Move over pumpkin, there’s a new hot flavor in town.
Growing up, Log Cabin syrup was a staple in my family’s pantry. The concentrated sweetness of the amber liquid poured over breakfast favorites like pancakes, waffles, sausage, and bacon are smells and tastes that will linger for a lifetime. It wasn’t until I was 23, semi-fresh out of college, and expanding my collegiate palate that I would come to know of pure Maple syrup and grow a deeper appreciation for the spectrum of delicate maple flavor. To my delight, it is getting its due recognition from culinarians and foodies alike. And while it takes its step into the spotlight, often being compared to pumpkin spice as the new fall flavor, I assure you Maple and its culinary lineages, surely, stand in a lane of its own.
Maple syrup is made from concentrated sap of Maple trees. Grades of Maple syrup are based upon the changing colors of sap in response to seasonal changes. If you’re interested in learning more about the Maple syrup grading check out this infographic from the Maple Source (right).
A tablespoon of Maple syrup provides one carbohydrate exchange and can be a great way to condense the volume of meals down while meeting exchanges. It’s also a significant source of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Manganese, and Zinc. Riboflavin is important for the metabolism of other vitamins and supports the production of energy (ATP) in the body. Manganese is an essential cofactor for enzymes and also plays a role in energy production and antioxidant activity. Zinc, serves as a structural and functional component of enzymes in various metabolic processes and antioxidant activity, and is also integral for maintaining taste sensation. The added benefit of eating something that helps me taste the flavor better is incentivizing enough to keep me inspired to use Maple syrup.
Fall is a great time to get inspired with the various ways you can use Maple syrup in preparing and cooking dishes and beverages. You’ll also find maple syrup-inspired items at familiar retail outlets like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.
Check out retail offerings and recipes that have been inspired by the new trend of the season: Maple!
● Starbucks maple pecan latte – grab a tall drink as a great, balanced on the go snack!
● Dunkin Donuts maple pecan latte—a small with skim provides 2 CHO, 1PRO exchange to keep you feeling energized and satiated
● Coffee and Tea exchange’s Maple Walnut coffee beans for home brewers, because nothing beats a good cup of home brewed java
by Ariana Oatman, Dietetic Intern at UIC and AscendCHC