Maple syrup seems to be a hot topic recently. Not the sticky stuff many of us grew up drenching our pancakes in, but the real syrup that comes from the sap of maple trees. It is pricy, but well worth it for taste and for our health. Recent scientific studies show pure maple syrup contains over 50 identified polyphenol compounds protecting us against all kinds of internal inflammation that can lead to diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and cancer. Maple syrup is completely plant based so is a great sweetener for vegans. It actually has a low glycemic index so won’t cause big spikes in blood sugars as other sweeteners do. Pure maple syrup is also high in manganese, an essential mineral.
Think about it… artificial pancake syrup is made from corn syrup and other sweeteners that are not found in nature, provides no polyphenol compounds, has a high glycemic index, and doesn’t contain any essential vitamins or minerals. So go ahead, buy real maple syrup. You’re worth it!
Pure Maple Syrup Bran Muffins
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ Tbsp. lemon juice (As a substitute for buttermilk, I use milk mixed with lemon juice since I hardly ever purchase buttermilk and when I do, I never seem to use it all up before it goes bad.)
2 cups bran flake cereal
1 cup whole wheat flour (Missouri Grain Project)
1 ¾ baking powder
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten (Dry Dock Farms)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (Morris Maple Leaf Farm)
3 Tbsp. canola oil
½ cup raisins or chopped dried fruit of choice
Pure Maple Icing (optional but really tasty):
Stir together 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, 2 tsp. or more milk to desired consistency.
1. Heat oven to 350 F, coat muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, pour in milk & lemon juice, let stand about 3 minutes then add bran cereal; let sit for about 30 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda.
4. Add eggs, maple syrup and oil to bran mixture; add flour mixture to bran mixture. Stir until just combined; add raisins or dried fruit.
5. Spoon into muffin tin; bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
6. Cool completely then drizzle with maple icing if desired.