Lydia's Kitchen Blog

How Sweet – and Healthful – It Is!

One of the things I’ve learned is how incredibly healthful real maple syrup is as a sweetener. Real maple syrup is much different from the high fructose corn syrup variety that litters the grocery store shelves and attempts to pass as maple -- check the label, many don't even list maple as an ingredient! The real stuff is made from 100% maple sugar.

For example, did you know that real maple syrup:

  • Is more healthful than processed white sugar, honey and brown sugar?
  • Contains manganese, which provides energy and antioxidant defenses?
  • Contains zinc, phosphorous and iron?
  • Has a low glycemic index with low absorption, making it a good choice for some diabetics?

And, of course, beyond the health benefits, maple syrup tastes great!

Skeptical? Try using real maple syrup in a healthful recipe yourself. One of my favorites is Whole-Earth Date Bread. If you have a great recipe to share using maple syrup, please pass it along!

Whole-Earth Date Bread

Toast slices of this nutritious loaf and serve it with Honey Butter.

1-1½ cups finely chopped dates 
5 to 5-1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour 
2 (1/4 oz.) pkgs. active dry yeast (2 tablespoons) 
2 teaspoons brown sugar 
2 cups warm water (110F, 45C) 
1/3 cup Crown Maple Syrup
¼ cup butter, melted 
½ cup nonfat-milk powder 
1 tablespoon salt 
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour 
½ cup medium rye flour 
½ cup wheat germ 
½ cup unprocessed bran flakes 
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds

For Glaze
1 teaspoon Crown Maple Syrup blended with 1 tablespoon milk

In small bowl, combine dates with ½ cup all-purpose or bread flour. Toss to coat and separate; set aside. In large bowl of electric mixer, dissolve yeast and brown sugar in water. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add honey, butter, milk powder, salt, whole-wheat flour and 1 ½ to 2 cups all-purpose or bread flour. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer 2 minutes or, beat 200 vigorous strokes by hand. Stir in rye flour, wheat germ, bran flakes, ¼ cup sesame seeds, date mixture and enough remaining all-purpose or bread flour to make soft dough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Clean and grease bowl; set aside.

Knead dough 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with a slightly damp towel. Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ hours. Grease 2 (8” x 4” or 9” x 5”) loaf pans; set aside.

Punch down dough; knead 30 seconds. Divide dough in half; shape into loaves. Place in prepared pans. Cover with a dry towel. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F (190C). Slash tops of loaves as desired; brush with maple glaze. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons sesame seeds over each unbaked loaf. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. Remove from pans. Cool on racks.

Makes 2 loaves.


I was psyched to read your comments about the healthfulness of Crown Maple syrup as a sweetner. Hav you tried it for making jam? I've got lots of black currants and would like to make jam, but do not want to use sugar...Any suggestions greatfully accpeted. Tx, louise

Welcome to Lydia's Kitchen Blog

Lydia Turner

In Lydia’s Kitchen, Turner family chef, mother and pure maple syrup fan Lydia Turner offers a wealth of ideas for using pure Crown Maple Syrup at home. Subscribe and enjoy as Lydia shares recipes, cooking tips and more from noted chefs, her family and the Crown Maple community.

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