Healthy Options for Maple Syrup

Healthy Options for Maple Syrup

Make no mistake about it, maple syrup is yummy, and it is not surprising that many people use it like a pancake and waffle topping. However, it would be good to try out other alternatives in place of the syrup.

There are a host of healthy maple substitutes that you can sample and still satisfy your taste buds the same way would with the syrup.

When substituting the syrup, be sure to go for the natural alternatives since they are likely to have more health benefits. These options will get you started.

Raw Honey

A superfood, honey is one of the most popular natural sweeteners. It comes with loads of nutrients, antioxidants and a host of minerals from potassium to zinc and iron as well as vitamin B6. These essential minerals combine to lessen the effects of free radicals while promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive system.

One tablespoon of raw honey contains 64 calories. It is essential to mention that to derive the most benefits out of honey as a maple syrup alternative you must use it unpasteurized. Once it gets pasteurized, it loses the health benefits that come with using raw honey. You can use honey on breakfast cereals, for salad dressings, on yogurt or over sprouted grain toast.

Stevia

Stevia is 200 times sweeter than sugar, primarily due to a component in its leaves known as stevioside. Stevia is available in liquid drops, dissolvable tablets, and packets as well as baking blends. It has no calories and carbohydrates meaning that it has no side effects.

Unlike natural honey, stevia can be subjected to heat so you may use it as you please. However, you need to remember that it is 200 times sweeter than sugar, so you need to be more careful with the ratio. For baking, you may consider mixing it with ingredients such as coconut flour or fresh fruit puree to make up for the lost bulk.

Dates

Dates are rich in iron, vitamin B6, magnesium, and manganese. A product of the date palm tree, these are highly digestible, and once in the body, they can help metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Research shows that dates can also help lower the LDL cholesterol in the blood and may lessen the risk of stroke.

To use dates as a substitute for maple syrup, you need to make a date paste. Soak the dates in hot water until soft to create the mixture. Measure the water carefully to ensure that the concoction is thick and creamy enough.

You may add peanut butter if you’re looking for more consistency. You can use Date paste can be a broader range of recipes, unlike stevia.

Remember to Invest in a Can Opener

Most dates come in airtight cans. The idea is to make sure that the contents last longer on departmental shelves and groceries. On your part, however, it means that you must find a way of opening the can without contaminating what’s inside – and that’s where a can opener comes in.

When choosing an opener, make sure that it is super easy to use. The handle has to be ergonomic for a comfortable grip. It could be manual or electric depending on your preference. And, as explained in detail, each option works differently, so you need to pinpoint a unit that works for you and your needs.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is low in glycemic load and full of minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium and other phytonutrients. Coconut sugar comes from the sap of the coconuts blooms. The juice is heated to evaporation to get the sugar.

Coconut sugar mixes with ingredients in the same ratio as the confectionary sugar. However, dissolving the sugar is not recommended in recipes used to make cakes and cookies. To make it, even more natural, consider mixing one cup of coconut sugar with one tablespoon of arrowroot powder until smooth. Coconut sugar is ideal for topping toast, as a sweetener for marinades and in baking.

The Bottom Line

There is no problem in making maple syrup part of your diet. However, just like any other food item, you can always opt for something else and still get the same benefits. Besides, changing the syrup with something else give you a chance to try out other recipes.

Be sure to talk to your dietitian to see how you can best incorporate these maple syrup alternatives into your dieting program. Also, make sure that you don’t have allergies to any of them. The last thing that you want is to experience complications for eating what your body cannot tolerate.

Of course, these aren’t the only options you can try out. They are, however, some of the most readily available alternatives. Besides, you don’t have to spend lots of money to get any of them.