From the Paleo Diet to Sugarbusters to the South Beach Diet – every diet craze that’s swept the country has had one thing in common: avoiding refined sugars. But what to do when your sweet tooth doesn’t agree? Try pure maple syrup! This all-natural organic sweetener is completely unrefined (other than boiling off the water) and if you make it yourself, it’s really inexpensive!
Of course, maple syrup is still a sugar so enjoy in moderation especially if you’re on a low-sugar diet. The good news? Unlike refined white sugar, pure maple syrup has a lower glycemic index, is much more nutrient-dense and rich in antioxidants. The antioxidant levels are comparable to a banana and one tablespoon of pure maple syrup contains:
1% Daily Value of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Copper.
6% Daily Value of Zinc.
33% Daily Value of Manganese.
Pure maple syrup can be easily substituted for white sugar in most recipes but it will naturally give the dish a slight maple flavor. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of white sugar, use approximately 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup. It will also add a bit more moisture to your recipe compared to refined sugar. Adjust recipes by reducing liquids by 3 Tablespoons for every cup of maple syrup.
Naturally improve your morning yogurt! Greek yogurt is such a healthy choice for your family but it's usually filled with sugar (and more expensive because of it!). Instead of buying the pre-flavored yogurt cups, sweeten plain Greek yogurt with pure maple syrup and liven it up with these delicious and nutritious additions. Kids will love it and the high-protein will really power them up for the day.
1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
½ cup mixed nuts or seed, dried fruit, or granola (unsweetened)
¼ teaspoon each: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Mix and serve. For smoothies, swap out the nuts for frozen bananas or chunked up fruit or berries.