Maple syrup was first used by the American Indians for both food and medicine. When settlers came to North America they liked the delicious sweetness of the syrup. Maple syrup was the main sweetener used by the colonists.
Maple Syrup has health benefits too. It is an excellent source of manganese and zinc. The trace mineral manganese is an essential co factor in some enzymes in energy production and antioxidant defenses. The zinc supplied in maple syrup not only acts as an antioxidant, it can decrease the progression of atherosclerosis. Zinc and manganese are important allies in the immune system.
Different Grades of Maple Syrup
The quality of maple syrup varies in characteristics such as color, taste, and consistency. In the United States, maple syrup is graded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). There are three versions of Grade A maple syrup.
Grade A Flavor
Light Amber Delicate
Medium Amber Mild
Dark Amber Full Bodied
Grade B; This grade has the most pronounced taste. It has a hearty, robust, flavor. It is usually reserved for cooking and using in processed foods.
Canada rates their maple syrup similarly.
Number 1: Extra light(AA), light(A), medium(B)
Number 2: Amber(C)
Number 3: Dark(D)
The shelf life of maple syrup unopened is once year. Once you open maple syrup, refrigerate the syrup. The shelf life of opened refrigerated syrup is 6 months. If mold appears in the syrup, even if just on the surface throw it away.
Quick uses for maple syrup:
1. Use it as a sweetener for your coffee
2. Pour maple syrup on your oatmeal
3. Add it to pureed sweet potatoes
4. Pour it on pancakes, waffles, french toast.