alternatives to maple syrup

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Paul Wheaton, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,443
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    missoula, montana
    I'm trying to eat only organic these days and real maple syrup costs a small fortune.

    I remember making syrup out of something called "mapeline" (sp?) - but what is that stuff? I tried to google, but I keep getting recipes for how to make syrup.

    I wonder about alternatives to maple syrup that I might be able to make the same way: sugar, water and .... flavoring. Vanilla?

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,565
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    West Central Minnesota
    If you're going to organic for health reasons, you might want to skip the sugar altogether. Have you considered using honey instead? I realize you won't get the maple flavor from it, but it is healthier for you than sugar or fake maple syrup. Actually, no sweeteners are really healthy, but sometimes we have to make concessions :cool:
     

  3. Ozarkquilter46

    Ozarkquilter46 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    865
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Location:
    South Central, Mo
    Any kind of fruit you like, just chop it up add a some water and cook it down till it resembles kind of chunky suryp and when it cools off a little add splenda. Yum good
     
  4. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,287
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    That recipie sounds good except for the splenda. It is not as healthy as the advertisements claim that it is. You can find more details here: http://www.westonaprice.org/modernfood/sugarfree_blues.html . It the fruit syrup isn't sweet enough by itself, you could add honey.
     
  5. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    2,138
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    flatlands of Ohio - sigh
    I used to make it that way. Sugar and water boiled down, and then maple flavoring added. (Bought where you buy vanilla, etc.). Not the same, but better than nothing!!!

    Supposedly you can make maple syrup from box elder trees, too. I guess they are called Manitoba Maples in canada. Not as high sugar content, so it takes more sap, but will still work. And heaven knows box elders are rampant around here!!!
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    We used a lot of cane syrup when I was young. You could prob make it with brown sugar (get real cane sugar). I don't think Mapeline flavor is organic. You can buy organic brown sugar. Honey might be cheaper and will be healthier.
     
  7. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    You can make a basic syrup (1/4 c brown sugar, 1 3/4 c white sugar, 1 c water, boil 1 minute) and then add about 2 T real maple syrup to flavor it. Tastes pretty good. Honey is still sugar, not really any better for you than any other kind.
     
  8. cchapman84

    cchapman84 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    You can also make birch syrup if you have sweet birches in your area. I have a friend who went to Alaska and worked for a family who made birch syrup. I've never tried it myself. As far as I know you can't use white birches, I believe that they're toxic. You could probably find out more on google.
     
  9. KindredCanuck

    KindredCanuck In Remembrance

    Messages:
    304
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Greatest country in the world... CANADA
    What do you consider expensive.. here its $5. a 19 oz. can .. I send it to folks all the time..

    KC~
     
  10. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    central New South Wales, Australia
    To REALLY know it is organic, you'd need to grow it yourself. Check out climatic requirements for sugar cane and for sweet sorghum against your local climate. However, I think your real chance is beets. Sugar beets, and also the much larger mangold or mangel-wurzel which is normally used for stock food.
     
  11. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

    Messages:
    1,642
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Along the Stillaquamish, Washington
    I think I'd rather do without than try to process sugar beets, their yield is quite low. Mapeline by Crescent is mostly fenugreek seed extracted with alcohol or steam, I forget which. Not organic but better than store bought table syrup with all the (unnecessary) additives. I love real maple syrup, but being diabetic and on a tight budget don't indulge very often. Trader Joe's and Costco have the best prices. I prefer to have the real thing, just use it much less often.
     
  12. EricG

    EricG Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Location:
    Mat-Su valley Alaska
    Blueberry syrup is good. use brownsugar and water, then add blueberries.

    Eric
     
  13. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    Long time ago....I read a book about a husband and wife moving to homestead in the Ozarks and she made syrup by boiling potatoes, taking potatoes out and reducing water. Can't think of the name of the book...it was a sad story....hubby had a heart attack, their groceries were delivered by mail and she walked her goats but had no food for them in the winter.....
     
  14. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

    Messages:
    6,244
    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Try xylitol for a sweetener. It is natural, comes from the birch tree. It has been proven to be good for the teeth, and prevent cavities (may even reverse really small ones). It is expensive however, it's slowly getting cheaper all the time. It doesn't make things thick like regular sugar however, but could be added to a fruit syrup for sure.

    You use it in the same amounts as regular cane sugar, but it has 2/3 the calories, and does not make your blood sugar spike.

    We get ours at www.xylitolforyour.com as they have good prices.
     
  15. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

    Messages:
    6,244
    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Yea, but honey is a whole sugar, and time and time again we learn later how when a whole, natural food has one effect, it has another to compliment or counteract that effect. For example, eggs. There are two examples with eggs.

    1. Eggs are bad for you because the yolks contain cholesterol. .. But eggs contain lecithin, which is good for your heart, and "counteracts" the cholesterol.

    2 Raw eggs should not be fed to your dog because the avidin in the egg whites binds up with biotin and will cause a biotin deficiency in your dog. However, the egg yolk contains large amounts of biotin, thus the net effect is that the egg does not rob biotin from the body at all.

    Eggs are in fact a very healthy food, with a nearly perfect protein.
     
  16. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    998
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Location:
    SC Kansas
    You can also try Erythritol. Do a google and you will find much info on this polyol. It seems to be lower in calories than others such as xylitol.
     
  17. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Stevia is another good sweetner. I used to grow it.

    I have taken a can of frozen apple juice concentrate, added cinnamon and butterbuds, heated it and used it for syrup. Very good. The concentrate can also sweeten other fruits.
     
  18. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY
    Cinnamon Syrup:
    1 cup water
    1 cup packed dark brown sugar
    2 tablespoons whipping cream
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


    To make the syrup: Combine 1 cup of water and brown sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil until the syrup reduces to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and cinnamon. Keep the syrup warm. (The syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)

    I like the idea of adding a bit of real maple syrup to get the flavor! I think I will try that instead of the cinnamon next time I make syrup.
     
  19. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    752
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Plain old honey-nice and sweet. Different varieties available though-the flavor depends on the flowers the bees used. So keep in mind that you may need to try several types to find one you really like best-though, I love them all!