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Marvelous Maple Syrup


Gluten-Free Cranberry Maple Pear Bars

Sadly, what many people think of as maple syrup is really just a combination of sugars and sugar-syrups with flavorings and preservatives added. It’s not real maple syrup at all! Thank goodness for my first trip to Stowe, Vermont where I learned about the different varieties and many uses of pure maple syrup. Now, I always keep plenty on hand so I can make my favorite goodies like Gluten-Free Cranberry Maple Pear Bars and Maple-Oat Cookies.


Baked Maple Chicken with Wild Rice and Bartlett Pear Pilaf

Nothing compares with the flavor and aroma of the real maple syrup (no added colors, flavorings, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners). Pure maple syrup is available in several grades, which represent differences in flavor and color, but not quality. Several varieties are available:

  • Grade A­­–Light is delicate in flavor, perfect for elegant cookies, sweetening tea or drizzling over yogurt or ice cream.
  • Grade A–Medium has a wonderful maple flavor without being overpowering or strong. Try it on pancakes, waffles and French toast.
  • Grade A–Dark, like Grade B, is more robust in flavor. I use it for baking, cooking and roasting.
  • Grade B has the most robust flavor. It’s subtly earthy with a hint of caramel. I love to drizzle it over roasted sweet potatoes or winter squash, or add it to gingerbread along with or in place of molasses. 


Amaranth Hot Cereal with Cherries and Walnuts

The beauty of maple syrup is in its incredible versatility, pleasing flavor and appetizing aroma. It’s great in baked goods, sauces, marinades, dressings and more. Here are some of my favorite ideas and recipes:

Are you a maple syrup aficionado? Let us know your favorite recipe ideas.