Why We Make Our Own Maple Syrup


| 3/29/2018 10:29:00 AM


Maple Syrup Arch

Finally, after years of talking about it, we tapped some sugar maple trees and boiled down the sap to make maple syrup. The syrup we produced is rich in maple flavour and tastes all the more delicious because we produced it ourselves.

Our home is in Southern Ontario, in the heart of the sugar maple’s (Acer saccharum) range. Around here, real maple syrup is easy to find at farmers markets, at farmgate sales on Mennonite farms or at any Maple Syrup Festival. Despite its easy availability, we wanted to try our hand at making it ourselves. It would be one more check mark on our list of Self-sufficiency To Dos.

We tried. We succeeded (with lots of room for improvement). And we’re doing it again next year. While not labour intensive, it does take time and effort to produce a batch of maple syrup. But for us, all that time and effort are worthwhile. Real maple syrup, in addition to being delicious, really is a better option than refined sugars and even some natural sugars.

Homemade Maple Syrup - A Natural Sugar

 Real maple syrup is a natural sugar, so too are honey and molasses. Each of these natural sugars offers us something different; not only in flavour, but also in terms of actual beneficial properties that we gain through consumption. Molasses, dark and thick, offers the most antioxidants compared with honey and maple syrup. Honey has more vitamins than maple syrup, but it also has more sugars, primarily from fructose. Maple syrup has more nutrients than honey and less overall sugar.



When compared to refined sugars, real maple syrup is a much better option for our health. Where maple syrup replaces refined sugars in a diet, it yields a net benefit to health. Maple syrup, at its most basic, is the result of tree sap after 97% of the water has evaporated through boiling. Sugarcane stalks or sugar beets, in contrast, are mechanically harvested, cleaned, washed, milled, extracted, juiced, filtered, purified, vacuumed, and condensed. After all that processing, which occurs prior to actual sugar crystal formation, is it any wonder refined sugars are detrimental to our health?

rharrold
4/18/2018 8:29:21 PM

We had 15 taps (one tree had 2 taps, the rest were single) and used a starter kit purchased from TSC that included all the supplies. The spiles and buckets were food grade plastic. We live on a rural property in Brant County (http://harroldcountryhome.ca/). Traditionally, the time to tap in our neck of the woods is late February into early March, when daytime temperatures are over freezing and the sap begins to flow up into the trunk and branches. Unofficially, we watch for the "sap-cicles" that form on broken branches to know when the sap starts flowing.


rharrold
4/18/2018 8:29:20 PM

We had 15 taps (one tree had 2 taps, the rest were single) and used a starter kit purchased from TSC that included all the supplies. The spiles and buckets were food grade plastic. We live on a rural property in Brant County. Traditionally, the time to tap in our neck of the woods is late February into early March, when daytime temperatures are over freezing and the sap begins to flow up into the trunk and branches. Unofficially, we watch for the "sap-cicles" that form on broken branches to know when the sap starts flowing.


utahcanadian
4/2/2018 9:48:15 PM

Can your give more information on tapping the trees? What kind of taps did you use? How many taps per tree? How many trees were tapped? Are you in a rural or urban environment? How do your know when it is time to collect? I am from southern Ontario, so I'd love to know what town your are from.




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