to Type 2 diabetes.
These findings were presented at the March 2011 annual meeteing of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California, during a day-long session exclusively examining the bioactive compoudns found in natural sweeteners. The session was organized and chaired by Dr. Navindra Seeram, assistant pharmacy professor at URI and a lead scientist on the maple syrup research team. According to the URI research team, maple syrup contains a cocktail of polyphenol compounds, several with antioxidant properties and many with well-documented health benefits.
"We found a wide variety of polyphenols in maple syrup," said Seeram. "It is a one-stop shop for these beneficial compounds, several of which are also found in berries, tea, red wine and flaxseed, just to name a few," Seeram continued. "Not all sweeteners are created equal. When choosing a sweetener, pure maple syrup may be a better choice because of the range of antioxidant compounds not found in other sweeteners."
Maple syrup may prove to be relevant in Type 2 diabetes management, although the findings must be verified in clinical trials. "We discovered that the polyphenols in maple syrup inhibit enzymes that are involved in the conversion of carbohydrate to sugar," said Seeram. "In fact, in preliminary studies maple syrup had a greater enzyme-inhibiting effect compared to several other healthy plant foods such as berries, when tested on a dry-weight basis.