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From Sap To Syrup: How to Make Syrup from Scratch

I know it’s a little late or early (depending on how you look at it) for Syrup Season, but it’s never too early to learn how to make syrup and prepare. I love fresh syrup, and it’s amazingly not too difficult to make. Not only can the sap be boiled down to make different flavored syrups, but it can also be cooked down to obtain the sugar. Just a heads up: You need a lot of sap to make a little syrup, but trust me, it really is worth what it takes.

From Sap To Syrup: A Golden Gift From The Trees

Maple trees are known to produce a sap with a sugar content of 2%. This is important, because the amount of sap you will need depends on the sugar content of the sap. It takes around 40–43 gallons of sap with a sugar content of 2% to produce one gallon of sweet and sticky maple syrup. When dealing with sap from a birch tree (which contains only 1% sugar), you’ll need quite a bit more sap in order to make a nice syrup. The instructions I’ll provide will be based on making syrup from the sugar maple, but I’ll also include the equation required for figuring out how much sap you’ll need, no matter what tree you tap. That way, you always know how to make syrup, regardless of your environment.

how to make syrup

How to Make Syrup

I suggest boiling your sap into syrup outdoors, because it will produce a lot of steam, and it can take a while. The supplies you’ll need are very basic:

  • A pot large enough for the sap you have
  • Wood to fuel the fire
  • 5-gallon food grade buckets w/ lids
  • Candy thermometer (comes in handy)
  • Food grade filter
  • Glass bottle

Once you’ve collected the sap from the trees, you’ll want to transfer the syrup from the metal catch buckets into the 5-gallon food grade buckets. It’s important to keep your buckets of sap stored at 38 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, you should use it within a week from collecting it. Otherwise, you risk a chance of bacteria growing.

The sooner you process the sap into syrup, the better and safer it is. Once you’re ready to start cooking the maple sap down, boil off all of the excess water in the sap. You’re going to want to fill your cooking pot about ¾ of the way with sap and set it on the fire. You’ll have to tend the fire and keep a close eye on the sap, as to avoid burning. Once the first batch of sap cooks down to about ¼ to ½ a pot, you can go ahead and top it off to the ¾ fill line. Be careful, because you’ll want to try to keep a steady boil throughout the whole process.

Repeat the steps of boiling it down and adding more until all of your sap is ready for the next step. You’ll know your syrup is almost ready when it turns a light golden color and is very viscous. Once you have your golden sap, you can transfer what you have into a smaller pot. From here, you can finish boiling it down on your kitchen stove. Continue boiling the sap until it becomes thicker and sticky like syrup; I like to use a wooden spoon to check how sticky it is. If I dip the spoon in and hold it above the pot, and it runs like water, it isn’t ready. However, if it sticks, you’re almost done. This is when the candy thermometer comes in handy. Use the thermometer to check the temperature and when the temp reaches 7 degrees above the boiling point, you’re good to go.

Let your syrup cool off enough to safely filter it into a glass syrup bottle without getting burned. Once your syrup is bottled and sealed, all you have to do is clean up and enjoy your reward. Syrup can last up to two months if it’s sealed and refrigerated properly. I also recently learned that if you use freezer-safe containers, you can freeze some if you have too much of it.

Like, I said earlier, if you’re using sap with a different sugar content, you’ll need to calculate what you’ll need, so you know exactly how to make syrup that fits your sweet tooth. The equation is 86 divided by the sugar content. That means if your trees are producing a sap with a 1 % sugar content, you’ll divide 86, and then you’ll get your answer.

OutsideFun1 gives us a part 2 of a video on making sap into syrup:

I know it seems like a lot of work, but honestly the job requires more patience than manual labor. Plus, it’s nice to know what you need to do in order to make things to the homestead yourself. Whether you are striving to be self-sufficient or you just like to learn things, I suggest discovering the golden gifts from the trees and uncovering how to make syrup. In fact, not only can you boil down the sap into syrup, but you can also cook it down into sugars. Keep an eye out for next weeks Living Off The Grid article about sugar and sweeteners from the land!

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Have you tried making sap into syrup? Let us know your kitchen secrets in the comments below!

Are you looking for more recipes for your family and friends? Check out these homemade nut milk recipes for a healthy dairy substitute!

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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