From Sweet To Savory, Maple Syrup From Canada Is A Staple In This RD's Pantry
As wellness enthusiasts, we can barely imagine a world without maple syrup. From classic sweets and treats to savory recipes like marinades, the liquid gold hiding inside maple trees has become a modern-day staple. We can't count the reasons to love maple syrup, but here's the thing: It has to be pure. There are a lot of impostors out there in the syrup aisle—made with maple flavoring, food coloring, and preservatives—but maple syrup is best unadulterated. One deep, rich taste of 100% pure maple syrup from Canada will tell you that, but we also connected with R.D. Megan Roosevelt to share the health benefits of our favorite sweetener and her favorite ways to use it!
mindbodygreen (mbg): Why is it important to look for *pure* maple syrup?
Megan Roosevelt (MR): Not all maple syrup is created equal! Unlike mass-produced syrups, which can contain added sugars and artificial sweeteners, real maple syrup is made from only one ingredient: 100% pure maple syrup. Pure maple syrup from Canada is a natural sweetener that is derived directly from the maple tree's sap that has one source, Mother Nature, and one ingredient, 100% pure maple syrup.
mbg: We all know maple syrup is delicious, but what are some of the bonuses in using pure maple from Canada?
MR: Unlike most sweeteners on the market, pure maple syrup contains a bonus of vitamins and minerals! I have been a fan of maple syrup for years, and I love the rich flavor and boost of nutrients in my recipes.
Pure maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese. One serving (2 tablespoons) carries 35% of the daily value of manganese. This mineral plays many important roles in the body including the processing of cholesterol, carbohydrates, and protein, and may also be involved in supporting bone formation. Pure maple syrup is also a good source of riboflavin—one serving contains 15% of the daily value. Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, plays an important role in the growth, development, and function of cells in the body, red blood cell production, and supporting the release of energy from proteins.
Additional nutrients in pure maple syrup include calcium, thiamin, potassium, and copper. In addition to these nutrients, scientists have discovered more than 67 plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup.
mbg: How does pure maple syrup from Canada taste different?
MR: You'll be able to taste the difference! Pure maple syrup has a deep, rich flavor compared to singularly sweet pancake syrup. I love the rich and full flavor of pure maple syrup for both sweet and savory recipes!
mbg: How do you use maple syrup in your sweet recipes?
MR: Sweet recipes are likely what people imagine when thinking of uses for maple syrup. A classic use for maple syrup is as a topping on pancakes or waffles! However, maple syrup can be used as a sweetener in so many recipes such as energy bites, granola and granola bars, or baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. But it doesn't end there: It's great in jams, sauces, beverages, cocktails, mocktails, and more! Two of my favorite recipes to make for my family that use pure maple syrup as a sweetener are these Maple Apple Cinnamon Bites and these Pumpkin, Maple, Nut, and Seed Muffins!
mbg: How do you use it in savory recipes?
MR: Maple syrup is a great sweetener option for homemade savory sauces, glazes, marinades, and salad dressings. I love using maple syrup when making savory sauces or dressings for entrees such as this Maple Tempeh "Bacon" Brussels Sprouts Salad or this Maple Blackberry Marinade!
mbg: Where do you find the best real maple syrup?
MR: What I find fascinating is that 72% of maple syrup production worldwide is produced in Quebec, Canada! The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) was founded in 1966 to help protect the integrity of maple production and help promote the benefits of real maple syrup. When shopping for maple syrup, turn the bottle to read the ingredient list. Pure maple syrup will have just one ingredient, maple syrup, and/or the 100% pure designation.
Devon Barrow is a Branded Content Editor at mindbodygreen. She received her degree from the University of Colorado. When she's away from her desk, Devon is teaching yoga, writing poetry, meditating, and traveling the world. She's based in Boulder, Colorado.
Devon's first book, Earth Women, is coming soon. To learn more, join the mailing list, and receive updates, head to www.devonbarrowwriting.com.