Most of us grew up on the “maple syrups” that came in the bottles shaped like a woman, or display a famous female “aunt”, but did you know they are not actually maple syrup at all? They, in fact, do not even make that claim. They are labeled as “original syrup” or “pancake syrup” or “butter rich syrup” so – NOTHING maple – besides the artificial flavor.
In fact, they contain no nutritional value whatsoever. You should avoid these at all costs. Check out the ingredient list for them below. (You can click the links to go to the site and see for yourself!)
Aunt Jemima Ingredients:
CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.
Mrs. Butterworth’s Ingredients:
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, WATER, SALT, CELLULOSE GUM, MOLASSES, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE), SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR (CARAMEL COLOR, CORN SYRUP), ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, CARAMEL COLOR, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES.
During my time living on an organic farm in Ohio, I had the privilege of being involved in the creation of a wonderful, organic, Grade B maple syrup. It was quite a learning experience. It is VERY time consuming and requires a whole lot of hard work and time! This is why REAL maple syrup is more expensive – but it is well worth it.
Organic Grade B organic maple syrup is darker in color and has a robust flavor. Maple syrup, in its unrefined pure form, contains a ton of nutritional benefits and should have a spot on every pantry shelf (or refrigerator shelf)! It contains no fat and has only 52 calories per tablespoon. It also provides vitamins and minerals in their naturally occurring forms such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C, iron, choline, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorous, sulfur and silicon. Buying organic maple syrup is important due to the processing method; in conventional processing, a synthetic (chemical) de-foaming agent/emulsifier is used when cooking down the syrup, whereas in organic maple processing, it is either eliminated or a safe alternative to this chemical is used. Read this eye-opening article for more details.
Grade A is maple syrup, but it is a more processed form of maple syrup, and many of the benefits (minerals & vitamins) listed above are eliminated during processing.
Organic Grade B maple syrup is a delicious and nutritious option when used in moderation. So the next time you need a syrup for pancakes or waffles or if you just need a sweetener for a recipe, consider Organic Grade B Maple syrup! You can find it in whole food stores or most supermarkets. You can also order it online here.