Maple trees produce a sweet starch during the summer months that is stored in their roots throughout the winter. In the spring, as temperatures rise, the trees convert the starch into sugar which is pulled through the tree in water. Sugar-makers tap the trees and collect some of this sweet sap. When boiled down, the sap reduces into a sugary syrup with a distinct maple flavor.
Maple syrup contains a large amount of essential minerals and antioxidants along with the lowest calorie count of any natural sweetener. There are many uses for syrup beyond the typical pancake and waffle topping. Try some in your morning coffee, replace brown sugar in your favorite recipes, add some to ice cream or plain yogurt, drizzle over fresh fruit. Maple syrup adds incredible flavor to roast chicken, salad dressings, pulled pork, pies, and muffins.