Like most kids, I grew up with pseudo maple syrup. I can’t recall the first time Mother Nature’s version was introduced to my kitchen, but the switch to the real sap had to be an immediate choice over the brand with corn syrup and caramel color. When Tonewood Maple Syrup approached MyLifeRunsOnFood.com to participate in their Tasting Troupe program, I didn’t hesitate to answer yes. Tonewood Maple Syrups are pure, unblended, doesn’t have artificial flavors and they work with small farmers. A portion of all sales is donated to 1% for the Planet to support University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center’s* climate change research efforts with a focus on improving harvesting technology and understanding maple trees.
Tonewood’s marketing of artisanal maple products while improving sustainable practices for maple trees is the brainchild of Dori Ross, who grew up on a Canadian farm, and she’s a former executive at Gillette. About ten years ago, Ross became reacquainted with her childhood roots, when she watched the process of maple sugaring, which is the collection of sap from maple trees and turning it into syrup. She decided to combine her love of maple syrup and marketing background to teach the world about Vermont’s sugarmarker farms. Many of them are generations owned.
To further bring awareness to Vermont’s sugarmakers, Ross started a tree adoption program. “I have a relationship with the farmers. I spoke to every sugarmaker in the Valley. I was looking for those farms that I could support and elevate their stature. If I could support them it would increase the likelihood of the next generation continuing on….” said Ross. As part of the program, participants get two shipments of premium artisan maple products produced from the bounty of their adopted tree. It’s similar to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The first shipment is delivered in the Spring, in which participants receive The Four Grade Collection. The second shipment, Sweet Pairing, is delivered in the Fall. The package includes a maple cube and their award-winning wafers.
After tasting the real maple syrup, I’m addicted to its natural sweet flavor. It’s poured in my morning coffee, drizzled over desserts and it sweetens granola. One advantage of making homemade granola is adding more nuts, especially my favorite pecan. To demonstrate my love for maple syrup, a little bit of it is mixed into unsweetened Greek yogurt. Of course it’s topped with Maple Pecan granola, in which the recipe is below. If I continue to feel careless about my daily sugar intake, I might sprinkle Tonewood’s Maple Flakes on top for a sugary crunch.
Too much for maple syrup for a health nut like me? Yes and no. It’s my way of making up for all the awful pseudo maple syrup poured on childhood pancakes.
Special Offer for November 2013
For every $25 purchase or greater at TonewoodMaple.com, receive an eight-pack of maple wafers for FREE. This offer is limited to one promotion per customer per month. This offer starts November 1, 2013 and ends Nov. 30, 2013. Use promo code: MLROFNOV
*The Proctor Maple Research Center was established in 1946 with the donation of the former Harvey Farm in Underhill Center, Vermont, to the University of Vermont by Governor Mortimer Proctor. Research has centered on the sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and its products–sap and syrup. Funding for research comes from Federal, State, and private sources. Much of the applied research has provided new and/or improved techniques for efficient sap collection and evaporation systems and for improvement of maple syrup quality while basic research has contributed to an improved understanding of the physiology and towards the continued health of sugar maple trees. Learn more here.