Maguey Sweet Sap from Villa de Patos is the second item in our MARY’s secret ingredients summer box! This is the coolest product – a delicious sweetener low in fructose and glucose with a delightful “green” taste as it comes from the maguey (pronounced mah-gay) plant that is native to the arid highlands of Mexico. The plant needs to be at least 12 years old before you can get any syrup out of it!
Since ancient times, the maguey plant has served as a source of nourishment, shelter and textiles for the people of Mexico. The Aztecs worshipped the maguey as the goddess Mayahuel, naming it the Plant of the Gods because of its alleged medicinal properties. The plant also serves as a soil protector and regenerator, helping to prevent erosion and acting as a natural healing agent for the land.
The sap is rich in naturally occurring phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and prebiotic fiber. The prebiotic fiber found in Maguey Sweet Sap helps balance the ecosystem of your intestinal flora and serves as the “food” for probiotics.
It’s all that and more importantly, it’s super delicious!! Use it on anything and in anything that needs a little sweetener. It has a thinner consistency than honey but like honey, it is also a raw, unrefined and an unprocessed product. The color of the syrup will change over time, getting a little darker. It is super yummy drizzled over plain Greek yogurt, in tea or on pancakes. I chose to use it in this kale and beet greens recipe and it was divine! Because of its more “herbal” taste, I felt it went particularly well with these sautéed greens. I wanted to combine these two different greens because I think it just makes the dish more interesting. Kale is good and all the rage, but personally, I adore beet greens. To me, they’re even much more interesting than the beets (and I do love beets). Separate your stems from the leafy greens when cooking as the stems do need to cook longer and hmmmm (!), just delicious!! The pancetta with the Sweet Sap addition along with the acid from the vinegar – total YUM!!! Savory and sweet – my kind of thing!
SAUTEED KALE AND BEET GREENS WITH MAGUEY SWEET SAP – serves 4
1 Tbs. olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 bunch of beet greens, washed, stems separated from the greens, all cut in 11/2” pieces
½ medium red onion, cut in 1/8” slices, and each slice cut in half
One ¼” thick slice of pancetta, cut in 1/4” cubes
1 bunch of Russian kale, washed, stems removed and cut into 11/2” ribbons
2 Tbs. ginger rice vinegar or plain rice vinegar
11/2 Tbs. Maguey Sweet Sap
Maldon sea salt flakes to taste, crushed
Black pepper, fresh ground, to taste
On low heat, in a medium sized skillet, warm the oil. Add the garlic, beet green stems, red onion and pancetta and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove cover and raise heat to medium. Add kale. Toss and cook for 3 minutes.
Add beet green leaves, toss and sauté for 3 – 5 minutes, until done.
Turn off heat and remove from hot burner. Sprinkle all over the 2 Tbs. ginger rice vinegar and 1.5 Tbs. of Maguey Sweet Sap Syrup. Stir to combine all. Top with crushed Maldon Sea Salt Flakes and fresh ground pepper. Serve with LOVE and enjoy!!
I served this as a delicious vegetable “bed” to some spice rubbed roasted salmon. Delish!!
I also used this Sweet Sap in place of the honey in my Sweet and Sour Coleslaw recipe and it was totally great!!