Monday, June 29, 2009

Homemade Maple Syrup

If you have toddlers in your house, you know that syrup is so much more than a mere condiment. It is a valuable resource than magically transforms many foods from frumpy to fabulous delivery system. That's right. It's not just for pancakes at our house. We drizzle it on oatmeal, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, pork chops, name it. It's amazing what a little maple glaze can do for a toddler's willingness to eat.

Of course, I try to use pure organic maple syrup as often as possible. Both because I prefer natural sugars over corn syrup laden treats, and because real maple syrup is a good source of zinc, manganese, and just a whisper of calcium. Everyone knows that when feeding finicky eaters every extra milligram of nutritional content is valuable!

Given my tendency to run out of pantry staples though, I occasionally find myself with a plate of naked pancakes. What's a mom to do? My first preference is to whip up some berry syrup, but that middle kiddo is suspicious of it. Anything that color, with that many lumps...well. That can't be good.

Instead I whip up a small batch of homemade maple syrup. It's not the real thing, but it's sweet, it's the right color, and all three muchkins will eat it. It's so quick and simple that you may never buy Aunt Jemima again.

Homemade Maple Syrup

1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple flavor

Combine sugars and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to help sugar dissolve completely. Once it reaches a boil, remove from heat and add flavoring. Serve. That's it.

You can easily make as much or as little as you need, just use equal parts of each sugar and water, and adjust the flavoring accordingly. You can add a pat of butter if you like it with butter flavor. A dash of cinnamon to tease your tastebuds. Cook it for an extra minute if you want to thicken it up, or add a splash of corn syrup if you must. (This is a rather thin syrup.) Mix it with the rest of your real maple syrup to stretch it out for one more day. You can even let it cool and refill your favorite syrup bottle for easy pouring.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I RECOGNIZE this recipe. I've made this recipe for over 40 years. I got it from my mother who made it for at least that many before me. And here you are sharing my "secret" with others. I hope they like it. For anyone's information, the corn syrup keeps this syrup from crystalizing in the refridgerator if you make larger batches for future use. It only takes a couple of tablespoons.
    Love you, Mom


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