Jim Carrey. Mike Myers. Hockey and basketball. Superman. Some pretty awesome things come from Canada. And the best maple syrup in the world is also on the list.
100% pure maple syrup from Canada is a natural sweetener with only one ingredient – sap from the maple tree. Canadians love maple trees so much that we put the maple leaf on our nation’s flag, front and center.
I’m a proud Canadian and we’re proud of our maple syrup for good reason. Or should I say, for many good reasons?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Pure Maple from Canada. As always, I love to feature foods I recommend and enjoy myself and all opinions are 100% my own.
Maple syrup nutrition
I’m all about choosing foods that are both delicious and nutritious. Pure maple syrup passes with flying colors thanks to its unique flavor and a nutritional profile that makes it stand out from other sweeteners.
A two tablespoon serving of maple syrup has 110 calories which is similar to other sweeteners such as sugar and honey. What sets pure maple syrup apart is it also contains vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins and minerals in pure maple syrup
Pure maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese, a mineral that plays a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol. Manganese is needed for the immune system, for bone strength and for blood clotting.
B vitamins are another area where pure maple syrup shines. It’s a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and a source of thiamin (vitamin B1). Both riboflavin and thiamin are essential for your body to convert food into energy, for growth and development and for normal functioning of your cells.
Pure maple syrup is a source of calcium, potassium and copper. You may be familiar with calcium and potassium, but do you know the benefits of copper? Copper is a mineral that plays a role in brain development and is needed to make neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in your brain. Other key functions of copper include iron metabolism and immune functioning.
Polyphenols in maple syrup
Maple syrup contains more than 67 different plant compounds called polyphenols and 9 of them are only found in pure maple syrup. That’s 9 polyphenols that you can’t get them anywhere else! One of the polyphenols is called Quebecol (named after Quebec, the Canadian province that’s the top maple syrup producer) and forms when the maple sap is boiled to make pure maple syrup.
Research is currently underway to determine the antioxidant properties of the polyphenols found in 100% pure maple syrup from Canada.
Why “pure” maple syrup?
Some syrups might be maple flavored but be mixed with corn syrup or other ingredients. That’s why reading labels is important.
Look for 100% pure maple syrup so you know you’re getting 100% of the real thing – with natural flavor and golden color, along with the vitamins, minerals and polyphenols that make maple syrup special.
Why maple syrup from Canada?
Canada produces 71% of the world’s maple syrup – and 91% of that comes from Québec. Making maple syrup is a tradition that Canada’s indigenous people taught to the early settlers, and it’s been a strong part of our heritage ever since.
My husband Olivier is from Québec, and his family has been going to “sucreries” or “cabanes à sucre” for many generations to celebrate maple syrup. In English, we call these places “sap houses” or “sugar shacks” and they’re so much fun!
You can see how the maple trees are tapped for sap and learn how the sap is boiled to make pure maple syrup. There’s also typically wagon rides, live music and dancing and plenty of delicious food that all features pure maple syrup. Another classic activity is “tire d’érable”, where warm maple syrup is poured onto snow to make taffy.
Creative ways to use 100% pure maple syrup from Canada
Beyond its nutritional benefits and cultural traditions, maple syrup has plenty to offer when it comes to flavor and versatility.
When you think of maple syrup you might think of sweet dishes, specifically at breakfast (a.k.a. pancakes and waffles). If that’s all you’re using maple syrup for, it’s time to think breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks… and to try it in savory recipes.
Pure maple syrup from Canada is amazing as a replacement for other sweeteners in coffee, smoothies, overnight oats, granola, yogurt and in desserts, it also adds balance to savory dishes and is amazing on roasted vegetables, in marinades for chicken, fish and tofu, and I love to use it in salad dressings.
There’s something about cold weather that makes me especially crave maple syrup. Maybe that’s because as soon as the maple trees are tapped and the sap starts flowing, there’s usually still snow on the ground in Québec!
Another reason: maple pairs particularly well with fall and winter foods such as kale, sweet potatoes and apples. Plus, it’s wonderful with plant-based foods such as warm grains and pulses. That’s why I created a hearty plant-based bowl that features maple in two of my favorite ways: on roasted vegetables and in a mouth-watering dressing.
My Maple Harvest Bowl with Farro and Roasted Chickpeas is bright and colorful comfort food! It just happens to be vegan and would make a great addition to your holiday table this year. It’s one of those meals that can go from everyday lunch or dinner to special occasion with ease.
This maple harvest bowl has the crunchy texture of roasted chickpeas and pumpkin seeds which complements the tenderness of the farro and roasted cauliflower and crispy kale leaves. I hope you love it as much as we do!
What’s your favorite way to use maple syrup? I’d love to hear them!