Healthy Cooking Thursday: Faux Sugar on Snow


I’m not sure who the genius was who first decided to take some delicious heated maple syrup and pour it on new fallen snow, but whoever it was, I would kiss them today if I could.  This wonderful cold weather tradition is almost enough to make a person wish for snow.  When the hot maple syrup hits the cold powdery Vermont snow, it transforms to pure candy (what we call “sugar on snow”, the Canadians call “maple taffy”).  And for better or worse, this week in Vermont, we are getting a fair amount of the white stuff (about 4 feet in 24 hours at my house, and counting!), which will ensure that I’ll be having a little sweetness for dessert.  However, the power’s out at my house, and I only have an electric oven, so I’m not cooking the syrup.  (Besides, I know that if I do, I’ll be eating more than I want to of the stuff.  It’s a little difficult to only cook a couple of tablespoons of syrup at a time.)

Traditionally, sugar on snow is served with sour pickles and doughnuts.  I prefer it with a little bit of nutritive value, namely fruit and nuts.  While not cooking the syrup means less of a “candy” experience and more of a slushie one, it also means not having to clean a really sticky pan.  Give this healthy seasonal snack a try the next time you’ve got the white stuff coming down in your neck of the woods.

Faux Sugar on Snow

serves 4

2 cups of fresh, clean, powdery snow

1/4 cup REAL maple syrup

1/4 cup toasted almonds or walnuts

2 bananas, sliced thin

Put the nuts and fruit in 4 shallow, rimmed serving dishes (ramekins or “boats” would work well).  Scoop the cold snow directly from the outdoors onto the nuts and fruit and quickly pour the maple syrup over the whole mess.  Grab a spoon and enjoy.

Check out another great recipe from our archives featuring maple syrup.

What is your favorite snowy weather food?

2 responses to “Healthy Cooking Thursday: Faux Sugar on Snow”

  1. Marsha says:

    I’m with love2eatinpa! Maple syrup is a great sweetener. And it’s natural. That doesn’t mean it’s not sugar, which we always want to eat in moderation for good health, but it does contribute important minerals like manganese and zinc.

    I’m at a conference in Boston where we’re getting torrential rain so no sugar on snow for me ’til I get back to Vermont on Sunday. We’re getting so much snow there, though, I’m sure there will still be plenty around for me to try out this great recipe, Lisa. Thanks!

  2. Chef Lisa says:

    Yes Marsha, there should still be some left for you! Holy moley, this was an incredible storm. Looking forward to the awesome snowshoeing this weekend!

    And love2eatinpa – I’m a Jersey girl myself (woot woot!), and never heard of sugar on snow until I came to Vermont a decade ago. Vermonters put maple syrup on just about everything. It’s certainly a heavenly sweetener for a strong cup of coffee 🙂

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