There’s something pretty magical about combining maple syrup, olive oil and egg whites, adding it to dry oats and nuts, and baking it all up! Furthermore, it’s a joy and honor to be able to source ingredients from close to home, see how that ingredient is produced from start to finish, and develop a personal relationship with suppliers. At the height of maple syrup season in March, Brian and I had the good fortune of visiting our current supplier, Tapper’s, located just outside Ellsworth, Wisconsin.
So just how is maple syrup made? Boiled down (no pun intended) as simply as possible:
- A hole is drilled into a sugar maple tree so that sap can flow into a container.
- The collected sap is boiled until most of the water evaporates, leaving a thick sugary syrup, which is then filtered to remove impurities.
For more details, check out this helpful graphic:
Once you try real maple syrup, it's nearly impossible to turn back! And for those of us in the upper Midwest, we are blessed with the opportunity to support and enjoy syrup from local suppliers that we can get to know and admire, such as Tapper’s, Horner’s Corner, Morley’s, and Skinny Sticks. We've had the pleasure of working with all over the years and for the last two, every bag of Gustola Granola has contained Tapper’s Maple Syrup. Thank you, Rob & Phill Tapp (no joke on the name 😂), for having us out to your farm and for producing such a stellar product. It was a thrill to geek out over your sophisticated process and get treated to fresh pancakes drenched in your liquid gold!
Here’s a favorite recipe in our household, using maple syrup. For added crunch, you could substitute raw oats with the baked oats at the bottom of a Gustola bag. Enjoy!
1 c nut butter (we use a mix of crunchy and creamy peanut butter)
3/4 c rolled oats
1/4 c ground flaxseeds
1 T hemp seeds (optional, but we always use)
1 T chia seeds (optional, but we always use)
1/2 c dark chocolate chips
2 T maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and roll into desired bite-size balls. Store energy bites in the fridge or freezer, in an airtight container. Enjoy!