The Sticky Sweetness of 100% Pure Maple Syrup

When Randi was two years old she walked around with the Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup container. She referred to it as ‘the lady’ and acted as if it were a doll and took it with her everywhere. Undoubtedly, we went through lots of syrup to get her that ‘doll’. However, when I began becoming more conscience of our diet, particularly when I was trying to wean our kitchen of High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mrs. Butterworth’s had to go! But have you ever tasted the fake syrup that you buy in the grocery stores? It is loaded with sugar and other stuff, to make it really, really thick and at $3 a bottle how can you go wrong??? So why am I willing to spend a little over $13 for a 1 liter bottle of the 100% Pure Maple Syrup? Two words: One Ingredient. Maple Syrup…that is it. No High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, salt, cellulose gum, molasses, potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium hexametaphosphate, citric acid, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors.

And maple syrup is not just used for waffles anymore. I love to use a maple syrup base in my marinades, in my oatmeal or as a natural sweetener in cookies and muffins. I admit that the transition from Mrs. Butterworth’s to 100% Pure Maple Syrup was not easy. I spent years mixing the two syrups, obviously adding more maple syrup with each ‘batch’. But it was worth the effort (no pun intended). Not only that, there are many perks to eating Maple Syrup. For example a study from the University of Rhode Island found that maple syrup may help prevent inflammatory diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s. Maple syrup is also loaded with antioxidants which may act as an anti-ager by repairing environmental and free radical damage. You can also use it in a scrub to fight aging lines and wrinkles. As I said earlier, I love to use maple syrup in my baked goods to replace sugar. It is also less likely to cause indigestion, gas and bloating caused by artificial sweetener replacements. If you are substituting for sugar, simply add the same quantity of maple syrup and reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by about half-cup.

Finally, maple syrup contains nutrients like zinc and manganese and zinc, vital nutrients in fighting off illnesses by keeping your level of white blood cells up. It may seem a little watery at first, but once you are used to it, maple syrup’s authentic woodsy flavor really is a treat.

Gluten Free Carob and Nut Banana Bread
2 mashed bananas
2 cups gluten free flour
2/3 cup 100% maple syrup
½ cup applesauce
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 cup carob chips
½ cup pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend the flour, soda and xanthan gum in small bowl.
Beat bananas with applesauce and eggs. Add in the honey until well blended.
Add dry ingredients gradually.
Fold in chips and nuts.
Pour into a well-greased 5 X 9 loaf pan.
Bake for 55 minutes.

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