While most of us are familiar with Maple Syrup, we typically think of it only in relation to pancakes and waffles. There is no denying that our stack of pancakes would look incomplete sans the dripping syrup and those waffles would taste bland without every square full of this sweet delight, there is in fact, much more to Maple Syrup than just being a tasty breakfast ingredient.
Pure maple syrup is generally sourced from Canada, which is its largest producer in the world. It is 100% natural & pure – no colouring, no artificial flavours, and certainly no preservatives are added to it. Boiled down directly from tree sap harvested from maple trees towards the end of winters in Canada, pure maple syrup is an unprocessed product of nature. And, for this reason, the syrup is highly nutritious. It is an excellent source of- manganese and riboflavin (B2); good source of magnesium and also a source of calcium, potassium, sodium, copper and zinc. It is in fact among the healthier sugar alternatives.
Besides pancakes and waffles, pure maple syrup from Canada can be used in other ways, such as:
1. Sweetening desserts, beverages and smoothies
2. Sweetening sauces on meats, such as BBQ sauce
3. Drizzled over roasted or cooked vegetables
Early indications from studies indicate that pure maple syrup may contribute to health and well-being in multiple ways.
1. Healthier alternative to honey and other sweeteners: A quarter cup (60 ml) of maple syrup provides 271 calories and 54 gm of sugars, as it has fewer calories than corn syrup and honey, averaging about 50 calories per tablespoon. In fact, you can easily replace white or brown sugar with an equivalent volume of maple syrup.
2. Rich Source of Manganese: Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defenses, and is necessary for normal brain and nerve function.
3. Rich in Antioxidants: Maple syrup contains 63 polyphenols/types of antioxidants, five of which are found only in maple syrup, offering health benefits similar to those of berries, tea, red wine, flax seed, other fruits and vegetables. These phenols and other compounds inhibit inflammation, which has a harmful effect on the body.
4. Promotes healthy liver and gut: A study from the University of Tokyo, suggests Maple Syrup may promote a healthy liver since it seems to inhibit certain genes linked to the production of ammonia, which is harmful to the liver.
So the next time you grab a cup of coffee or are in a mood to lightly glaze some chicken, make sure to add a little maple syrup, not only to enhance the taste of your beverage or dish, but also to increase its nutritional value.