Living in nature eliminates many of the comforts to which we are accustomed in our daily lives, especially when it comes to food. Of course, just trying to survive can waste a lot of energy, and we need easy and efficient ways to replace it. One of the best ways to do it is with sugar, but there are not many (or none) sugar dispensers in nature.
Knowing how to make sugar on your own can make all the difference in the world. Not only does it give us an energy boost, but its flavor can also lighten our moods so we can stay positive while we work.
You may think that traveling with a bag of sugar would be the easiest way to solve your problem, but it is heavy, takes up a lot of space and is an insect magnet. Storing dry sugar is even more difficult, since any moisture will cause it to disintegrate. And even if you manage to carry a certain amount of sugar with you, eventually it will run out.
Learning to make sugar on your own will ensure that you always have a constant supply of things when you need it. Depending on the area of the world you are in, there is a wide variety of natural sources that you can look for and prepare to produce your own sugar. Keep in mind that these steps to create sugar involve having the basic kitchen equipment for any survivor.
Making beet sugar
Do not make the mistake of thinking that any beet will provide you with sugar. What you will be looking for are the sugar beets, which look more like a parsnip. They are long and look like white potatoes. The good thing about these beets is that they grow in a wide variety of climates, and even when you finish boiling them for sugar, the puree can still be used for sustenance.
The first thing you want to do is rub your beets to remove the dirt. You do not want your sugar to get contaminated! With a knife, cut the beet into thin slices and add to a pot. Pour enough water to cover the beets and then heat them until they boil.
Once the water is bubbling, cook the beets over low heat long enough for them to become tender. Remove the pot from the heat and strain the beet pulp through a porous cloth back into the pot. Then return the syrup to the fire and simmer until the substance acquires a honey color. Be sure to stir it frequently so that it cooks evenly. Then remove from heat and store in a cool, dry place.
The sugar will crystallize the more it cools. To know the amount of sugar you will get, a beet will produce 17% of its weight in sugar. This means that, to obtain 1.7 pounds of sugar, you will need 10 pounds of beet.
Making maple sugar
If you’re not in the mood to dig out beets, then you can create your own maple sugar. It is easy to find, since sugar maples abound throughout North America. However, maple trees can only be used from mid-February to mid-March, which means you will not have to walk if you are hiking during other times of the year.
You want to choose a tree that is mature and healthy, and that has a great exposure to sunlight. The amount of syrup that is obtained also depends on the diameter of the tree, since the larger it is around, the greater the yield. You want to choose a tree that is larger than twelve inches in diameter.
The most popular method for hitting trees is to use a drill, which you may not have on hand when you are free. There are more traditional methods that are used when you do not have access to sophisticated tools.
This video shows how you can create your own spile from a tree branch that you can use to record trees:
Without a drill, an ax can be an excellent way to create the hole you need to touch your tree. Cut a V-shaped notch in the bark deep enough to access the softer wood below. If you start noticing an immediate drip, you have reached the payload. You can allow the sap to drip directly into your container or create a funnel or spiral to collect the sap more efficiently. If you plan to use the sap immediately, it should be consumed within 2 to 3 days or the bacteria will begin to grow in it. But it can be preserved much longer when it is boiled and turned into sugar.
Filter the sap through a porous cloth to remove any sediment or impurities. In a metal pot, add your syrup and boil. Remove from the fire if it begins to overflow and return to fire when the foam has given way. You want the sap to thicken in syrup. Then, remove from heat and stir vigorously for about five minutes. You do not want it to become all difficult.
Pour your syrup into a heat resistant container and place it somewhere cool. It should begin to harden over time and form large hard pieces. You can crush these in sugar or eat the piece directly. Store the rest in an airtight container until ready to use.
A quart of syrup will produce approximately two pounds of sugar, since maple trees have the highest sugar yield of all other trees.
Other trees that produce sap.
If there are no maples around, that does not mean you do not have luck. There are many other trees that can be harvested for their sap and turned into sugar for that extra boost of energy. The reason why sugar maples are used so often is because the content of their sap is extremely high in sugar.
Knowing how to make sugar is a process that is common, regardless of the source, so the same principles can be applied to any of the following sources.
- Black Maple: They are lower in sugar scale than sugar maple, and are distinguished by their leaves. The sugar maples have five lobes in their trees, while the black maples have only three main lobes.
- Red maple: These trees begin to sprout earlier in the spring, which means that their sap production will be lower in quantity and quality towards the end of the sugar season. The lobes of a red maple leaf are not as pronounced as those of a sugar maple leaf.
- Silver maple: These trees also sprout in early spring, resulting in a lower sugar content and a lower amount of sap. The lobes of a silver maple leaf are extremely pointed and elongated.
- BoxelderAlso known as the Manitoba maple, these trees can be found in urban areas and grow on roads. They are not the first choice when it comes to tapping for the sap, but if necessary, they can do it just as well. Keep in mind that they only produce half as much sugar as a sugar maple. It is easy to distinguish the Boxelder from other maples, since it has compound leaves.
- Large leaf maple: this is the main maple species that grows between central California and British Columbia. These are the trees that have been harvested for centuries by Native Americans, and provide a reliable source of maple syrup for the East Coast. These are the largest of all maples, and the leaves are quite large compared to other maple leaves.
- Cannon / Big tooth maple: This tree can be found in the areas of the Rocky Mountains, as well as in Texas. The leaves are quite similar in shape, appearance and color to sugar maple.
- Rocky Mountain Maple: Also native to western North America, they have been used by Native Americans for centuries. Its leaves are extremely rough and have serrated edges that make them distinguishable.
- Butternut / White Walnut: Chestnuts are native throughout North America and Canada, and have composite leaves on each branch that makes them identifiable.
- Black walnut: It is quite common in the Midwest, but also grows in the northeastern part of the United States. They are mainly used for wood, but they can produce sap in autumn, winter and spring.
- English walnut: These trees grow in abundance in California and produce a delicious sap when there has been a frosty winter and spring. The compound leaves are quite large and round.
- Paper birch Although the sap is not as sweet as sugar maple, it is one of the sweetest of all birches. The birches are more recognizable by the horizontal direction in which their bark can be peeled.
- Yellow Birch: The sap is not very sweet, but it has a greater antioxidant capacity than maple sugar.
- Black birch: This is the most commonly used in the manufacture of birch beer. Touching these trees has become a recent practice to make this delicious beverage.
- River birch: This birch is most commonly found in the southeastern part of the United States. However, they are planted as ornaments in the northeastern regions.
- Gray birch: This is more of a bush than a real tree. This disadvantage of this tree is that it has to be big enough so that it can be played successfully.
- Sycamore: one of the largest tree species in North America; It has been known that the sap has a caramel flavor. The tree is more recognizable by the bark that comes off in large masses. This is to compensate your growth rate as it stretches and divides.
- Ironwood: these trees are very appreciated for their wood and have a grayish brown bark. They run out later in the spring, so performance is not going to be all that you want or need.
Although there are many other trees that can also be exploited, these are the most commonly used by people to make syrup or sugar. Being aware of these trees around you gives you access to sources from sources that can be used to produce sugar and keep you full of energy and happy.
Make sure when you are touching these trees so as not to make it too deep. It can affect the health of the tree and cause its death. The bigger and healthier the tree is, the less likely it is that it will be tapping causing much damage to your overall health.
Making sugar from sugar cane
In the case that you are in the most tropical regions of the world, then you have another abundant resource at your disposal: sugar cane. Actually, this is an herb that is the main source of sugar in these areas, so it is important to consider if it is being harvested from someone’s crop or not.
By cutting a piece of sugar cane, you can chew the canes directly to get your daily dose of sugar and hydration. But if you want to take something with you and have a more stable supply, you will need to know how to make sugar from this natural resource.
It is best to wash your sugar cane first to remove any impurities. With a knife, separate the outer bark to gain access to y # 8220; meatand # 8221; inside. Next, you want to press the sugarcane between two heavy objects to squeeze the liquid into a container. Some big rocks will do. Boil the liquid and let some of the water evaporate. Remove the foam from the top with a porous cloth.
You can remove the rest of the fibrous material and let the syrup cook more. Once the crystals begin to appear, you are making sugar. The crystals will look slightly brown. Allow the crystals to cool and dry for the next few days.
An additional benefit of chewing sugarcane is that the fibers it contains can also help keep your teeth clean, and serve as an improvised toothbrush!
Knowing how to make sugar can be one of the best ways to brighten up the day when you go on a field trip and have had a bad run of rain. The rich and sweet taste of your tongue can make everything a little better to deal with.
Sugar can also give you that energy boost you need to keep going, especially if you need to get back to your camp on time and the sun is setting. Man has had a long relationship with sugar over the centuries and shows no signs of ending soon.
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