Maple Syrup: A Sustainable Sweetener

Maple Syrup is not only down right delicious-- it happens to be an extremely sustainable sweetener! 

Making Cookies 

Making Cookies 

The sugar maple tree is capable of bearing sap for over 200 years and is a renweable resource when harvested and processed in accordance with organic certification procedures. 

Conventional maple syrup companies often use chemicals (defoaming agents and cleaners) during the evaporation and bottling processes. Chemicals are also commonly used in the maple forests to clear unwanted ground growth, disrupting and damaging the natural habitat of plants and animals. Not okay. Most conventional maple farmers do not support a diversity of plants and trees in their maple forests, which impacts the health of the woodland ecosystem. 

Organic maple farming practices are quite the opposite. They ensure wildlife and habitat protection by not using chemicals on the earth. This also makes for healthy forest soil and plant growth. Growing a maple tree does not require annual tilling and therefore does not create soil erosion. Most organic farmers support a diversity of tree species and understory. 

 Trees sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere! An estimated 100 pounds of carbon dioxide are sequestered per gallon of organic maple syrup. That's amazing! Planting maple trees decreases carbon dioxide emissions. 

I purchase my maple syrup in bulk (package free) by bringing my own container (mason jar) and filling it up.  This delectable sweet liquid can be used to make cornbread, salad dressings, roasted veggies, cookies, cakes, ice-cream, and my favorite--it can be poured all over a mountain of pancakes-- mmmm mmmm! 

Organic Maple Syrup Facts: 

Native Americans made maple syrup long before the arrival of the European honey bee. 

Maple syrup is a native soil sweetener and is minimally processed (unlike sugar from sugarcane for example).

Tapping one tree with two taps provides about 60-80 gallons of sap in a year, or 1.5 to 2 gallons of maple syrup. 

Maple syrup has a low-glycemic index and does not raise blood sugar as rapidly as white sugar does. 

It's rich in antioxidants. 

It's a source of important vitamins and minerals like zinc, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. 

The maple trees are tapped in the spring before they begin to bud. 

The maple trees are tapped in the spring before they begin to bud. 

I've actually made maple syrup before. When you live in Wisconsin for 6 years, you end up in a sugar shack one way or another. When the sap is boiling, it begins to foam. In order to break the surface tension, you need to drop a tiny bit of cream, oil, or bacon fat into the stainless steel evaporator. This breaks the surface tension, causing the foam to disappear immediately. If you're vegan, then it's important to find a maple syrup company that doesn't use animal products for a defoaming agent. Maple Valley Cooperative is one company that produces organic maple syrup that is vegan compliant. 

Happy Cooking! Have you ever used maple syrup as a sweetener?

Organic Maple Syrup does not contain any preservatives and needs to be refrigerated upon opening.