By Kerri-Ann Jennings, "Maple on Tap,"January/February 2012
Sweet news about maple syrup: this natural sweetener contains polyphenols, antioxidants that quell inflammation, according to new research from the University of Rhode Island. (Inflammation is linked to a slew of health conditions, from cancer to arthritis.) One polyphenol, quebecol—named for Quebec, a top syrup-making region—was newly discovered during the study and is unique to maple syrup. Researcher Navindra Seeram, Ph.D., says that the darker grades have the highest levels of antioxidants (in the U.S., maple syrup can range from Grade A light, medium and dark amber to Grade B, the darkest). Of course, it’s still sugar, so enjoy in moderation. In the next few months, syrup production will crank into full gear in the Northeast and Canada as trees are tapped and daytime thaws cause maple sap to flow. And with sugaring season, when the sap is boiled to make syrup, comes sugar on snow (pictured here), hot, thickened syrup that forms a sweet taffy when poured on fresh snow.
Ways to Savor Maple Syrup:
Photography: iStockphoto.com / © Sebastien Cote