Maple sugaring season has arrived! Warmer days and cold nights means the sap is flowing in the maple trees. Tapping trees at home can be a lot of fun. You can boil your own maple syrup, or, if that seems like too much work, just enjoy the sap as is - nature's sweetener!
When it emerges from the tree, sap is a clear, slightly sweet liquid that looks a lot like water. Filter it through a fine strainer or cheesecloth, and save that delightful sap in the fridge or a cold garage. One of my favorite things to do with pure maple sap is make tea or coffee. Just bring the sap to a boil on the stove or in a kettle, and add your favorite tea. If you are a coffee-drinker, this works best with the French press method (or instant coffee).
I particularly enjoy a Dirty Maple Chai - brew your favorite coffee with maple sap, and add a chai tea bag. Throw in a splash of your milk of choice, and you've got a slightly sweetened, spicy, warming beverage!