March might come in a like a lion, but with it comes peaceful trips to the sugar bush and maple syrup season. I like to refer to this natural sweetener as liquid gold, not only for the rich taste and amber colour, but also for the cost. On average you can spend about $20 per liter of pure maple syrup, depending on where you live, and where you purchase your product. Is it expensive? Definitely.  Is it worth it? Absolutely.

When we first became more conscious of our food budget, and keeping our grocery costs down, we were also shifting to a more whole foods diet; out with the processed and packaged, and in with the all-natural, whenever possible. Maple syrup was one of the items that I vehemently felt we needed to keep real. Why is purchasing pure maple syrup worth the cost? A few reasons actually:

•    Maple-flavoured syrups are loaded with corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup, not to mention several other unpronounceable words, whereas pure maple syrup is made with just one ingredient.
•    Pure maple syrup is good for you. It’s loaded with manganese and zinc, which benefit the immune system.
•    The taste is superior to its imitation counterparts. It’s really worth the extra pennies, I promise!

Wondering what to do with your precious golden syrup? Here are more delicious recipes to try:

Spiced Ground Beef with Grilled Japanese Eggplant and Maple Syrup Sauce
Maple-Mustard Pork Loin with Roasted Potatoes
Baked French Toast Sandwiches with Raspberry Cream
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Spiced Apple Crumb Muffins
17 Sweet & Savoury Maple Recipes