In the Kitchen With
Pure Maple Syrup
It’s a good thing that maple trees are pretty hardy and long-lasting. A maple tree must be about 45 years old before it can be tapped for syrup. After that, the tree should yield syrup for another 55 years, according to the venerable Farmers’ Almanac.
Sweet and sticky maple syrup is not a traditional health food, but it’s a fine option compared with other table syrups or artificial sweeteners that contain chemical additives. You’ll find high levels of riboflavin and manganese in pure maple syrup and much higher antioxidant values than other sweeteners. And it’s much more than a topping for your flapjacks. Glaze sweet potatoes or acorn squash with pure maple syrup, use it as a unique element in your barbecue sauce or drizzle it on a gorgonzola pizza. You’ll enjoy great taste with an all-natural product.
Maple Glazed Pecans
Mill Gap Farms, Monterey, Va.
¼ cup maple sugar (substitute – cane sugar)
2 tablespoons Mill Gap Farms Organic Maple Syrup
1 tablespoon water
2 cups pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
Prep time 20 minutes. In a large skillet put in maple sugar, maple syrup and water. Heat pan on medium to high heat. The higher the heat, the faster the glaze is made. Mix the ingredients with a silicone spatula until they are liquid. Add pecans and begin stirring. After the pecans are coated with the delicious syrup liquid, add the vanilla by dripping it around the pan. Continue stirring until small, dry crystals form on the pecans. Once the pecans turn a light tan they are ready to spread out on foil or wax paper. As tempting as it may be, let them cool 5-10 minutes before eating them. Store in a resealable storage bag. Glazed pecans will last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Got a taste for maple?
If all this maple syrup talk has your mouth watering, here’s a toasty winter entreé, courtesy of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association. It should work fine with Virginia-made syrup, too.
Roast Lemon Maple Chicken
Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association, Royalton, Vt.
2 lemons, one quartered and one for juicing
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
1 small onion, quartered
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel one of the lemons, removing long, thick strips of zest. Reserve the zest and juice the lemon into a bowl. Add the maple syrup and olive oil to the lemon juice and whisk to combine. Rub the chicken all over with the lemon zest and garlic. Place the quartered lemon, onion, garlic and lemon zest in the cavity of the chicken. Brush with the lemon-maple mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put chicken in a roasting pan and place in the oven. After 30 minutes, brush more of the lemon-maple mixture over the chicken; repeat after another 30 minutes. Continue roasting for an additional 20 minutes or until the juices run clear when cut between the thigh and the body. After removing the chicken from the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes.
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