March 19, 2015

Maple Syrup 101 with Butternut Mountain Farm + Giveaway

Maple Syrup 101 | The Naptime Chef

Over the weekend we tapped our maple tree and hope to be making our homemade maple syrup soon. While we love this new tradition we never make enough syrup to last the whole year. I always end up buying a big jug or two of pure upstate syrup in Cooperstown whenever we visit. Over the years people have told me they find buying maple syrup intimidating and wonder if it is even worth it. All the grades can seem confusing and it is more expensive then the fake manufactured syrup you find in most grocery stores. So, today my friend Emma from Butternut Mountain Farm is here to clear up any confusion and share a few fun facts about maple syrup.

I am also excited to be giving away two bottles of her delicious Vermont maple syrup which her company is now packaging in squeeze bottles. Emma knows what happens when you mix syrup jugs with small children (a huge mess!) and had the genius idea of making maple syrup easier for kids to handle. I love her ingenuity!

Maple Syrup 101 | The Naptime Chef

Real Syrup vs. Fake: There is pretty much no comparison between real and fake syrup. When you read the back of a maple syrup container it should have one ingredient: pure maple syrup. Since maple syrup takes time and expense to make companies have tried to manufacture the flavor in their kitchens for years. Corn syrup and maple flavoring is not maple syrup! Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees that is boiled down until a rich, golden syrup forms. It is a natural process that only requires heating and cooling.

Maple Syrup 101 | The Naptime Chef

Health Benefits: Pure maple syrup is rich in vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, iron, and selenium. (Fake maple syrup has no health benefits!) Pure maple syrup makes an excellent natural sweetener for both sweet and savory dishes. It is also good for soothing sore throats and sweetening hot teas and cocktails. Next week I am going to share a lot of my favorite recipes that use maple syrup as a main ingredient!

Maple Syrup 101 | The Naptime Chef

About Maple Syrup Grades: Recently the International Maple Syrup Institute revised the maple syrup grading system to reduce confusion amongst producers and consumers. As you can see by this nifty infographic below, the grading is now all Grade A and is based on color and flavor. The descriptions Golden, Amber, Dark, and Very Dark are very straightforward. The darker the color the stronger the syrup flavor. This grading system is now uniform across all states, provinces, and countries and will serve everyone well going forward.

About new Maple Syrup Grades | The Naptime Chef

I am so glad Emma was able to share some of her knowledge about maple syrup and clear up any confusion. Next week we’ll be sharing some great recipe ideas for maple syrup-based dishes that are completely family-friendly. I can’t wait! In the mean time, come enter to win some delicious syrup of your own.

Win two squeeze bottles of Butternut Mountain Maple Syrup!

1) Check out Butternut Mountain Farm’s recipe page and tell me a dish you’d like to try!

2) Follow Kelsey Banfield on Facebook.

3) Contest runs from March 19th through March 26th. Winner will be announced in the March 27th newsletter. Good luck!

(Disclosure: Infographic above ©Butternut Mountain Farm, used with permission. I was sent the product to sample by my friend Emma from high school and loved it and am pleased to share it with you.)