Is Maple Syrup Vegan?

Is Maple Syrup Vegan?

Most Americans and Canadians are well aware of the sweet, sticky delights of maple syrup. Drizzled over pancakes, poured on bacon-covered waffles, or mixed into desserts, the possibilities are endless. 

Did you know that products labeled as ‘maple syrup’ are pure maple syrup and can be called such? Other products that produce a similar type of sugary delight are often called ‘maple-flavored syrup’ or ‘golden syrup’. In this article, we are going to explore this sugary treat in more depth and establish if it’s suitable for a vegan diet. 

What Is Maple Syrup Made Of?

Maple syrup isn’t a complex product as one may think, the sweet syrup is made from the sap of a number of varieties of maple trees that are native to Canada and the United States. 

Varieties

The different varieties correspond to the type of tree that the sap has been taken from. The three most common species are: 

  • Sugar Maple
  • Red Maple
  • Black Maple

The syrup that you see in the store has gone through a grading process based on the color and strength of the syrup, these may vary by country. Sap color changes depending on when the sap is collected. 

  • Grade A Golden – lightest in color, mild in flavor, mostly used on breakfast foods and desserts.
  • Grade A Amber – rich flavor, classic table syrup thanks to the classic maple flavors.
  • Grade A Dark – most flavorful and perfect for cooking.
  • Processing Grade B – very dark, the last sap of the season, and is mostly used for maple-flavored commercial products. 

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Information

Ingredients

As there are a number of varieties of syrup, they can contain different ingredients. Pure maple syrup is made with 33% water and 66% maple sap. 

Vitamins And Minerals

Despite the high levels of sugar in the syrup, it does actually contain many essential vitamins and minerals. A single serving will provide around 104% of your daily recommended intake of manganese. 

Manganese is excellent in helping the body form connective tissue, bones, and sex hormones. Getting enough of this mineral is necessary for normal brain and nerve functioning. 

Maple syrup is also a good source of zinc, which is necessary for around 100 different enzymes to carry out their vital chemical reactions in the body.

Zinc is essential for creating DNA, normal cell growth, and building proteins. We don’t need a lot of it, but it’s very important!

How Is Maple Syrup Made?

The sap is collected from the trees in the early spring. Harvesters will drill a hole in the bark of a tree and clear sap will leak out from this hole. Many farmers will attach a bucket to the tree to collect the thin sugar substance. 

Once the sap is collected, it is boiled to remove the water and eventually produce the thick, sugary liquid we call maple syrup. The sugar strength of the liquid can be altered by altering how much water is boiled out of the sap. 

Is Maple Syrup Vegan?

If you haven’t already guessed from the information here, yes maple syrup is completely vegan! As long as the blend of maple syrup you buy is 100% pure, it will be completely safe for vegans to consume. 

This might raise the question, well what makes maple syrup not vegan? Occasionally, manufacturers will add animal fats, honey, or milk-derived butter flavors to their syrup which makes them non-vegan. 

Any dairy products will be indicated by the allergens label.

We know that maple syrup can be an expensive product to keep restocking, so if you are choosing maple-flavored products be aware that these are more likely to contain non-vegan additions. 

The Best Vegan Maple Syrup Recipes

There are plenty of different ways to best use maple syrup, we are sure you already have a head full of ideas! If you’re looking for some more mouthwatering treats then take a look at our favorite maple syrup recipes below. 

Conclusion

Maple syrup is the sugar sap that comes out of the trunk of a maple tree. There are a bunch of different varieties that yield different flavors. This vegan treat is a great alternative to sugar in baking as it is a form of natural sugar. Always read the list of ingredients on the product’s label to ensure it’s vegan before consuming it!

Brandon White
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