What do you eat for a breakfast treat? I am rather fond of pancakes with maple syrup… rather indulgent but oh so lovely.
“Master Syrupeers” Clarks sent me a couple of bottles of their Maple Syrup to try out, telling me that it might not be as bad for me as I might believe. I knew that a decent natural maple syrup is supposed to have some health benefits, but I’d always assumed these were when compared to sugar which is notoriously bad!
Clarks explains on their website that while the health benefits of maple syrup still being researched, it has already been labelled a “superfood”. Here is a summary of the main benefits:
- A tablespoon of maple syrup contains 52 calories, that’s fewer calories than sugar and honey
- An excellent source of manganese which provides energy and antioxidants, 22% of our daily allowance to be precise.
- A good source of zinc which helps protect the immune system, particularly in children
- May help to support reproductive health and lower the risk of prostate cancer
- Contains compounds which could help manage Type 2 diabetes.
- It settles digestion issues such as gas and bloating which can occur after eating processed sweeteners
- It helps with muscle recovery and keeps bones strong
- It also includes important nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium
- It helps to keep your white blood cells up which help protect against coughs and colds
- May promote a healthy liver
That’s quite a list! Maybe those pancakes and maple syrup could see their way onto my breakfast menu much more often!
As for the flavour, the Pure Canadian No 1 Medium Grade is absolutely lovely. Sweet and runny and full of flavour. Considered in Canada to me “real” maple syrup, small farm producers based in the Quebec region of Canada, gather the sap of the maple tree and boil it to produce pure maple syrup. It takes 4000g of maple tree sap to make 100g of pure maple syrup. It is dark in colour and was perfect drizzled (poured) over my pancakes, ice cream, porridge and granola.
The Vanilla variety is a blend of pure maple syrup, carob fruit syrup (25% fewer calories than sugar) and vanilla flavouring. To us this was nowhere near as nice as the Pure Canadian Syrup – it was a bit sickly and we didn’t really enjoy it over our pancakes. It does work in baking, though, instead of golden syrup. I’m going to try it in my usual flapjack recipe – I’ll let you know how that goes.
How do you use maple syrup? Is it one of those ingredients you always assumed was really bad for you? Or do you use it instead of other sugar based ingredients in your cooking regularly?