Some might say maple syrup is maple juice concentrate, the others will admit it is pure magic. It is translucent liquid with pleasant aroma and very sweet taste. Almost all maple syrup that comes to shelves of supermarket is produced in Canada.
Pure maple syrup is a unique natural product, which doesn’t contain sugar, food grade dye, artificial flavouring, preserving agent or any other supplements. Although syrup contains at least 66% of sugar, it all remains after juice graduation. Thus, maple syrup health benefits are not limited to perfect matching with pancakes.
Nutritional value of maple syrup
Natural and ecologically clean maple syrup comes in several variations. In average, four tablespoons per day fulfill daily need in manganese, contains 37% of daily riboflavin dose, 11% of daily zink dose, 4% of magnesium and 5% of calcium dose. In addition to carbs, vitamins and minerals, it contains phenol compounds.
Maple syrup benefits
After analysis of over 600 samples of maple syrup from different regions of Quebec it became evident that pure maple syrup is much better for your health compared to sugar or corn syrup. It contains 54 antioxidants and has low glycemic index.
- Antioxidants found in maple syrup have anticancer, antibacterial and antidiabetic properties. Some of them are capable of neutralizing nitric oxide. According to 2011 investigation results, the amount of antioxidants equals to 54.
- Abscisic acid stimulates insulin release and increases lipocyte vulnerability to this hormone. It becomes a powerful weapon against metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
- Maple syrup glycemic index has significant advantages compared to other sweeteners. For instance, glycemic index of honey is 87 compared to maple syrup’s 54. Thus, sugar level doesn’t grow rapidly.
- Atherosclerosis prevention is what zink is responsible for. It ensures proper functioning of endothelial cells and deals with damaged fats influences.
- Immune system is safe thanks to zink and manganese, helping to deal with inflammations and maintain healthy level of white blood cells.
- Probiotics, live microorganisms that boost immune system and improve digestion, have a positive influence on yor health in general. New probiotics based on maple syrup can become a perfect option for lactose intolerant people.
Maple syrup and weight loss
Being an ecologically clear product, the syrup is often associated with dieting and weight loss. Does maple syrup contain sugar? Yes, but it is all natural sugar. Is maple syrup good for weight loss? No, it is still not.
Despite high level of microelements and antioxidants, maple syrup is not on the list of the most useful foods. If you are looking for sugar replacement, consider stevia, erythritol or konlite. Still, replacing all sugar in your diet by maple syrup is a good idea.
Possible side effects
Recommended daily dose of maple syrup amounts to 30 grams. There are no any evident contraindications for consumption, but you still should control the amount in several cases:
- pregnancy – high level of potassium can have a negative influence of child’s development in case hypertonicity of the uterus;
- obesity – calorific value is quite high and can deteriorate overweight problems;
- idiosyncrasy – allergic reactions are rather an exception from the rule, but if you are tasting maple syrup for the first time, start with one teaspoon;
- diabetes – the product is not on the list of forbidden, but you should consult a physician about the frequency and permissible quantity.
Maple syrup in cooking
Maple syrup is a perfect alternative for jams, marmalade and confiture. It tastes delicious with pancakes, waffles and flapjacks. Besides, you can add syrup to drinks, pastry, desserts, even meat and vegetable foods. It can be a universal taste improver that fits with any foods.
Making maple syrup
If you are curious how to make maple syrup, remember that the only true product comes from Canada, where the most appropriate for production maple trees grow. Manufacturing technology reminds coconut sugar production and comes in two stages: drilling a trunk and juice graduation.
Drilling a trunk
- The best time to start is spring.
- The hole should be 5-10 cm in diameter and 1.5 cm deep.
- Insert a metallic corner with a hook to direct the flow into a container.
- You’ll need 15-20 liters of juice for 0.5 liter of syrup.
- During graduation, maple syrup changes color and becomes much darker.
- Use a big cooking pot, preferably with teflon coating in order to prevent burning and foaming.
- Preparing 1 liter of syrup takes more than 28 hours.
- The higher sugar concentration, the higher is boiling temperature (at least 7.5 degrees higher than the temperature of boiling water).
- Ultimate sugar percentage is 66%. Lower amount doesn’t guarantee preservation for a long time, while higher might congeal into sugar crystals.
- Filter syrup while it is hot and use synthetical filter. Cool and store in the fridge.