Holiday Baking with Maple Syrup or Sugar

The holidays are a time for family and friends, to reflect on the year that is almost passed and the potential for the new year ahead. The holiday season wouldn’t be complete, however, without the delicious smells of home cooking wafting through the house. In our homes, we enjoy finding new ways to use maple syrup or granulated maple sugar in our holiday cooking and especially baking this time of year. The unique flavor of maple syrup lifts almost any baked good to new heights and substituting maple syrup or maple sugar in place of white or brown sugar is easy — see our handy chart below for more information. If you’re baking this holiday season, try a couple of our favorites recipes and post on our Facebook page to let us know how they turn out!

MapleSnickedoodleFull

 

 

 

Try our Maple Snickerdoodles for a Vermont twist on a classic cookie.

 

 

 

Maple Coconut Cookies

 

 

 

Or try a Maple Coconut Cookie for a not-too-sweet but delicious treat!

 

 

Maybe you need a quick breakfast item  for guests during the holidays? Try our Cranberry Ginger Maple Muffins or our Pumpkin Maple Muffins.

CranGingerMuffinforBlog

Cran-Ginger Maple Muffins

PumpkinMapleforBlog

Pumpkin Maple Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Substitute White Sugar with Maple Syrup or Maple Sugar:

Maple syrup can be used in place of white sugar in most recipes and is a delicious way to liven up an old favorite by bringing maple’s unique flavor to a dish.  Better still, it’s also a healthy way to sweeten your food and beverages as maple syrup is high in healthful antioxidants and naturally includes essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.  It’s more nutritious than other common sweeteners such as corn syrup, honey, or white sugar; contains one of the lowest calorie levels; and has been shown to have healthy glycemic qualities.

To begin using maple syrup in place of the usual white sugar, it’s helpful to keep a few pointers in mind.  If using maple syrup, for each cup of sugar a recipe calls for, use ¾ cup of maple syrup and reduce the other liquids by ¼ cup.  Using granulated maple sugar is even easier as that can be substituted 1:1 in any recipe.

Substituting Your Sugar

SuDid you know that it’s easy to substitute maple syrup for other regular uses of sugar?  Maple syrup can be a delicious way to liven up an old favorite by bringing maple’s unique flavor to a dish.  Better still, it’s also a healthy way to sweeten your food and beverages as maple syrup is high in healthful antioxidants and naturally includes essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.  It’s more nutritious than other common sweeteners such as corn syrup, honey, or white sugar; contains one of the lowest calorie levels; and has been shown to have healthy glycemic qualities.

To begin using maple syrup in place of the usual white sugar, it’s helpful to keep a few pointers in mind.  If using maple syrup, for each cup of sugar a recipe calls for, use ¾ cup of maple syrup and reduce the other liquids by ¼ cup.  Using granulated maple sugar is even easier as that can be substituted 1:1 in any recipe.

Many standard summer recipes are easy to experiment with substituting other sugars for maple syrup.  In fruit pies or crisps it is easy to replace any white sugar a recipe calls for with maple syrup.  In common summer beverages such as lemonade, iced tea, or even cocktails such as a margarita, maple syrup provides an easy and dissolvable sweetener!

raspberry peach maple piemaple lemonadeblueberry raspberry maple crisp

Everyday Uses for Maple

Coffee and MapleIf you are like us, you don’t feel like making pancakes every morning but you might have coffee or tea every morning.  Have you ever
thought about using Vermont Maple Syrup to sweeten your coffee or tea?  Maple syrup is the perfect sweetener for these beverages as there is no issue with dissolving as there can be with granulated sugar and subtle taste of maple in a cup of coffee feels lavish without being so.  And to make it even better, you can feel good about using maple to sweeten everyday drinks since it has more naturally occurring vitamins and minerals than other sweeteners.

Vermont Maple Syrup has so many everyday uses in our household.  Here’s just a few ideas:

  • Granola-RecipeSweetening coffee or tea
  • A cold glass of Maple Milk — just mix in 1-2 tablespoons of VT maple syrup into a glass of milk!
  • Ol’ Fashioned Maple Soda — mix 1-2 tablespoons of VT maple syrup into a glass of club soda or seltzer for a refreshing soda without any of the preservatives or high fructose corn syrup!
  • Pour a little Vermont Maple Syrup over cottage cheese or Greek yogurt for a healthy snack
  • Toast with peanut butter and a drizzle of maple syrup
  • Vermont Maple Granola — mix up a batch today and have a healthy snack or breakfast ready to go when you need it

Study Confirms That Maple Is Golden for Vermont’s Economy

 

Vermont’s maple industry contributed between $317 and $330 million in total sales to the state’s economy in 2013, according to a recently completed economic contribution study conducted for the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont.

The industry added between $140 and $144 million to Vermont in profits and wages, the study said, and supported between 2,735 and 3,169 full time equivalent jobs. The study’s conclusions are based on a survey of Vermont maple producers and telephone interviews with maple-related businesses in the state, including maple packers/processors, equipment manufacturers, and sales and installation operations.

It is the first economic contribution study of Vermont’s maple industry, said Center for Rural Studies director Jane Kolodinsky.

“People have the sense that the maple industry makes an important economic contribution to the state of Vermont,” said Matt Gordon, executive director of the VMSMA. “This study confirms and quantifies just how large and vital that contribution is. Maple is not just a part of Vermont’s heritage but an important part of its economy.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Vermont is the largest maple producer in the United States, accounting for 42 percent of production, and maple is the fourth most valued agricultural commodity in the state. Production grew by 111% from 1992 to 2014, from 570,000 to 1,320,000 gallons, according to USDA.

The new study adds significant new data to the broad information available from federal and state agencies.

  • The average maple sugar producer in Vermont has 3,451 taps and produces 1,221 gallons of syrup. The median – or midpoint – for producers is 1,175 taps with 295 gallons of syrup produced, indicating that the relatively small number of producers with over 5,000 taps produces the bulk of the state’s syrup.
  • In the last five years, 47.7 percent of producers reported that their maple production increased, while 37.2 percent saw their production remain the same. Larger producers, on average, increased production, while smaller ones stayed constant. That pattern held when producers were asked to forecast production levels for the next five years.
  • Maple-related business contributed the majority of total sales to the state: $237 million of the lower end of the estimate ($317 million) and $238 million at the higher end ($330 million). Maple producers added $79 million and $92 million to lower and higher end of the two estimates.
  • Maple syrup was overwhelmingly the main product on maple operations, accounting for 90 percent of sales on average, with maple cream a distant second at 13.8 percent.
  • The two largest threats foreseen by producers were related to the environment (climate change, changing weather patterns, and Asian longhorn beetles) and overproduction.
  • The two largest opportunities producers saw are new markets, including Asia and Europe, and in the marketing opportunities presented by growing consumer interest in natural food.
  • Material and supplies, including evaporators, tapping tools, spouts, mainlines and jugs, are the largest expense for producers of all sizes, ranging from 88 percent for operations with up to 499 taps to 73.8 percent for operations with between 2,000 and 4,999 taps.
  • Most of the supplies purchased benefitted companies based in Vermont: 80.6 percent of companies providing supplies to maple producers were based in Vermont, with 8.8 percent in New Hampshire, 1.4 percent in Quebec, and the rest scattered in other states.
  • The top three Vermont industries affected by the profits and wages in the maple industry were food manufacturing, maple production itself, and the retail equipment sector.

The study used two different scenarios to reach its conclusions, one based on the assumption that there are 1,553 maple producers in the state, a figure from the agricultural census conducted by the USDA every four years, and a second based on 1,800 producers, the lower end of the estimate made by VMSMA of between 1,800 and 3000 Vermont maple producers.

The study also includes data gathered in telephone surveys with 15 maple-related business, defined as those that buy maple syrup in bulk for resale or manufacture or install maple equipment. There are 24 of these companies in the state, along with many other smaller retailers whose inventory includes maple equipment.

Researchers used statistical techniques to gauge the contribution of the full maple production sector from a sample of 295, with a resulting margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points.

The sample for maple-related companies was not large enough to extrapolate from. For the report, researchers used only the data supplied in the 15 telephone interviews, so the sales and employment data for the group is likely under-reported.

The study used a customized version of a commonly used economic impact model to reach its conclusions.  The model allowed the researchers to determine not only direct sales by the maple industry, but indirect sales (sales that results from suppliers of the sugar makers purchasing goods and services and hiring workers to fill the order from the sugar maker), and induced sales (sales from the effects of the changes in household income due to the economic activity from the direct and indirect effects).

The economic contribution of the maple industry is likely underestimated because it doesn’t take into account tourism related to the maple industry,” said Florence Becot, a research specialist at the Center for Rural Studies, who authored the report. “If the contributions of open houses during maple season and maple festivals were taken into account, the number would be even bigger,” she said. “But clearly, maple is a vital part of Vermont’s economy and culture.”

Making it one of the oldest agricultural organizations in the United States. While the Vermont maple industry has changed a bit since then, our commitment to the craft of maple sugaring has not.  VMSMA is made up of Vermont maple sugarmakers and maple packers who are dedicated to producing the highest quality maple syrup found anywhere in the world.

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The Center for Rural Studies is a nonprofit, fee-for-service research and resource center that works with people and communities to address social, economic, and resource-based challenges. A part of the University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences since 1978, CRS supports the research and teaching missions of the university through its work in applied research, community outreach, program evaluation, and consulting services.

Founded in 1893, the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association helps promote and protect the branding of pure Vermont maple products and to serve as the official voice for Vermont sugar makers.  Its membership is composed of Vermont maple sugarmakers, processors, and equipment manufacturers and retailers.

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For the full report, please click HERE.

Vermont Continues To Be #1 US Maple Producer

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service released their 2015 Maple Syrup Crop Production report and Vermont continues to be the number one producer of maple syrup in the United States, producing more than the next two largest producing states combined.  Despite the cold and snowy winter we experienced in New England, our season was still very productive, yielding 1,390,000 gallons of delicious Vermont maple syrup.  Over the past five years, Vermont is averaging 1.2 million gallons of syrup each year — you’d need an awfully tall stack of pancakes for all of that syrup!

2015 Maple Syrup Production