Valentines Day is just a week away, so enter to win some sweets for your sweet! This Valentines Day, we’re giving away one 32 oz. Glass Bottle of Mohawk Valley Trading Company’s Grade A, Robust, Dark, Pure Maple Syrup!
I recently reviewed some raw honey from Mohawk Valley Trading Company, and now they’re back again, offering my readers a chance to win another one of their popular items.
As the saying goes, now that print is dead, maple syrup is officially the greatest thing made by trees. My husband swears by pure maple syrup, and the few times our budget and sweet tooth has brought me to buying “maple flavored syrup” (aka, corn syrup) he’s let me know in no uncertain terms that he does not agree with the purchase. It’s the cutest real-foods pouting you’ll ever see. At any rate, my hubby would rather go without than resort to corn syrup masquerading as maple syrup – and the more I learn (and taste) of the “real stuff” the more I’m inclined to agree!
The Health Benefits of Maple Syrup
Because most table top syrups are notoriously notorious (yes, notoriously notorious I say) for being unhealthy bad-sugar monsters, maple syrup sometimes gets an ill-deserved bad rap in the world of sweeteners.
But the fact is, the health benefits of real maple syrup are far more comprehensive than you might expect. Check it out:
Antioxidants – This natural sweetener features over 54 antioxidants that can help delay or prevent diseases caused by free radicals, such as cancer or diabetes. Pure maple syrup has the same beneficial classes of antioxidant compounds found in berries, tomatoes, tea, red wine, and flax seed – all super foods! (Canadian health organizations maintain that maple syrup IS a super food!)
Manganese – Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defenses, and is necessary for normal brain and nerve function. Just a quarter cup of maple syrup contains 100% of the Daily Value of manganese!
Riboflavin – One serving of pure maple syrup provides 37% of the Daily Value of riboflavin, which aids in the metabolic process.
Zinc – Pure maple syrup contains 18% of the recommended Daily Value of zinc, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
Low In Calories – For those counting calories or trying to maximize their nutrient intake in a healthy all-natural diet, maple syrup is a sweetener of choice. Providing nutrients (unlike non-calorie sweeteners like stevia and splenda) maple syrup is far lower in calories than corn syrup and honey, averaging about 50 calories per tablespoon.
Other minerals found in maple syrup are magnesium, calcium and potassium, all known for their ability to decrease the risk of hypertension or stroke. Maple syrup really is a guilt free sweetener!
Mohawk Valley Trading Company Maple Syrup
Mohawk Valley’s pure maple syrup is made from sugar maple sap, which is preferred for maple syrup production because it has an average sugar content of 2%. (Sap from other maple species is usually lower in sugar content, and about twice as much is needed to produce the same amount of finished syrup.)
After the sugar maple sap is collected, it is boiled down to remove the water and make a pure maple syrup free of chemicals or additives. It takes approximately 43 gallons of sap with 2% sugar to make just ONE gallon of maple syrup!
The maple syrup Mohawk Valley sent me to try is Grade A, which typically has the mildest maple flavor and is best for table use. Grade B is very dark with a strong maple flavor that is best suited for cooking and baking (since the flavor carries over better from heating / processing in recipes).
Confused by the whole Grade A / Grade B thing? According to the Mohawk Valley website:
“The United States classification of maple syrup depends on its translucence. US Grade A Light Amber has to be more than 75 percent translucent, US Grade A Medium Amber has to be 60.5 to 74.9 percent translucent, US Grade A Dark Amber has to be 44.0 to 60.4 percent translucent, and US Grade B is any product less than 44.0 percent translucent.”
I, personally, have not had much exposure to pure maple syrup growing up, so I am hardly a connoisseur. But I am an incorrigible foodie, and I pride myself on my discerning palate so.. so yeah.
Anyway, my whole idea of what “pure syrup” should taste like is mostly dreamt up through descriptions of maple syrup production and products in Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Visions of gathering maple sap in the snow by sled and nibbling on tiny paper wrapped maple sugar cakes is MY idea of pure maple syrup. What I’m looking for in maple syrup is a flavor time machine that transports me to a simpler era of log cabins, horse drawn sleighs and corn cob dolls. (That’s not asking too much, is it??)
Sooooo, I timed my blog posts terribly, because when I sat down to taste, photograph and write this review – I was smack dab in the middle of a sugar fast. DOH! So I allowed myself this healthy little cheat. And maybe it was my recently sugar-free taste buds, but OH SWEET BABY JESUS, this maple syrup tastes like heaven!
I am impressed with the depth and balance of the flavor – not overwhelmingly sweet, but with a distinctive earthy quality with subtle notes of caramel. This luscious treat begs to be eaten under homey, cozy, curled-up-by-a-fireplace conditions. It passes the Little House in the Big Woods test! (Yes, yes, I have unconventional methods of food expectations, I know.)
I’m so impatient to try this superior quality maple syrup in a few recipes I have set aside – watch my blog in the coming week for a few of them!
I am becoming increasingly impressed with the quality of Mohawk Valley Trading Company’s products. They provide open, educational information on the production and content of their consumables, and provide excellent customer service to boot. If you haven’t already, go check out their website.
And now, here’s your chance to enter to win one 32 oz. Glass Bottle of Mohawk Valley Trading Company’s Grade A, Robust, Dark, Pure Maple Syrup! You can enter to win once a day. Contest ends on Valentines Day. Good luck!
[Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this review. I am an independent product reviewer. I only review products I am truly interested in. I don’t accept payment for reviews. The products I take the time to jabber on about are either items I have personally purchased, or the product has been provided for review after me incessantly nagging for a sample. All of my reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained.]
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