Sap from maple trees can enhance recipes, but the syrupy substance also has many medicinal properties. Known for centuries for its sweet flavor, it has also been turned to for natural remedies.
Native North American people discovered the tree sap and its many beneficial qualities. Around the 17th century it was sold as an affordable, natural sweetener, and has been popular ever since.
Maple syrup is made when the sap from maple trees is collected by drilling a hole and gathering the slow-dripping, thick liquid. It is then run through an evaporator to concentrate the syrup.
After going through the evaporation procedures, the sap turns into a sugary mixture and is then drawn into a container. After a filtering process it is ready to be bottled.
Precise, cool weather conditions are necessary for optimal taste. Start of the season syrup is light or light amber in color. The shade and flavor of the maple syrup strengthens as the season advances, turning to medium and then dark amber. After this period it is then considered to be grade B syrup due to its lessened color quality, but it has a markedly increased maple flavor.
A medicinal plant researcher identified over 20 healthy composites in maple syrup.
Containing many antioxidants, it is full of zinc and manganese, which are necessary trace minerals. Per ounce, pure maple syrup provides 22.0% of the daily recommended value of manganese.
It is also calcium and thiamine rich, and is helpful in preventative measures against diabetes and some cancers. Additionally, it contains anti-bacterial agents.
This 1 ingredient wonder that has many uses is a good thing to keep in the pantry.
Though costing a little more than cheaper, flavored alternatives, when assessing the health benefits it may be worth paying a bit more for a natural multi-tasker.
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