By Kelsey Cambridge from The Final Tap
Tree tapping season is just around the corner, and here at Barton Farm, we are celebrating by taping our sugar maple trees. In Ohio, tapping season runs from mid to late February through early March. It all depends when the trees begin to thaw. Barton Farm's purpose to tap our trees is to educate the public about the history and science behind maple sugaring, and we are very excited to host the Maple Sugar Festival again this year (hopefully with no dead bodies this time). And remember maple sugar is for more that pancakes.
Here are some of my favorite things you can do with maple sugar.
- Making candy. By boiling maple syrup and pouring it into molds you can make sweet candy treats that melt in your mouth.
- Sweeten your tea or coffee. Instead of reaching for the sugar bowl, try a dollop of pure maple syrup to sweeten your favorite drink.
- Make snow candies. When it’s really cold out and you have a lot snow, drizzle maple syrup into clean snow. It will harden and make glasslike maple syrup candies. This is especially fun to do with kids.
- Create a yummy side dish. Boil baby carrots with maple syrup and butter for a dish that just might make your children eat their veggies.
- Make a facial scrub. Some research shows maple syrup can combat acne and other minor skin issues. Use only pure maple syrup and mix with other organic ingredients like oatmeal and yogurt to make your own facial scrub.
- Sweeten breakfast outside of pancakes. Drizzle maple syrup on Greek yogurt and granola for a great start to your day.
- Bake with maple syrup. Substitute maple syrup for white sugar. The ratio is ¾ cup of maple syrup to 1 cup of white sugar.
- Make maple butter. Mix with butter for a sweet addition to your morning toast or English muffin.
- Use as ice cream topping. Take your ice cream sundae in a new direction with maple syrup as topping instead of hot fudge or caramel.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with this versatile sweetener. So remember, next time you reach for the sugar consider giving maple syrup a try.
Amanda Flower, a Agatha Award-winning mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is a librarian in Northeast Ohio. She also writes as USA Today Bestselling Author Isabella Alan. Her next mystery is The Final Vow releasing in May 2017. www.amandaflower.com