Additional Bigleaf Maple Sap Information
Bigleaf Maple, Vancouver Island's most common maple tree is an abundant producer of sap. Its sugar content averages about 2%, which is slightly lower than eastern Sugar Maple. Syrup can be made by evaporating off water (sap to syrup ratio is about 43:1).
A good tapping tree will produce 60 litres of sap per season. Unlike back East where trees and sap are frozen throughout the winter, Vancouver Island has a four month tapping season (November through early March).
A commercial supply of Vancouver Island sap and syrup is being developed with the intent of marketing through natural food stores and for use in restaurants. Maple water and syrup is 100% natural and organic—there are no additives.
Sap is perishable due to its sugar content - keep refrigerated or frozen!
Maple Sap Uses
Although syrup is the traditional use, maple water (sap) has many uses. Maple sap can be substituted for water at a one-to-one ratio in most recipes.
- Rice made with maple sap has a slight sweetness and hint of maple flavour
- Bread tends to have a better rise when using sap
- Soup has an added richness when sap is used as a base
- Beverages such as tea, coffee and hot chocolate benefit when sap is used in place of water
Maple Sap Nutrients
The most important benefit of maple water is its nutritional value.
Sugar Maple water contains minerals including calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. It contains vitamins B2, B5, B6, niacin, biotin, folic acid and trace amounts of amino acids.
It is presumed that Bigleaf Maple water (sap) contains the same nutrients, but testing will be needed to verify this.