Maple Syrup

By EAT-SMARTER
Updated on 29. May. 2020

This beloved Canadian specialty isn't just delicious, but has some impressive health benefits as well.

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Maple syrup...

  • ...contains iron. Maple syrup is an especially good sweetener for vegetarians, as it contains 2 mg of iron per 100 gram serving. Quick tip: consuming vitamin C regularly helps your body better utilize any iron intake.
  • ...strengthens bones. Maple syrup contains calcium, which can help prevent osteoporosis. One tablespoon provides about 20 mg of the bone-strengthening mineral.
  • ...can help your body heal. Recent research has indicated that maple syrup might fight bacteria in the body and could make antibiotics more effective.
  • ...is relatively natural. Basically maple syrup is made from the thickened sap of maple trees, so it's a natural product. However, sugar water may be added to the syrup, so it’s best to use maple syrup from organic production.
  • ...is bad for your teeth. Maple syrup contains about 60% carbohydrate sugars, including sucrose, fructose and glucose, which can decay the teeth. It’s therefore recommended to always brush your teeth after eating maple syrup.

What You Should Know About Maple Syrup

Canada and maple just go together-- the tall trees grow abundantly around the country, and even adorn its flag. Thus it makes sense that Canada is the world's main producer of maple syrup, which is generally collected in the spring, from holes drilled into the maple tree trunks. In so-called "sugar houses", the sap is then steamed into maple syrup and bottled.

Maple syrup falls into different categories depending on the time of harvest and the duration of the thickening production time. The Canadians divide the sweet syrup into the quality classes AA, A, B and C. The best quality is considered is class AA, which has a particularly light, almost colorless hue, and a very mild taste.

Origins

Maple syrup obviously originates in Canada, and there are several legends surrounding its initial discovery. The most popular posits that a Native American woman is said to have accidentally forgotten a bucket under a maple tree and discovered a sweet liquid in it the next day. 

Season

You can buy maple syrup all year round.

Flavor

Depending on its origin and variety, maple syrup can vary greatly. The lighter the syrup, the milder it tastes; dark maple syrup, on the other hand, has a very strong and almost tart flavor. Regardless of quality, the consistency of maple syrup is similar to that of liquid honey, and all types are very sweet.

Our Favorite Maple Syrup Recipes

Find all our maple syrup recipes here.

How Healthy is Maple Syrup?

The good news? Maple syrup is a natural sweetener. The bad news? There's still a ton of sugar in it; roughly 60% of it, to be exactly is made up of sugars such as sucrose, fructose and glucose. This means its not must better for your wasteline or teeth than other types of sweeteners, and diabetics should treat it like any other sweetener as well.

That said, maple syrup does contain some beneficial nutrients that sugar does not, including potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium.

MAPLE SYRUP NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g)  
Calories 266
Protein 0 g
Fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 66 g
Fiber 0 g

Shopping and Coooking Tips

Purchasing

Whether you buy light or dark maple syrup is mainly a matter of taste - some people like it mild, while others prefer a more concentrated, strong flavor. If you want to be absolutely sure that your maple syrup is largely free of potentially harmful substances, it's best to purchase organic.

Storage

Thanks to its high sugar content, maple syrup has a practically unlimited shelf life. However, to ensure the consistency remains intact, ensure the bottle is well-sealed. 

What To Make With Maple Syrup 

Of course nothing goes better with pancakes than maple syrup. However there's much more that can be donw with this natural sweetener.

You can use maple syrup to sweeten your muesli or porridge, as the base for baked goods like cakes and breakfast bars, and even in savory dishes. Maple pairs particularly well with pork and salmon.

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