Maple Syrup-it is poured over pancakes, drizzled on your french toast and used in multiple ways you can think of. Undeniably, maple syrup in all of its sweet and amber glory is delicious. Apart from being a wonderful accompaniment to all breakfast foods, do you know maple syrup is also a wonderful replacement for refined sugar? There is evidence that maple syrup has many health benefits. It may help protect against cancer, fight inflammatory diseases and have a low glycemic index. Surprising, right? Let’s discuss more such lesser-known facts about maple syrup. 

Maple syrup has health advantages: Organic maple syrup benefits your body by providing essential minerals like zinc (important for heart health), manganese (important for male and female reproductive health), benzoic acid (important for skin health), gallic acid (prevents gastrointestinal, neuropsychological, metabolic, and cardiovascular disorders), and several other flavanols. It is also a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Additionally, natural maple syrup aids in lowering dehydration.

One gallon of maple syrup is produced from 40 gallons of sap: You’ll never believe how much sap is in a bottle when you consider that it takes approximately 40 gallons (150 litres) of maple tree sap to produce a single gallon (3.8 litres) of pure maple syrup. From tapping the thousands of trees and maintaining the miles of tubing to bringing the sap from the trees to the sugar shack where it can be boiled, you can imagine it takes a lot of time and a huge amount of hard work to make any amount of maple syrup.

Few varieties of maple trees actually generate sap: Although 13 kinds of maple trees are found in Canada and the United States, not all of them are harvested for their sap. Red maple, black maple, and sugar maple are in the list which producers use. 

Production of maple syrup is highly reliant on the weather: What many people might not know is that producing maple syrup is an incredibly labour-intensive process. The weather has a huge impact on maple farming, just like it does on many other crops. Between the end of February and the beginning of April, the height of spring, maple trees are tapped for their syrup. The sugaring season usually lasts between four and six weeks in a good year. Warmer-than-average winters cause farmers to worry because once the trees begin to blossom, the quality of the syrup will suffer.

There are various maple syrup grades: Depending on the product’s colour and light transmission, multiple grades of maple syrup are assigned to it. These variables are affected by the time of year when the sap is collected, not by how the maple syrup is produced.In accordance with a grading system, maple syrups are ranked from light to dark and classified as A or B. (and a B syrup is darker in colour than an A syrup). Syrup that is darker typically has a greater flavour.

In WWII, Canadians were encouraged to sweeten recipes with maple syrup: Due to rationing during the Second World War, Canadians were encouraged to sweeten their food with maple syrup instead of sugar. The country’s department of agriculture even released a collection of special wartime recipes that used maple syrup in lieu of processed sugar.

Maple syrup goes with more than just pancakes: Maple syrup is most traditionally used as a pancake or crepe topper, but the ingredient is exceptionally versatile. Use maple syrup in marinades, vinaigrettes, baking and even cocktails for an indulgent, natural sweetener.