It’s Friday, so its time for another food fight! Every Friday we look at an ingredient, a decision or a process within the real foods sphere. It might be as simple as why you should choose sea salt over iodized salt. It might be more complex, such as what soaking is, how to soak and why you’d want to do it. Grass-fed vs grain-fed. Pastured vs cage-free eggs. What if I can’t afford the best, what’s the next best alternative? All of those decisions that are out in the real food world that are enough to make your head swirl. We’ll take it one bite at a time. Information is always easier to digest when it’s in small pieces.
We’ll start with the easier and move to the complex. As always, we will do so in a good, better, best format, with an eye on the budget. Some weeks, it will be a blog post, other weeks a video.
I had planned a Friday Food Fight about salt for today, about why I had quit using a particular brand. However, I had a fellow blogger send me an e-mail containing more information. I’m still researching since their information runs counter to what has been published elsewhere. I want to make sure I’m giving the full and whole picture when I post about something as serious as a wholesale non-support of a company, so I’m going to continue researching and I’ll put that post out when it is done.
So this week, we’ll look at honey versus maple syrup.
Nutritional Profile of Honey
According to NutritionData.com’s profile on honey, it has 279 grams of carbs in one cup. Of those carbs, 278 grams are from sugar and 1 gram of fiber per cup. It contains small amounts of vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, calcium iron, betaine, choline, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium. One cup of honey has 14% of your daily manganese RDA. Honey does contain flouride. The glycemic load is 169.
Of the sugars found in honey, glucose and fructose are the two most abundant. There’s also small amounts of galactose, sucrose and maltose.
NutiritionData.com doesn’t specify which type of honey was analyzed, but we can assume it is the commonly available honey in the grocery stores- refined, filtered, mass-produced using corn syrup supplementtion. Locally raised, unrefined honey could possibly contain more nutrition, and we’ll examine that soon.
Nutritional Profile of Maple Syrup
According to NutritionData.com’s profile on maple syrup, it has 216 grams of carbs in one cup. Of those carbs, there are 192 grams of sugar and no fiber per cup. Maple syrup contains small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, phosphorus and selenium. Where maple syrup really shines is containing larger amounts of calcium (22%), iron (21%), magnesium (11%), potassium (19%), zinc (89%), copper (12%) and 531% of your RDA of manganese. Maple syrup contains no fluoride. The glycemic load is 126.
Of the sugars found in maple syrup, sucrose is the most abundant with smaller amounts of glucose and fructose.
NutiritonData.com doesn’t say if this is Grade A or Grade B syrup. Of course, this is not organic maple syrup, which can have a beneficial effect on some of nutrient content.
Between the two, maple syrup is the clear winner. Obviously, having less overall carbs per cup combined with much higher amounts of minerals, plus having far less fructose (2834 mg for maple versus 138,765 mg for honey per cup), it’s clearly the better choice. However, it still is not a nutrient-dense food, and should be used sparingly. I’ve found that most people into real food eat about half of the amount of sweeteners as those on the standard american diet, and some can consume even less. So I strongly encourage you to reduce the sweeteners in your diet as much as possible, so you can eat more nutrient-dense foods instead.
Honey can be store indefinitely in a sealed container in cool temperatures. I would encourage you to order in bulk and store it in order to save on the price per pound or quart. Maple syrup has a shelf life of a few years, and I’ve been reports of people being able to keep it longer. You can also purchase dried maple syrup granules. They look like rapadura or sucanat and you can store them long-term then add water as you need maple syrup.
What I Use
I currently use both! Since they have distinct flavor profiles, I find that both are excellent for different applications. We use honey in desserts and maple syrup as a topping for baked goods like waffles or in egg-based desserts such as custards. Price-wise, I find maple syrup to be more expensive as there are many bee keepers in our area, so we use maple syrup as an occasional treat instead of a staple in our home.
Price-wise, I pay $15.75 for raw honey through Green PolkaDot Box or $14-15 for local, raw honey per quart. For maple syrup, Amazon charges $18.22 per quart of Grade B Coombs.
Please share with us. What do YOU do for your family? Which choice have you made?
Next week we’ll look more into honey with raw versus cooked. We’ll cover filtering and otherwise refining honey and Grade A versus Grade B Maple syrup in coming weeks.
somewhere I read an article about the processing of maple syrup. The article stated that if its not organic maple syrup they may use chemicals in the processing.
Yes- I’m researching it now and it will be posted on a future Friday Food Fight.
Thanks so much and love your blog.
Kei Laliberte says
Like you, we use both honey and maple syrup. I am able to get honey from the same family that supplies my grass feed bison. For maple syrup I love to order from cabothillsmaple.com in Vermont. I have no affiliation with them other than the fact that I love that they are a family owned company, have always been very helpful if I have a question, produce certified organic grade A and B maple syrup, and I can have 4 gallons sent to me for about $62.50 a gallon, and that includes shipping. A single gallon with shipping costs about $72.50. I’m not sure if the Amazon syrup you listed is organic or if the price includes shipping, but the product cost comes out to $72.88 per gallon. I’ve ordered from Cabot Hills for a few years and have never been disappointed.
Looks like a great resource! Thank you for posting about them, I’ll check into it.
Thanks for sharing this resource. How long does 4 gallons last you? Family size? This is one product that I am not sure how much we use but I have been meaning to research finding it for a better price than locally available. This price is also less than the five gallon price at Azure Standard: $384 (appx $77 per gallon) plus shipping which I think is about 35 cents per pound at 61 lb shipping weight = over $21. Seems like Cabot Hills is the winner!
We use honey and we usually just use maple syrup on things like waffles, pancakes or french toast. I use the honey as a sweetener for my coffee in the morning.
We buy our honey locally from a man in our church. I like using local vendors in the faith when I can.
Have a beautiful weekend!
I use both and feel very thankful that I live in New England, so even organic maple syrup is not a bank-breaker.
Soli recently posted..A Top 12 for 2012
Both. Plus Rapadura and a small amount of dark muscovado sugar and liquid stevia.
Maple syrup is our first choice for typical breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles but we also like it in plain yogurt and occasionally in smoothies (the ones that we add a tart cultured milk product to). We like it in custard type dishes and I also use it in my hot toddy recipe when someone is sick and needs some comfort in a cup.
Honey is used in tea, on toast and in cold and cough remedies. Some like it in their yogurt and smoothies. My husband likes it on his oatmeal.
Both are very expensive. Raw, local honey goes for about $30 a quart here, even at farmer’s markets! I buy it directly from the honey man in a 5 gallon bucket to bring the cost down. $360 for 20 quarts brings it down to $12 a quart. That is about a year’s supply for our family of seven. I also buy birch syrup which is produced locally and it is even more expensive. (I think it was $70 for a quart!) I only buy one quart size jug for the whole year and use it in barbecue and other basting type sauces. I like to mix it with maple syrup on waffles but my kids find its flavor too strong for their palates.
The Rapadura gets used for baking and in hot cocoa (the cocoa is where we use a little stevia too). A 33lb bag lasts well over a year, maybe closer to two years.
Margaret Yoder says
I’ve had maple syrup go moldy in just a couple months on the shelf, so I store opened maple syrup in the fridge now. Has anyone else had this problem?
Yes, it will mold if you leave it at room temp since it is a preservative-free product. Best to store it in the fridge.
Jill Cozzens says
Properly produced maple syrup shouldn’t mold on the shelf. If there is mold then it didn’t get to the 67.7% sugar content it’s supposed to have. It can be a difficult balance for the sugarmaker to achieve since boiling it too long gives you a product that will crystallize on the shelf instead!
Old time wisdom will tell you to skim the mold off and reboil it. Different people will have different comfort levels with that though!
We only go through about a half gallon a year so I just keep it in the fridge.
Is honey better for you than sugar?
It depends on your health needs. Both are carbs that are broken down easy by the body. Honey does have some mild medicinal properties, but you can’t use honey in everything due to it being liquid and not always having a flavor that matches what you’re making. But I do prefer honey where the option is available.