by Elena Gustavson, RAFFL's Everyday Chef. Maple syrup. Ubiquitous and delightful. Celebrated and loved. The sweet liquid gold of our green mountains. Vermont is well known for its sugar houses that dot our working landscape, belching steam from its vents and smoke from its stacks. Our season is short and completely dependent on the weather - freezing nights, 'warmer than freezing' days - and a sugarmaker can be found in the sugar house for days on end as long as the sap is running.
Maple syrup, like honey, is rich in antioxidants and minerals from the trees it comes from. It is a great substitute in recipes that call for honey or simple syrup and can often be successfully swapped in for cane sugar.
In our house, besides the usual pancakes and waffles, we drizzle maple syrup over bananas slathered with peanut butter or use it to sweeten our tea. It is a delicious on oatmeal, in a smoothie, in a salad dressing and spooned over plain yogurt or even ice cream.
Maple syrup recipes abound, so rather than give you lots of new ones, see below for some great recipes within Everyday Chef as well as a few other exceptional sources.
So the only question now is...golden, amber or dark?
RECIPES, FACTS, & HOW TO:
Links below will open up a new window
Everyday Chef: Our Favorite Recipes using Maple Syrup
Buzzfeed: 57 Magical Ways to use Maple Syrup
Vermont Maple: How We Make It
Tablespoon: How to Sweeten with Maple Syrup
Cornell University: Replacing Table Sugar with Maple Syrup (pdf)