Food / Product Reviews

A New Leaf

New Year’s Sweet:

I’m not one to shy away from trying new foods or experiences at the best of times, but the new year makes it an extra great time to try something new. In this case, New Leaf Tree Syrups Organic Maple Balsam Fir Infused syrup. Before you pull a face about using a sweetener that comes from a fir tree, you should remember that maple syrup is in essence tree sap.

A few years back, I decided to replace sugar in my recipes for baked goods with maple syrup. While many recipes call for agave syrup, I felt that maple syrup gave baked goods a richness that was otherwise missing. Did I mention that I also stopped baking with any kind of wheat flour? So, now the majority of my cakes, cookies or muffins are baked with almond flour and that makes it tricky to figure out how to balance the weightiness of maple syrup with the amount of sweetness required. So I chose maple syrup over honey. Besides, date syrup was way too dark and gooey.

Inspired by Alaska:

Anyway, when I was in Alaska last summer I kept hearing people talking about birch or spruce syrup. Wait, what? You mean there’s syrup made from the sap of other trees? Oh, yes there is, and it tastes pretty much the way you’d expect it to. Woody. Dense. Sweet but a little mysterious. Which brings me back to New Leaf. Like different types of wine, this is definitely an acquired taste. And I’m not quite sure how it would work in baked goods, but I think it would add a level of mystery to yams or tea. I love this product because it reminds me that nature is a constant source of interesting tastes and experiences.