Maple sugar is not your average sweetener. While it’s often lumped in with sweeteners like sugar and honey, and it’s true that they provide similar calories and carbohydrates per serving, pure maple syrup delivers a slew of healthy nutrients, in addition to natural sugars. Pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener harvested directly from maple trees. The tree is tapped, and sap is collected, then boiled down to get that golden delicious sticky goodness.
Most people love and crave something sweet, and food is meant to be enjoyed. Human taste buds are wired for sweet, but the extra added sugar isn’t always good for you. Using pure maple syrup as a sweetener is an easy way to biohack your sugar intake. In fact, pure maple syrup may be key in helping you reach your health goals.
Reasons to Swap Sugar for Maple Syrup
Antioxidants – Pure maple syrup can add more than 67 different types of antioxidants called polyphenols into your diet. Nine of these polyphenols are unique to pure maple syrup, including one called quebecol, which research suggests may reduce inflammation in the body.
Prebiotics – Pure maple syrup naturally contains prebiotics called oligosaccharides, which help sustain a number of probiotics, including lactobacilli, the good bacteria found in some kombuchas, yogurts, and supplements.
Vitamins and minerals – Pure maple syrup is a natural source of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, potassium, calcium, and manganese. In fact, two tablespoons of syrup provide 35 percent of the daily value of manganese, more than one cup of your beloved kale! Manganese plays a role in the metabolism of many nutrients, including carbohydrates. Maple syrup is also a good source of riboflavin, a vitamin that helps maintain the body’s energy supply.
Lower glycemic index – Pure maple syrup has a lower glycemic index when compared with sugar. The glycemic index of maple syrup is around 54, while table sugar has a glycemic index of around 65.
How to Use Pure Maple Syrup in Your Kitchen
Swapping out sugar for pure maple syrup is super simple. In baking, replace 1 cup of white sugar with 3/4 cup of maple syrup and reduce by 3 tablespoons the other liquid content in the recipe for every cup of maple syrup used. Because maple syrup is brown and granulated sugar is white, this replacement will darken your baked goods and cause them to brown quicker.
Other swaps include:
Using it in lemonade instead of using sugar.
Making a homemade salad dressing using maple syrup.
Combining it with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and lemon juice for a marinade.
Here at The Sugarman of Vermont, we love substituting maple syrup for other sugars in our recipes. Here are a few recipes using our Pure Maple Syrup which are sure to please everyone at your dinner table.
2 (16.3 oz) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, separated and cut into quarters
Preheat oven to Bake at 350°F (175°C).
Coat the inside of a 9-inch fluted tube pan with cooking spray.
Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned about 10 minutes.
Drain the bacon slices on paper towels; crumble and remove extra fat.
Melt margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir in brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring mixture to a boil; cook and stir until mixture begins to foam, about 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a resealable plastic bag; add 6 to 8 biscuit pieces at a time and shake until well coated. Pour any remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture into brown sugar mixture. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook and stir until sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle 1/4 of the bacon pieces in the bottom of the tube pan; pour in about 1/4 of the brown sugar mixture. Arrange 1 layer of biscuit pieces in the tube pan; sprinkle in 1/4 of the bacon pieces. Drizzle about 1/4 of the brown sugar mixture over the biscuit pieces. Continue layering until all the ingredients are used, ending with a drizzle of brown sugar mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven until biscuits are cooked through, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool in pan, 10 to 20 minutes; invert onto a serving plate.
Drizzle olive oil into a large roasting pan. Add onion, carrots, garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt. Toss until coated in oil.
Place squash halves flesh side up on the chopped vegetables. Sprinkle squash with additional salt.
Roast in a preheated oven until squash is tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 hour. Allow vegetables to cool a bit.
Melt butter over medium heat. The butter will foam, and start to turn a golden brown. Reduce heat to low. When the butter turns from golden to a light, nutty brown, remove the pan from the heat and immediately add sage leaves. Stir to infuse the butter with sage.
Scoop out the squash flesh and place in a roasting pan with the roasted chopped vegetables. Transfer mixture into a large stockpot.
Stir in chicken broth, brown sage butter, and maple syrup. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low; slowly simmer to blend flavors, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from heat.
Blend until very smooth with an immersion blender, 3 or 4 minutes. Pass the mixture through a strainer to remove any remaining fibrous bits.
If the soup seems too thick, add a few tablespoons of water, or chicken broth.
Stir in apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt (or to taste), and cayenne pepper.
Garnish servings of soup with a dollop of crème fraîche and chopped chives.