’Tis the tree-tapping season!
This week pays homage to the maple tree, and the golden nectar of the gods which seeps from its core. Yes, kids, we’re talking about maple syrup.
Pure maple syrup is expensive! Did you know that it takes between 40 and 50 gallons of tree sap to produce just one gallon of maple syrup? And, that one gallon of syrup weighs roughly 11 pounds! Real maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup) is a labor of love, and should be treated — and priced — as such, if you ask me.
Have you ever tapped a tree? I’ve been told stories of my great uncle who used to tap his trees and make his own syrup. He didn’t have a ton, but he always shared with the family. There’s been a handful of times in my life when someone brings up Uncle Bill’s syrup. “Ahh, Uncle Bill’s syrup…” said, of course, with longing in the eyes, and a little bit of drool escaping the lips.
Do you cook with maple syrup, I mean, other than pouring it over pancakes and waffles? Maple syrup can be substituted for white sugar in cooking. Substitute using 3/4 cup maple syrup for 1 cup of white sugar and reduce liquid in the recipe by 3 tablespoons for each cup of syrup used. I just may do this for the rest of my life. Lol!
When I make sausage gravy and biscuits, I add a couple tablespoons of maple syrup to the sausage when I brown it. It makes the kitchen smell amazing! I also like to make granola, and have shared a maple granola recipe below that will make your mouth water! I like adding it to frozen yogurt in the summer for a dessert or snack.
Oh, the glorious things we get from nature if we just go out and get it.
Go make something awesome,
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine rolled oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and pecans in a large bowl. Pour maple syrup and olive oil into bowl and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pour mixture onto large baking sheet, spreading to create a uniform layer. Bake granola, stirring every 15-20 minutes, until it is golden brown, about 1 hour.
- 1 lb. ground sausage
- 2-3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup flour or cornstarch
- 2-3 cups milk (2% or whole)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Your favorite hot biscuits
Over medium heat, brown the sausage in a large skillet and chop it into pieces with your spatula. Before it is all the way done, add in maple syrup and continue cooking until sausage is done. sprinkle the sausage with the flour or cornstarch, and add in 1 or 2 cups of the milk. stir and let thicken, adding more milk until gravy is desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot over your favorite hot biscuits!
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