Nothing beats a hot stack of fluffy pancakes or a freshly-baked waffle, topped with a golden drizzle of maple syrup – and while most of us think of it as a guilty indulgence, you might be surprised to know it’s actually one of the healthiest sugar substitutes out there. Find out more about this remarkable natural nectar, and what makes it so good for you! We’ll also fill you in on what makes “grade B” maple syrup the best of the bunch.
The Real Deal
First of all, let’s be clear that we’re talking about real maple syrup; not that sugary super-processed “maple flavoured” goo you find on most supermarket shelves. Genuine maple syrup is tapped from maple trees. That means it’s packed full of minerals and antioxidants, straight from the botanical source.
Glucose vs Fructose
Glucose is a molecule that the cells in your body can convert immediately into energy. Fructose is a molecule your body can’t metabolise directly; it must pass through your liver first, and about 30% of it gets stored at fat. Too much fructose can lead to weight gain and insulin resistance. Ideally you want the sugars or sweeteners in your diet to be higher in glucose and lower in fructose.
- Golden syrups: High fructose
- Corn syrup: High fructose
- Maple syrup: Approx. 95% glucose!
Not only is maple syrup so much healthier than golden syrup or corn syrup, it’s also lower in fructose than other healthy natural sweeteners, including agave and honey.
Vitamins & Minerals
Maple syrup is full of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamins B2, B5 & B6
- Folic acid
- Zinc, manganese & potassium
B Means Best
Usually we think of “grade A” products as being premium quality; however when buying maple syrup, it’s grade B you should be looking for.
Grade A: This syrup is produced early in the maple season.
- Light amber colour
- Thinner consistency
- Sweet, light flavour with subtle maple taste
- Lower vitamin & mineral content
Grade B: Harvested later in the season.
- Much darker in colour
- Thicker consistency
- Rich & woody maple flavour with subtle sweetness
- High vitamin, mineral & antioxidant content
Maple syrup has a much lower GI (glycaemic index) than ordinary sugar or golden syrup. It’s an ideal sugar replacement for cooking and baking, plus recipes require less of it; 1 cup sugar can be replaced by ¾cup maple syrup.
By choosing a certified organic product, like our Great Northern Grade B maple syrup, you can be assured that it’s sustainable as well as authentic.
- Suitable for vegans
- Low glycaemic index
- 90mg potassium per serving
- No preservatives, additives or corn syrup
- No synthetic flavours or fragrances
Delicious Ways to Use Maple Syrup
There are so many ways to enjoy this sweet and super-powered treat.
- Drizzle over vanilla ice cream.
- Add a small teaspoon to your tea or coffee instead of sugar.
- Glaze baby carrots to bring out their natural sweetness.
- Spread on peanut butter sandwiches in place of sugary jam.
- Coat a bowlful of mixed unsalted nuts with maple syrup, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Spread them on a baking tray, roast and enjoy!
- Mix with bourbon and fresh lemon juice to make your own Maple Leaf Cocktail.
- Toss Brussels sprouts in a mixture of maple syrup and olive oil before roasting them.
What’s your favourite maple syrup recipe? Let us know in the comments section below!