Sap rising

Sap rising


While working as a naturalist for the Cincinnati Park Board, I had a wonderful opportunity to learn and demo the process of gathering sap and boiling it down into maple syrup. This culminated into a weekend public event featuring pancakes with fresh maple syrup. I already had a well developed taste for maple syrup but my curiosity led me to research the possible health benefits of pure maple syrup.

Yep! Pure maple syrup has some great health benefits. As a sugar substitute, maple sugar offers antioxidants that support the body’s immune system. It contains magnesium, calcium, and potassium which decrease the potential for hypertension and stroke. Pure maple syrup has a low glycemic index (does not cause the same spike in blood insulin levels as cane sugar) benefiting people with diabetes. It is three times as sweet as cane sugar with fewer calories – 50 calories per tablespoon. For more nutritive information go to

Pure organic maple syrup can be substituted for sugar in most recipes. It is recommended to use 2/3 cup organic maple syrup for 1 cup of sugar and to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees. The sugars in the syrup caramelize at a higher temperature. Also, reduce the liquids in your recipe by ¼ cup. Just two of the many recipes I found at, Spinach Salad with Glazed Beets & Blue Cheese or Chili Pork in Sweet Maple Sauce, tells me maple syrup is a lot more than a pancake dressing.

What are some of your ways to use maple syrup?