Maple syrup is Michigan’s “liquid gold.” It takes 40 gallons of sap from sugar maples to boil down to 1 gallon of syrup. Michigan ranks in the Top 10 in Maple Syrup Production in the United States. Check our favorite ways to incorporate maple syrup into our diets here.
1) Coffee Flavor & Sweetener
Try is in your coffee! Add a little maple to your favorite locally roasted pour over or taste it in specialty drinks like the Café Canadian from our friends at Superior Café. Their drink is similar to an Americano, with real maple syrup mixed with the espresso and the addition of steamed whipped cream on top.
Herman Hills Sugarbush, our new partners in the Western UP, not only create delicious varieties of syrup, they also produce a maple granola made with dried Traverse City Cherries! Check out their shop to give it a try.
3) Savory Sauces
Michigan Maple Farms shares one of their favorite recipes: Maple Balsamic Glaze Recipe. We are picturing it drizzled over pork ribs from your favorite farmer at a BBQ this summer.
4) Salad Dressings
Seeds and Spores Family Farm, already with a hoop house full of greens, suggests using the sweet syrup to create a well balanced salad dressing. Try: Organic balsamic vinegar, organic olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper and whatever fresh herbs you can get your hands on!
5) Maple Water
If you are part of the maple tapping process, you have access to maple water. Maple water, or sap, comes out of the trees is later boiled down to make syrup. It’s sweet and naturally filtered by the maple trees. Herman Hill’s Sugarbush uses the water at home in everything from making their morning coffee to their latest batch of homebrewed kombucha.
Try adding maple syrup into your favorite old fashioned cocktail rather than white sugar. Maple is making more and more appearances on the cocktail menus and Michiganders are not complaining.
7) Side Dishes & Change Ups
Maybe you’ve never fathomed the implications of adding two tablespoons maple syrup to cornmeal stables like polenta or grits, but I promise it will open up a whole new world. What about a potato salad with the addition of curry powder, cumin and a drizzle of maple syrup? Creativity is key.
8) Ice Cream & Yogurt
Drizzle a little maple syrup over your favorite vanilla ice cream or yogurt for a sweet treat.
9) Dipping Sauce
Try out this delicious dipping sauce with your next fish dish. Seeds & Spores Farm shares their recipe: Simmer maple syrup, organic olive oil, organic tamari, and garlic together until slightly thickened.
From chicken curry to my award winning chili, I always add a few tablespoons of maple syrup to help balance out my soups and give it a hint of woody flavor.
Alex Palzewicz is the UP Local Food Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference. She was inspired to write this article after a few visits to Herman Hills Sugarbush where she was able to see the maple process up close!
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