Maple Syrup as a Sugar Substitute

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September 17th, 2010

Fresh4Five Original Article

Maple syrup has become one of my top sugar substitutes since I made the commitment to be sugar free at the beginning of this year. I am actually sipping coffee sweetened with maple syrup as I type this! Being Canadian, you can’t get a more local source of unrefined goodness.

Pure Canadian Maple Syrup holds a special place in my heart with many warm childhood memories of making our very own syrup at our family cottage in Muskoka. My dad would take us up there every spring, when the roads were not even cleared out enough to drive on. I remember walking for what seemed like miles just to get to the cottage and then spending our spring break, and weekends up there tapping trees, drinking collecting sap, and boiling it down over an open fire. We had so much fun!
I was recently contacted by the Quebec Federation of Maple Syrup Producers. They kindly sent me 4 small samples of the 4 grades of Quebec maple syrup to try in a recipe. They also sent some information on a new study regarding the health benefits of Maple Syrup.

I am really excited about the findings; Antioxidants! One 1/4 cup serving of maple syrup contains as much antioxidant activity as a serving of raw tomato or broccoli.
University of Rhode Island Study

NEW YORK – March 24, 2010 – In a new research study conducted by the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Navindra Seeram discovered more than 20 compounds linked to human health in Canadian maple syrup, 13 of which were discovered for the first time in maple syrup. Seeram, assistant professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences in URI’s College of Pharmacy, unveiled his findings Sunday, March 21 at the American Chemical Society’s Annual Meeting.

“We already know the maple tree has strong antioxidant mechanisms,” Seeram said. “Now we are looking more closely at the tree’s sap.” Several of these antioxidant compounds are also reported to have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-diabetic properties. “People are increasingly interested in healthier food alternatives,” Seeram said.

Making the switch in recipes to maple syrup instead of sugar and other liquid sweeteners like corn syrup is really simple. You can use a 1 for 1 substitution, and just reduce some of the other liquid in your recipe, such as water, milk, or even an egg.

The Quebec Federation of Maple Syrup producers have a fantastic website Pure Canadian Maple where you can find even more information on how Quebec maple syrup is made, the health benefits, and the best part RECIPES! Chef Kathleen Daelemans is the new Face of Quebec Maple Syrup, and you can read her monthly mouthful, and try her delicious maple syrup creations.

Here on Fresh4five you can incorporate maple syrup in a few of my favourite recipes:

Maple Barbeque Chicken (adapted from Simply in Season)
Peanut Butter Krispy Treats (from Super Natural Cooking)

Also my most recent recipes using their samples:
GF Carrot Muffins and GF Zucchini Bread

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