Choosing the correct maple syrup for a recipe is essential to getting the flavor you want. When picking maple syrup it is important to understand that the color of the syrup can dictate more than just color. In fact, it has a lot to do with the way the syrup is processed. Darker colors of syrup will have a different flavor profile. We want to share more about dark maple syrup, why the dark color matters, and what foods work best with maple syrup.
Dark Maple Syrup – Why the Dark Color Matters
What makes maple syrup dark?
If you have been buying pure maple syrup you may have noticed a difference in color. Syrup color has a great deal to do with when in the season the maple tree was tapped. As the spring temperatures start to warm up, the syrup tapped during that season will be naturally darker. One of the reasons for this is the chemical makeup of sugars/starches in the tree. This also means that the syrup tapped later in the season will have a stronger flavor than its lighter counterparts.
One of the benefits of choosing dark maple syrup is that it still contains many of the health benefits of quality syrup. When choosing a dark maple syrup, make sure to get it from a quality syrup company that preserves the quality of the syrup. This is because they avoid adding in unnecessary ingredients. By choosing a maple syrup through a company like this, you are assured to get all of the flavors you love as well as added antioxidants and other health benefits.
What is best to bake with dark syrup?
Baking is a great way to spend time together as a family. Using maple syrup is a natural way to limit sugars. In fact, maple syrup adds some great flavor to the mix. When substituting maple syrup for traditional sugar you will want to replace one cup of sugar for one cup of syrup. However, you will need to decrease three to four tablespoons of liquid per one cup substitution. Here are a few foods that are excellent to bake with dark maple syrup.
3 Foods to bake with dark maple syrup
- Granola Bars – With dark maple syrup you will get a stronger maple syrup. This can be the perfect flavor profile to add to granola bars before cooking them. There are even some fun varieties of maple granola bars including maple oatmeal, chocolate maple, and even maple cinnamon. Have fun experimenting with flavor combinations to make your new favorite granola bar recipe.
- Cinnamon Buns – Cinnamon buns are often made with copious amounts of white sugar. Try switching out some of the white sugar for dark maple syrup. Adding the maple flavoring while cutting down on lesser sugars can bring your cinnamon buns to the next level. For an added bonus, add some crushed pecans to the syrup mixture you put into the cinnamon buns. This will bring a delicious flavor combination you are sure to love.
- Granola – Have you ever tried making your own granola? Maple syrup is a natural way to sweeten granola without adding a great deal of sugar. Mix in items like cranberries, nuts, or coconut flakes to make a delicious granola you can enjoy any time. Pecans are a natural partner to the flavors in maple syrup so adding in some pecans is sure to make it taste even better.
Sweets and Treats
Maple syrup is fantastic for preparing some of your favorite sweets and treats. The health benefits of maple syrup far outweigh those of sugar. This means that you can enjoy a favorite sweet treat knowing that you made a healthier choice for your body. Many of the sweets you enjoy can be made with maple syrup instead or can be topped with a delicious drizzle of maple syrup. Here are a few ideas of sweets and treats you can make with maple syrup.
3 Sweets and treats you can make with maple syrup
- Cookies – When baking cookies, substitute the sugars for maple syrup for a delicious punch of maple flavor. This can be a great way to add some new flavors to an old favorite. If you are doing sugar cookies for cookie cutting, choose to use maple syrup instead of sugar. You can even cut them into the shapes of maple leaves for an added touch.
- Ice Cream – Maple syrup is a natural partner for ice cream. Whether you incorporate into the recipe for making the ice cream or use it as a topping, you are sure to enjoy it. Many who enjoy maple ice cream won’t add anything to it as they seem to enjoy the maple flavor. If you wanted to add something into the ice cream, walnuts seem to be a strong contender for maple ice cream.
- Frosting – Frosting can add a punch of flavor to any cake or cupcake. Replace some of the sugar with maple syrup for a strong maple flavor that is sure to impress. Maple syrup can be amazing on top of a cinnamon cake or even a favorite pumpkin dessert you might make. The options are endless for combining maple frosting with baked treats.
Did you know that maple syrup is a natural partner for some of your favorite savory foods? Many people don’t think to use maple syrup in recipes but it can be the perfect fit for adding a small bit of sweetness to a savory recipe. When cooking savory foods sometimes the saltiness or other strong flavors can take over. Using maple syrup as a part of the recipe can tone down some of those stronger flavors. Here are a few ways to use maple syrup on savory foods.
3 Ways to use maple syrup on savory foods
- Use it as a glaze. – Maple syrup makes a fantastic glaze for hams and other more salty cuts of meat. When preparing a recipe that requires a glaze, avoid sugary store bought glazes. Instead, opt for a healthier alternative with a maple syrup glaze. These glazes add a punch of flavor to any recipe while bringing along some fantastic nutrients as well.
- Use it for dipping. – Maple syrup is a perfect dip for more than just pancakes and waffles. Use maple syrup to dip items such as ham or mix it with mustard to make a sweet mustard dipping sauce.
- Use it for side dishes. – Items like brussel sprouts and yams will do well with the sweeter flavors of maple syrup. When preparing either of these, use a bit of maple syrup to add a unique flavor you didn’t know you were missing.
A Sweet Recipe to Try Right Now: Coconut Plantain Pancakes
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
2 Plantains (ripe, peeled)
½ tsp Sea Salt
½ All Purpose Gluten- Free Flour
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
In a blender combine the plantain, eggs, and salt. Slowly add the flour until everything is well combined.
- Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ cup of the batter at a time to form pancakes, cooking for about 1 or 2 minutes per side.
- Serve pancakes with your choice of toppings and enjoy!
Leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Serving Size: One serving equals approximately four pancakes.
Additional Toppings: Top with Sugarman Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, honey, cinnamon, fresh fruit, chia jam, cottage cheese, nut butter, coconut chips or crushed nuts.
No All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour: Use all purpose flour or cassava flour instead.