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Maple Syrup- a healthy choice as a sweetener

First, we want to start with a disclaimer:  Maple syrup is a source of sugar.  Adding a great deal of sugar to your diet is likely a recipe for disaster.  As much as we love our syrup, it is still full of sugar (that's one of the things that make it taste so good!).

But, with that said, there are many reasons that maple syrup is a MUCH better choice for sweetening food compared to using regular table sugar or even (shudder) a "maple-flavored" pancake syrup derived from genetically modified corn.

According to nutritiondata.com, maple syrup contains many vitamins and minerals that you won't get if you sweeten with table sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar, or even honey.  1/3 cup of maple syrup will give you almost 1/3 of your daily requirement of zinc, and 165% of your daily requirement of manganese.  It will also contribute riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, and potassium to your diet in quantities that are simply not present in other sweeteners.

In addition to the minerals, maple syrup has been found to contain at least 24 different antioxidants.  If you want to maximize your antioxidants, going with a darker syrup (such as our Grade A syrup with Dark Color and Robust Taste) will yield you an even greater quantity of antioxidants. (National Institute of Health)

Healthline.com suggests that maple syrup is a better option than white sugar in terms of its glycemic index.  Maple syrup has a glycemic index of 54, while table sugar's glycemic index is closer to 65.  The lower the glycemic index of a food, the more slowly it will raise your blood sugar.  Again, a darker syrup will have a marginally lower glycemic index, making this effect more pronounced.

There are many of reasons to believe that maple syrup is a healthy choice when you need a sweetener.  But, we want to start where we began: it is still sugar.  Anyone selling a "sugar-free" syrup isn't offering pure maple syrup; they're selling you something that was made in a lab, not naturally harvested from trees.  On the other hand, if you are going to use sugar anyway, such as on your cereal, in your coffee or tea, in your cooking and baking, or on your pancakes, maple syrup is a great choice when compared to other sweeteners.

Do you want to start replacing other sugars in your diet with maple?  You have two choices: first, you can use our granulated maple sugar.  This sugar is made by removing almost all of the water from maple sugar and then stirring it as it crystalizes to encourage the sugar to form crystals the perfect size for replacing table sugar.  We go a step further by screening our sugar through a sieve and using a food grinder to make sure the granules are consistent.  Maple sugar can be used as a 1:1 replacement for table sugar in most recipes.  So, if your favorite bread calls for 1 cup of sugar, simply substitute 1 cup of maple sugar instead to enjoy all of these health benefits and add a dash of maple flavor besides.

Second, you can use maple syrup as a substitute for table sugar in most recipes.  Although you'll find many different variations on this formula across the internet, we generally recommend that if a recipe calls for 1 cup of table sugar, you replace it with one cup of maple syrup, BUT also reduce other liquids (ideally water if present in the recipe) by about 1/3 of a cup.  This is because 1 cup of syrup is really 2/3's sugar and 1/3 water.  Any color maple syrup is suitable for baking, but darker syrup tends to have a strong maple flavor that will carry through into the finished product better.

If you want to try some recipes that are tailor made for maple syrup, check out our other blog posts to see some of our favorites!

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