Aside from December 17th being my parents’ anniversary and the birthday of two of my favorite friends (Congrats everyone!!!), today also happens to be National Maple Syrup Day here in the U.S.A.!
Maple Syrup is good for you!
Maple Syrup, for all of its sweetness, is really good for you, as it is full of manganese and zinc, two antioxidants which help your immune system.
Manganese is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. The key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), requires manganese. One ounce of maple syrup supplies 22.0% of the daily value for this very important trace mineral that benefits our health.
The zinc supplied by maple syrup, in addition to acting as an antioxidant, has other functions that can decrease the progression of atherosclerosis. Zinc is needed for the proper function of the inner lining of blood vessels and helps to prevent the damage caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol and other oxidized fats.
Maple syrup is one of the few natural sweeteners that are allowed on the Paleo Diet, so I would be crazy to forget to give it the proper adulation that it’s due. And by that, of course, I mean to give everyone a candy recipe that is Paleo-friendly and super delicious.
Time to get out your candy thermometers, boys and girls! It’s candy-makin time! 🙂 (And there ain’t nothin’ like maple candy!)
courtesy of 21st Annual Central New York Maple Festival and About.com
2 cups maple syrup
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, diced
- Grease the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan with ghee or bacon fat.
- Inside the greased saucepan, cook the maple syrup over high heat to what’s known as “hard ball” stage (250 degrees F.) without stirring.
- Remove from heat.
- Immediately, beat egg whites with salt to stiff peaks.
- Add hot syrup to egg whites and beat at high speed with an electric beater.
- Continue beating until mixture forms soft peaks and begins to lose its gloss.
- Add in the vanilla, salt, and the pecans.
- Drop mixture by teaspoonful on waxed paper; swirl each candy to a peak.
- Allow to cool.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Yield: 2 dozen candies