(Image courtesy of Almost Supermom)
Great River Maple Garnavillo, Iowa
Dan & Dorinda Potter & Family
Iowa does not have a reputation for making maple syrup, but Great River Maple is changing all that. In northeastern Iowa, near the Mississippi River, the Potter family has been stewards of a forested plot of land for generations. It is this location that is responsible for their wealth of maple trees. In the video, “This is Great River Maple,” Dorinda Potter explains that the fort in the area meant a lot of logging, where trees were floated down the river. Happily, maple trees don’t float, and so they are abundant.
The Potter family started Great River Maple in 2009, but Dan’s great-grandfather tapped some of these same trees back in the 1880s. So how did this generation of Potters decide to start a maple syrup business? They needed to raise money to replace their well. Logging the beautiful maples on their property wouldn’t begin to pay for well costs, so they turned to a sustainable option: farming maple syrup. Dan and Dorinda’s children and their families have all joined in the business, as well, with each of them finding their own special niche in the process.
Great River Maple’s rich and flavorful, never blended, certified organic maple syrup is the perfect kitchen staple – and it isn’t just for pancakes! Their website offers a huge selection of recipes for everything from drinks to chicken. This season, you’ll love the incredibly easy, maple-y Baked Butternut Squash and the classic, crowd-pleasing Bourbon Maple Sweet Potatoes. Support our Iowa maple syrup-making friends at Great River Maple and pick up their products at all three Co-op locations. You’ll see why the Potters call it “Crazy Good”!
Here are a few ways you can incorporate this special treat into your meals this season:
10 c Tiny But Mighty popped popcorn
8-10 slices bacon
2 T butter
2 T Local Great River Maple Syrup
½ t freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
1. Spread bacon on a parchment paper or foil lined sheet pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy. Once cool, crumble into small pieces.
2. Heat 1 T bacon drippings in a small saucepan along with the butter and maple syrup until butter is melted.
3. Mix bacon bits into sauce and drizzle over popcorn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss.
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 t Local Great River Maple syrup
1 ½ T dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
Directions Whisk ingredients together and serve with your favorite greens, tossed with local apples, and chunks of local, Maytag blue cheese!
2 T olive oil
1 T Local Great River Maple syrup
½ t salt
½ t black pepper
12 oz. Brussels sprouts, halved
8 oz. small carrots
Optional: cubed squash, cubed sweet potatoes, and trimmed green beans
Directions Preheat oven to 475°. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Whisk together the oil, syrup, salt, and pepper, and toss with the veggies. Spread on the pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Variations: Add the following to the syrup mixture: 1 T soy sauce, 1 T orange juice
½ loaf stale, French bread (or other bread of your choice)
1 ¼ C milk
⅓ stick butter
¼ C sugar
1 T vanilla extract
½ C raisins
Directions Preheat oven to 350°F. Soak stale bread cubes in milk. Melt butter and mix with sugar, eggs, vanilla, and raisins, then add this mixture to the bread cubes and milk. Stir well. Bake in a buttered 8-inch loaf pan at 350° for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with hard sauce.
4 T butter, melted
3 T Great River Maple syrup
1 t vanilla
2 T bourbon, brandy, or rum
Directions Whisk ingredients together until smooth.