Thursday, March 31, 2011

Real Maple Syrup vs Pancake Syrup

Do you all remember early saturday mornings where you got up, popped your frozen waffles in the toaster and you reached for your favored Aunt Jemima or Log Cabin syrup to drench your warm waffles in? Those were the days weren't they? Well sadly I cant live so carefree anymore...especially when it comes to my diet. Also my taste have changed over the years and the super sweet "pancake syrups" make me feel like my teeth are rotting instantly. I have personally started using 100% pure maple syrups for pancakes, waffles, french toast and the like. I think it is less sweet and it gives me the satisfaction of knowing its pure maple syrup from an actual maple tree. Let us cross examine the usual suspects.
So here is the nutritional facts from Aunt Jemima's Original Pancake Syrup:
So here you can see that with every quarter cup(4 tablespoons) worth of syrup you are adding on an additional 210 calories, 120mg of sodium, and 32g of sugar to your pancakes. Ingredients include: CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.  
Did you all think that all of these ingredients were necessary for pancake syrup? I dont even know what some of these ingredients are, and therefore deem it unnecessary for my personal consumption.

Now here is the light version my brother and mother refuse to give up so we keep it stocked at home. 

This lighter version is only 100 calories for the same serving size BUT it has 190g of sodium and contain 7grams less sugar. I am still concerned about the unrecognizable ingredients in this version as well but I will say this version may be favorable to those counting calories. 

Now here is what I started to buy from Trader Joes:

So this maple syrup does have a high calorie count per serving just as the Aunt Jemima original version and is higher than the others with actual sugar per serving But there is only 10mg of sodium. Also you can be sure you are eating something pure just as your great grandparents and grandparents ate. Just as the label says there is nothing artificial and no preservatives. 
To end this all I can say is the decision is yours. The corn industry says there is nothing wrong with high fructose corn syrup but I am sceptical of those statements. If you are only concerned with numerical data for your diet then the Aunt Jemima light may be your best bet but for those of you like myself that may be trying to get on the clean eating train...switching to all natural maple syrup is the way to go. I also know some of you may be concerned with the cost. The high cost of real maple syrup is what kept me from buying it regularly for years but this bottle I bought from Trader Joes was only about $5. If you want to go ultra maple gourmet and are willing to spend upwards of about $18,  there are all different kinds of syrups available at local greenmarkets and natural markets that you can try out. There are even natural berry syrups or artisan/gourmet honey that you can switch out for maple syrup on your favorite breakfast treats. If you all have any questions on where to look for these items in the Brooklyn/New York City area don't hesitate to drop me a line. 

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