We are starting to become aware of the thing we are consuming and we are trying to ensure we get some other alternatives to those things that have been termed harmful. Refined sugar is in this category. Honey and syrup are the two most common substitutes for refined sugar. We want to know if there is any difference between honey and maple syrup. Both of these ingredients might look similar or perhaps, have a similar consistency, but they have several differences and this includes the health benefits, nutritional content, flavor profile, and origin. Continue reading this article for you to have a better understanding.
What Is Honey?
Everyone knows and loves honey because it is one of the most common substitutes for sugar in sweetening drinks and it can also be used in other meals and desserts. Almost 80 percent of the constituent of honey is sugar but it also has some other nutrients as well as vitamins. Honey can be used to treat the common cold, sore throats, and skin wounds because it is made of antiviral and antimicrobial compounds.
Honey is gotten from bees. This is from bees’ activities of collecting and foraging nectars of flowers. The nectars are swallowed and stored in the stomach of the bees regarded to as a honey crop. This is separate from the digestive tract when added to the hive’s honeycomb. The bees use their enzymes to break the nectar’s complex sugars to simple ones by chewing it inside the hive. There are waxy interior walls in the honeycomb and the bee’s wings fanning, the liquid tends to evaporate and leave behind a sweet honey liquid that we all enjoy.
The color and taste of the honey have their influence from the nectar collected by the bees used to make it. Bees make honey because the honey helps to provide them with the nutrient-rich food they can enjoy in the winter.
Common Questions About Honey
Is honey vegan?
Honey being vegan or not is not a straightforward topic because many vegans don’t classify honey as a vegan because bees produced it and that makes it a food derived from an animal.
Is honey considered paleo?
Raw honey is particularly considered paleo. It should, however, be taken in moderation because of the high sugar content.
Can honey go bad?
Consider honey as one of those foods that don’t get spoil. However, honey becomes crystalize over time but it could still be fixed. All you need to do is to place the glass jar containing the honey inside a sink of hot water or a pot of heated water. You should ensure you store your honey at room temperature if you want to keep it from being crystallized too soon. Honey begins to crystalize when kept below the temperature of 50°F.
What Is Maple Syrup?
We famously know maple syrup to be used to slather over waffles and pancakes but you can also use it to sweeten your warm drinks as well as other foods. Maple syrup is just like a liquid sugary syrup that is a sap from a maple tree. According to research, more than 80 percent of the whole world’s maple syrup is from Canada and it can only be gotten from maple trees.
This syrup is healthier and more nutritious than white sugar and it is regarded as 100 percent natural sweetener. It comes in various grades, relating to its color and it could vary from dark amber to light amber, this is considered to be Grade A. There are about 50 calories in one tablespoon of this syrup and it also contains some other nutritional benefits including antioxidants, phosphorus, iron, manganese, magnesium, and calcium. In warmer temperatures, maple trees are helped to turn some stored starch into sugar. The sap is then created when groundwater is used to mix the sugar. The sap is then collected by using a tap to drill a hole in the maple tree.
The sap is the sticky-sweet liquid, after collecting from the tree, it is boiled so that excess water is removed, and then it is transformed to the common maple syrup. One gallon of your maple syrup is made from about 40 gallons of sap because it only contains 2 percent sugar. We have four (4) various maple syrup types according to classification, check below:
- Grade A; Dark Amber
- Grade A; Medium Amber
- Grade A; Light Amber
- Grade B
The four grades all contain an equal quantity of sugar. The difference is in how long their sap is boiled. The flavor will be more intense the darker the maple syrup’s color.
Common Questions About Maple Syrup
How long does maple syrup last before going bad?
You can keep unopened maple syrup for years as long as it is inside the correct container and in the proper storage conditions. If you store the maple syrup inside a glass container, it can last for about 50 years and it will not go bad. If you, however, use plastic to store it, it will only last for two years. Using a tin container will only allow it to be stored for six months. You can store your maple syrup in your fridge for about one year once you have opened it.
Does maple syrup need to be kept in the fridge?
You only need to keep maple syrup inside the fridge once you have opened it. You can store unopened maple syrup in your pantry for some time. Once you open it, refrigerate to prevent mold’s growth.
Is maple syrup considered paleo?
We do not any straight answer concerning this. While some people consider it to be paleo because it is in sugar form, others do not agree because it is considered a natural food from trees.
Is maple syrup vegan?
Because maple syrup is gotten from trees i.e. plants and not animals, it is classified vegan. The sap transformation to maple syrup does not contain any added by-products or animal products.
The Differences Between Maple Syrup and Honey
Contained in maple syrup are antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Honey also contains different antioxidants such as phenols that help to prevent blood clots and also help to increase the flow of blood.
Maple syrup contains lesser vitamins than honey. Honey being a very great source of folate, niacin, vitamin B-5, vitamin B, and vitamin C. The vitamin B-5 functions to help convert carbohydrates to glucose. Maple syrup also has vitamins B-5, but it has twenty times more vitamin B-12 (riboflavin) that functions to help with the production of energy.
Also contained in maple syrup are vitamin B-1 (thiamine) and some other types such as vitamin A, vitamin B-6, folic acid, vitamin B-2, and vitamins B-5. Vitamin A helps to improve the vision and also in metabolizing energy.
In the purest form of maple syrup, it contains more manganese, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium than honey. They are all great minerals needed in the body because they help to improve the immune support, keep red blood cells healthy, and help with cell formation. Both maple syrup and honey contain the same amount of phosphorus and selenium but honey has more sodium, making maple syrup more suitable for people on low sodium diets.
Honey does not contain any fat while maple syrup contains low content of fat with 0.1 grams in one tablespoon.
Both maple syrup and honey are made of different sugars. There are 13.5 grams of carbohydrates and 12.4 grams of sucrose in pure maple syrup. In honey, there are 17.4 grams of carbohydrates and 17.3 grams of fructose. Maple syrup is considered to contain lesser fructose and according to research, fructose affects the health of the heart negatively and this makes maple syrup a better option. Maple syrup also comes top when considering their glycemic index, having 54 and honey having 58.
Honey comes last when you consider calorie counts. There are about 64 calories in a tablespoon of honey while maple syrup has 50 calories. The difference might not seem huge when having a cup or two teacups per day, but you will notice the difference when you are considering a larger quantity for cooking or baking.
Whenever you want to use either maple syrup or honey as a substitute for refined sugar, you will need to consider their nutritional differences. The two substances are sticky and very similar in texture and viscosity but they have their nutritional differences. Check the chart below showing their nutritional value per percentage of the recommended daily value per portion of 60 ml.
Processing And Refinement
Maple syrup and honey are not made the same way despite seeming similar. The real maple syrup is gotten from maple trees. The concentrated syrup is gotten from the sap that has been tapped from the maple tree. The sap is boiled to get the syrup. As you know, honey is gotten from bees by collecting and storing nectar in hives. The nectar is broken down into simple sugars and then excess liquids are allowed to evaporate by the bee constantly fanning its wings.
If you want to know which of the two ingredients to choose, their flavor will help you decide. Contained in maple syrup are some caramel notes with the woodsy taste from the maple sap. There could also be other flavor notes like vanilla, cinnamon, and hazelnut. You can get the honey’s flavor profile from the nectar that is used in making it. However, the major honey flavor is typically pure, clean, light, and could be sometimes floral.
The Benefits Of Honey
It has high sugar content but also rich in contents of antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic acids that help to fight some free-radicals. You can also consider honey to be antibacterial and it is classified to be a healthier alternative to white sugar. Honey also helps in the healing of wounds.
The Benefits Of Maple Syrup
It has high sugar content and it also has some other benefits absent in refined sugar, benefits like antioxidant and mineral. You can get about seven percent of the daily requirement of calcium by taking 1/3 cup of maple syrup. You will also get 165 percent of manganese, seven percent of iron, and 28 percent of zinc.
Substituting The Two
You can replace maple syrup and honey for each other in a 1:1 ratio in recipes. You should, however, not forget that honey is thicker than syrup and it might affect the substitution depending on what recipe you want to use. They have different nutritional difference but their consistency and sugars are fairly the same. They might taste differently, but once they are cooked, you might not notice.
Which Is Healthier?
Both maple syrup and honey have pros and cons. They are fairly similar in their calorie and fat content. They both contain antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Honey has a more floral taste while maple syrup has a more woodsy taste.
When you consider sugar and fructose content, you can consider maple syrup to be healthier because it has a lower glycemic index. Both of them are better than using refined sugar. However, if you want the healthier, consider maple syrup as the better one.
Honey Vs Maple Syrup
Maple syrup and honey have some differences such as how they both are made, the flavor profiles, and nutritional content. They are both popularly used as a substitute for refined sugar. They are also healthier than sugar. You can use both maple syrup and honey as sweetening for your coffee and tea and they can also be alternated for each other when baking, cooking drizzling over pancakes, and waffles. Choose maple syrup if you want the healthier of the two because it is lesser in fat and sugar.
Is honey sweeter than sugar?
Comparing tablespoon to tablespoon, sugar is less sweet as compared to honey. You will probably have to lower the quantity of honey to match the same sweetness you want from white sugar.
Can you eat maple syrup straight from the tree?
A maple tree doesn’t produce your maple syrup, though it produces sap. Maple sap directly from a tree is very bitter. Most of the liquid of the sap is evaporated by the boiling and this helps to concentrate the sugar that results in maple syrup’s sweet taste.