Tap Into The Sweet Benefits Of Maple Syrup

Those flannel-loving, snowshoe-wearing men and women of Vermont and Canada - they are on to something. Something good. The rich, clean and caramel noted flavor of maple syrup that slowly drips out of those taps from those maple trees can't be beat.  And, not just for pancakes. Maple syrup does so much more. It can enhance savory dishes as well as provide some nutrients for our bodies, too.





Why Choose Maple Syrup as a Sweetener

Here is why I reach for maple syrup when I need that hint of sweet:

1.  Maple syrup has zero additives.

It is barley processed at all. Table sugar is highly processed. The less processed of anything, generally, the better.


2.  Minerals like manganese, potassium and zinc are found in this elixir.

Vitamin B2 can be found in maple syrup, too. Pretty nice for a sweetener.


3.  Maple syrup is just as sweet as sugar, but it is lower in calories.

So maybe a fewer rep or two at the gym to burn off that meal, perhaps? I find I use less of it than I would sugar as it has so much flavor.

Don't miss this: Here is another sweetener you should try too that has health benefits.
Maple syrup not only tastes great and brings a sweet and delicious addition to a lot of your cooking, tap here to learn why it is a smart choice for its health benefits too! The Health-Minded.com



4.  The smooth syrup makes a great start to a yummy glaze or savory pan sauce.

Add a bit of garlic, chili flakes and a splash of your favorite vinegar and you have yourself the beginnings of a great sauce for a great meal.


5.  Maple syrup can make a liar out of a sweet potato or squash "hater."

Drizzle a bit of maple syrup on sweet potatoes, carrots or butternut squash, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and roast.  Squeeze some fresh lime juice on it after and I think that hater will forget all the back talk.

Don't miss this: Have a brussels sprouts hater on your hands, too.  Follow this recipe contest winner to undo that!


6.  Most maple syrup is organic. Most syrup is tapped in forests where no pesticides have been applied. Check the label though.

Don't miss this: Some other organic foods you really should know about.






Who Makes the Grade


Sorry, Aunt Jemima. You didn't make the grade, here. Those bottles of REAL maple syrup on the shelf with all the grades, colors, labels, etc.- is a tad confusing. But it boils down (excuse the pun) to these main points:

1.  Color and flavor make the grade.

Maple syrup is graded by both color and flavor. But the grade has nothing to do with quality. Instead the grade has to do with when the syrup was tapped. See point number 2.

2.  The color indicates the tap.

The lighter the color of the syrup, the earlier in the season it was tapped.  The darker, the later it was tapped.  Lighter syrups have a delicate flavor while the darker syrups, the richer and more pronounced maple flavor.

3.  Grade A has sub-divisions. 

Grade A is broken down into 3 groups:
  • light amber
  • medium amber
  • dark amber
4.  Go with Grade B for higher nutrients.

Grade B has the richest flavor and highest mineral content of all the syrups. Many prefer it for dishes wanting a stronger taste of maple like with a barbecue sauce. Try this grade B and see if you like it for the added nutrients.


Do you use real maple syrup just for pancakes and waffles or do you cook with it other ways as well? What is your favorite way to use it?





This post previously appeared on THM but has been updated. 


22 comments:

  1. Love, love, love maple syrup - it has so much going for it! Great article, especially the really concise explanation of the grades and colors of real maple syrup. I've gotta remember the suggestion of using Grade B for things like BBQ sauce - good idea! I usually have Grade A amber around, but your suggestion about how to use Grade B really got me thinkin' ... :D

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  2. Grade B is a bit harder to find. (Hopefully, you don't have to go to Canada to get it though, although what a beautiful country! :) If you see it, give it a pour and let me what you think!

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  3. I would love to use maple syrup but my youngest would use it up quicker than anything and it is just too costly for that... as well she shouldn't eat so much of it that quickly. I like that it's natural and that it can be used in so many dishes... xox

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    1. Zero additives and no weird aftertaste! I am with your daughter as I have to be careful too and not use it up OR too quickly!

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  4. My boyfriend got me in maple syrup, but I don't use it that much. I'm not into sweet anyways.
    I love so much the information you share, Lori.
    Thank you for your contributions to #tiptuesday.

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    1. Kind words, Debbie! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and pass on a positive thought! It means a lot.

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  5. Oh wow who knew? I havent really had maple syrup a lot, it isn't so available in the UK, I'm definitely going to keep my eye out for it though! #sharewithme

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    1. I did not realize it was not so much of an option in the UK, Lianne! I do hope you get your hands on some to try sometime soon, though!

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  6. You know, I pretty much live in maple syrup country but I don't use it as often as I should! Definitely yummy though :)

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    1. Yes, I love it - just a hint does the trick. You don't need a lot. You are lucky to be surrounded by all those beautiful maples, then, Annmarie!

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  7. Interesting! I will be whipping up a dish today that I am going to try with maple syrup didn't realize it had so many health benefits. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Great timing, then, Deborah. Happy to hear you learned something new and hope that dish turns out to be a winner!

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  8. I LOVE maple syrup (especially in savory dishes - you should check out my Pumpkin Maple Bacon Oatmeal!), but didn't know all this stuff! Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. I will have to check that out, Nicole! Thanks for coming by.

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  9. I love maple syrup and realized how amazing it can be when I bought some Grade B organic syrup from Whole Foods! Now I'm inspired to use maple as a glaze...yum!

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    1. I am so happy this post inspired you! It is so good to use Grade B as a glaze, Janelle! Good luck making your masterpiece in the kitchen!

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  10. I love all things sweet so now I've got a reason to go pick up some yummy syrup ;)

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    1. Oh, you must, You will be happy you did, Cayanne! So great you came by.

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  11. Thanks for clearing up the confusion about the meaning of grades A and B. It's good to know that Grade B has the richest flavor and highest mineral content of all the syrups.I am delighted that you shared the wonderful healthy and delicious benefits of maple syrup with us on the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop.I appreciate it and I'm so glad you are partying with us. I'm pinning and sharing this gem!

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    1. You write such consistently thoughtful comments, Deborah, and are such a great resource for a range of health topics on your website as well. Readers - I encourage you to tap over and check out the Urban Naturale or click her name above to get you there.

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  12. Oh I didn't realize how much it has to benefit but it's so delicious. I put it on everything hahaha Thank you for linking up to Share With Me and I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round. #sharewithme

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    1. It is a great choice to drizzle for that hint of sweet - just moderation, Jenny! Happy to see you came by.

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