It’s maple syrup season! Who doesn’t love fresh maple syrup on pancakes, some maple butter on toast, or a nice slice of maple cream? Mmmmm. (As I am writing this I am enjoying a sweet slice of maple cream!)
You see, I am very lucky to have in-laws who have approximately 300 maple trees tapped to collect the sap to boil into various maple products. They do this just for family and friends, and we all consider ourselves very lucky to receive these wonderful gifts. Going to the sugar camp when they are boiling the sap is a favorite springtime event. The stove is filled to capacity with wood to boil the sap to the precise temperature that is required to transform the sap into syrup. The air is thick with sweet steam from the evaporator, and walking into the camp is like walking into a sauna with the aroma of maple syrup.
What’s extra awesome is, not only is maple syrup yummy, it also has some pretty amazing benefits! It supplies six important minerals which are: manganese, zinc, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. It also has 24 important antioxidants that can help prevent inflammation. These antioxidants can then help us to prevent arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and heart disease.
You can also use maple syrup for baking; you simply substitute it equally for honey or molasses. I hope you are able to go out and buy a bottle of fresh maple syrup for yourself and enjoy the delicious taste of nature’s natural treats.
Here is a very simple recipe that uses maple syrup as for a sweetener rather than processed sugar. This recipe uses whole natural foods. Enjoy!
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
Prep Time: 45 minutes
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ripe medium-sized banana mashed
- ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, oats, hemp seeds, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl add the eggs, mashed banana, milk, maple syrup and vanilla, and then blend until smooth.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix!
- Fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into muffin tin (makes 8-10 muffins, depending on how big you like them) and bake for 25-28 minutes. The muffins are done when they are golden brown on top and firm to touch. Let them cool in the muffin tin for 20 minutes. Use a butter knife to help pop them out.