5 Ways to Use REAL Maple Syrup, besides the obvious…

July 20, 2008 · 45 comments

maple_syrup

First, here’s where to find maple syrup online if you’re unable to find it locally…

Do you use real maple syrup or do you use the kind with high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and preservatives?  You may not have realized that typical grocery store syrup is full of all that junk. However, real maple syrup is a natural sweetener that actually still has some nutrients in it. As is the case with any sweetener, you shouldn’t overdo it, but if you’re going to have something sweet, using maple syrup is a great natural choice.

Different grades of maple syrup?

As far as I know, there are two grades of maple syrup: grade A & grade B. Grade B is much stronger (and usually a bit more expensive), and personally, I prefer it to grade A. However, grade A is good to start with if your kids aren’t used to maple syrup, because it’s very mild and closer in taste to the icky store-bought versions.

By the way, I had to play games when switching our syrup over to healthier versions, the same way I did with peanut butter: keep your store-bought container and put your syrup in that for a few months…this technique works very well!

All maple syrup keeps the best in the refrigerator.

How to use it?

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use maple syrup, besides the obvious, which reminds me, here’s my recipe for healthy waffles/pancakes. I use maple syrup in certain recipes to replace the sugar:

  1. It’s great in the bottom of a pan with butter and cinnamon when making cinnamon rolls.
  2. I love it in the fall stirred in with butternut squash along with lots of butter, sea salt & pepper.
  3. It’s divine in the homemade applesauce recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook! (Tastes like the best apple pie you’ve ever had! I feel so rich when we still have some jars of this in the freezer.)
  4. I’ve also put it on top of yogurt or I used it in my baked soaked oatmeal recipe.
  5. Oooh, when looking for a picture to use on this post, I saw a picture of “maple banana bread” – doesn’t that sound yummy?! It would be easy to just replace the sugar in a banana bread recipe with Maple Syrup!
  6. UPDATE:  here’s one more – it’s a great sweetener for homemade ice cream!
  7. I also love using it in my smoothies.

If you can’t find it locally, you can get maple syrup here.

What are your favorite ways to use maple yrup instead of sugar in recipes? Comment below and share it with us!

More details here on maple syrup. And one more info page from Wikipedia.

photo by jsorbieus

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  • { 42 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Holly July 21, 2008 at 4:25 am

    Sometimes as a treat I pour a little over some cooked carrots just to sweeten them up a little. I must admit, I usually do this when I am not all that thrilled with how the rest of my dinner is turning out.

    If carrots are going to be the highlight of your meal you gotta do something to them! :)

    Reply

    2 Kelly the Kitchen Kop July 21, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Mmmm, I’ll bet the cooked carrots go over a little better with the kids that way, too. :)

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    3 Jody July 21, 2008 at 5:41 am

    We’ve used maple syrup in everything for a long time! To sweeten French Toast, in pumpkin muffins, chocolate pudding, homemade chocolate syrup, in oatmeal, and yogurt.

    I had not thought of using them with cinnamon rolls–YUM!

    Reply

    4 Michigan Mom2three July 22, 2008 at 4:29 am

    I’ve made “maple butter”, which is just whipping softened butter with maple syrup together. Use a mixer with nice quality wire whips. Maple butter is WONDERFUL on homeade cornbread or homeade biscuits along with a pot of homeade soup in the winter. You can also just spread it on your morning toast!

    Shauna

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    5 Kelly the Kitchen Kop July 22, 2008 at 6:39 am

    Great ideas, everyone! Keep ‘em coming! :)

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    6 Katrina again November 20, 2008 at 7:50 am

    I don’t think we can get it locally around here. Anyone know where a girl can get some decent grade B for a good price?

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    7 Kelly the Kitchen Kop November 20, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Hi Katrina,

    Recently I needed to find a new source, so I called around to local apple orchards and found it there. Bummer is, it’s only grade A. Grade B is not easy to come by (in my experience anyway), and when you do, it’s expensive, but worth it!

    Kelly

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    8 Donielle @ Naturally Knocked Up December 30, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I use our maple syrup 1:1 with melted butter and brush over roasted sweet potato chunks about 10 minutes before they’re done. Our favorite way to eat sweet potatoes!!

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    9 Kelly December 30, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Oh myyyyyy that sounds yummy!

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    10 Margie/Midwife/Mom of 7 January 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Ok, Hopefaully someone can help me out here. I live in Az (backside of the desert, as the saying goes here) and I need to find the best deal on 1 gallon or 5 gallon containers of maple syrup. I’ve done a little bit of web searching and am finding them for about 60 dollars for a gallon. Ouch!! So if anyone has a better source I need to find one!

    Reply

    11 Margie/Midwife/Mom of 7 January 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Here’s a followup on the syrup source post , I forgot to check the e-mail box so I’m re-posting here.

    Reply

    12 Kelly January 25, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Margie, it’s late, so maybe I’m just getting fuzzy, but what were you following up WITH in the 2nd comment?

    My advice is to check with your local Weston A. Price chapter and ask them where to buy syrup: http://www.westonaprice.org/localchapters/index.html

    $60 seems like a lot, I’ve gotten mine for $32, but not recently. The other day a place (Robinettes for the local readers) was selling them for $75! I got some a couple months ago for $44.

    Reply

    13 deb(bie debbie doo) May 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    love the idea of it in the bottom of the cinnamon roll pan – oh yum.

    i’ve found that things work best over here if i empower my kids with knowledge about what i want to change and why and enlist their help in finding solutions – that way they have knowledge and also get to experience the strength that comes from making better choices in their lives – i personally would feel weird sneaking it in on them

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    14 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Here’s what we did: find a grade A maple syrup – it’s much milder than grade B, but still REAL syrup with no crap. (Only ONE ingredient: maple syrup!) If that’s still too strong (in the VERY beginning it was for my kids still), then *using the Hungry Jack container*, put HALF of the grade A in there and slooowly use more grade A and less Hungry Jack. That worked like a charm with my family way back when. Now we only use grade B, it’s stronger, but much tastier and more nutrients! To find grade A: You may have to call around, start with Wells Orchard, or look online – google ‘real maple syrup Grand Rapids’ or something like that. Also try localharvest.org.

    Reply

    15 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 9:58 am

    i can’t imagine any child liking hungry jack more than any real maple syrup

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    16 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Heating it on the stove in a glass container, in a pan of water and serving it hot always works! yum….

    Reply

    17 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:07 am

    We were at the Mother Earth News fair last weekend and had some REAL maple syrup direct from the harvester. They also had a maple cream, maple candy and maple cotton candy. Yes, we spend a lot of money there :)

    Reply

    18 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:14 am

    We started with real maple syrup luckily so the kids don’t know any different! YUM-O. Love those pumpkin button muffins from Nourish MD that uses maple syrup in them. Perfect time of the year for that!

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    19 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:15 am

    So the grade A maple syrup we’ve been using is okay then until we can get the Grade B? Thanks for clarifying why we want to transition to Grade B.

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    20 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Fortunately, my kids aren’t the problem – I am! I don’t buy log cabin anymore but use less maple and be sure to add fresh strawberries (thawed frozen out if season) and real whipped cream. That helps some. I have 39 years of undoing for my taste buds m

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    21 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Us too. But try some blueberry syrups and other flavors if you can find it to make the switch. They won’t remember what that crap tasted like after a while and they won’t miss it.

    Reply

    22 Laura @ The Art of Cooking Real Food September 29, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Between local maple syrup and local raw honey, we rarely use any other sweeteners. Our son has even perfected a maple vanilla pudding, omitting all other sugars! Love that stuff.

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    23 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I wonder if maple sugar passes the “unprocessed” test. Several years ago I bought some from a local syrup maker, and it was extremely helpful to make the transition from sugar to using plain old maple syrup.

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    24 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

    My kids have never had anything except grade B maple syrup. I guess I’m lucky. Good luck with your quest! I actually remember making pancakes in my kindergarten class when I was little. Whoever was in charge served us real maple syrup and I loved it and always wondered why ours at home tasted different. Of course I started buying the real thing as soon as I was an adult and figured it out.

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    25 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Grade B is better for you as it contains alot more minerals and stuff. We have always used Grade B and when I accidently grab grade a, they all complain that its too sweet. lol.

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    26 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Wow! It truly astonishes me that anyone’s taste buds could be so screwed up as to prefer any syrup other than real, pure maple syrup. It is like saying you prefer to ride your roller skates on the crowded Interstate rather than a Volvo (insert name of any other luxury type, safety engineered automobile).

    Reply

    27 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:32 am

    In this house, we use only real stuff….however, I’m preparing paperwork for a home equity loan so we can afford it ;)

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    28 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I was lucky, I grew up on only the real stuff. So as a kid when I went to a friends house I always thought there was something wrong with their gooey syrup. If you are trying to switch your kids over trying mixing some of the real with the fake until they are weaned off of it?

    Reply

    29 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I agree with Carrie, make sure you heat it up on the stove so they have warm syrup!

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    30 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I had a friend who’s kids thought the maple syrup wasn’t sweet enough – she got around that by mixing about 1/3 honey in with it while warm, and that seemed to take care of the problem. Of course, we mix 1/4 blackstrap molasses in with our maple syrup because we think it tastes too sweet. ;-) It’s all about what works for your family’s health & tastes.

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    31 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I buy a gallon of organic grade B maple syrup from a co-op, Azure Standard. They deliver from their farm in Oregon to Phoenix (and elsewhere) every month. It’s from Canada and $70/gallon so I ration. We are also trying to win them over to my homemade pear sauce in lieu of syrup. American organic maple syrup can still use a small amount of formaldehyde in the processing so I only buy Canadian. They allow none in their organic label. Yes, always heat. I guess my kids aren’t picky. They never notice a switch. But they ARE all boys. ; )

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    32 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Good idea about heating it up, also add a couple tablespoons of butter to make it extra dreamy! For those who can’t believe how screwed up taste-buds can be, you’re lucky to not have started so deep in the processed food world as I did!

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    33 Erin September 29, 2011 at 11:15 am

    What’s the deal with Organic vs non? Is it REALLY important to use the organic, not to whine too much, but it’s SO dang expensive…

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    34 KitchenKop September 29, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I don’t buy syrup organic, waaaaay to much $$.

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    35 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

    They sure have it in Vermont! If you want to send for some, check out The Vermont Country Store’s website.

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    36 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    We like the stuff from Costco, but my kids were pretty little when we switched to the real stuff so they don’t know any different. One trip to Blandford Nature Center ‘s SugarBush is a game changer!!

    Reply

    37 Jessica September 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I have found prices on Amazon to be good, esp compared to what I can get at my local grocery store. Not sure how it compares to local farms though.

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    38 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    What’s not to like about maple syrup? You could give them the option of real, grade B maple syrup or nothing. That might convert them quickly.

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    39 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook September 30, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I like Trader Joe’s.

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    40 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook October 1, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I have never met a maple syrup I don’t like (grade B, of course!), but with something like that, I would just not have the fake stuff in the house. It’s not nutritionally essential (wouldn’t that be nice!) so there is really no reason to try to “make” them like it. They could have it as an option, or they could use a little local raw honey or some homemade jam (my hubby’s favorite!).

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    41 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook October 1, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I have never met a maple syrup I don’t like (grade B, of course!), but with something like that, I would just not have the fake stuff in the house. It’s not nutritionally essential (wouldn’t that be nice!) so there is really no reason to try to “make” them like it. They could have it as an option, or they could use a little local raw honey or some homemade jam (my hubby’s favorite!).

    Reply

    42 Creative Christian Mama October 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

    We also love to use it as the sweetener in our kefir smoothies. It takes less maple syrup to sweeten than rapadura or honey, and it seems to mix in better! I can’t wait to try the NT recipe for applesauce!! :-)

    Reply

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