They both sweeten but they do it in different ways. While maple syrup has a recognizable flavor, stevia is a bit more versatile, letting you use it as needed. But when it comes to maple syrup vs. stevia, which is the better low-calorie sweetener? Let’s find out! Plus, let’s explore recipes that make the best out of each of these two sweetener options.
Which Is the Better Low-Calorie Sweetener: Maple Syrup or Stevia?
|Sugar maple trees
|Stevia rebaudiana plant
|52 calories per tablespoon
|0 calories per packet
|Popular for breakfast and brunch meals but incorporated into a range of dishes, including desserts
|Used in drinks and smoothies along with a range of other dishes, including baked goods
|Fine and powdery or concentrated liquid
|Glycemic Index of 54
|Glycemic Index of 0
|Rich and complex with notes of caramel and vanilla
|200 to 400 times sweeter than white sugar
Maple Syrup vs. Stevia: Source
Derived from the sap of sugar maple trees, maple syrup is a natural sweetener. The sap in its natural form has only a subtle sweetness to it so to create the rich and complex flavor of pure maple syrup, it has to be collected and boiled. To the surprise of many, Stevia comes from a plant. It’s called the rebaudiana, or Bertoni, plant and it’s native to South America. It’s long been used for its medicinal properties, and it’s even been sold as a dietary supplement. This herbal shrub has been used in various ways, and to make stevia, the active compounds are extracted from the leaves.
Maple Syrup vs. Stevia: Nutritional Value
One tablespoon of maple syrup contains 52 calories, 13.4 grams of carbohydrates, 0.1 grams of fat, 0.7 milligrams of iron, and 0.8 milligrams of zinc. Pure maple syrup, therefore, doesn’t just have a rich flavor, it also contains other nutrients that stevia does not. One packet of stevia contains 0 calories, 0 carbohydrates, 0 fat, and 0 nutrients.
Maple Syrup vs. Stevia: Uses
It’s common to see maple syrup used with breakfast items like pancakes and waffles. It adds a robust sweetness to many breakfast and brunch items, but it’s also used as a sweetener for desserts and main dishes. You’ll see in the recipe below that you can even incorporate maple syrup into your salad! It’s versatile but it has a distinctive flavor, so you have to be mindful about how you use it. With stevia, you’re dealing with a concentrated sweetener that makes it perfect for use in beverages like coffee and smoothies. A little sprinkle goes a long way in a range of dishes as well. You can even create some classic baked goods like chocolate chip cookies with a bit of stevia, helping you enjoy a sweet treat without tons of sugar.
Maple Syrup vs. Stevia: Texture
The viscosity of maple syrup is notable. It’s a thick liquid that ranges in color from a lighter amber to more of a deep brown. Stevia comes in two primary forms. Either you can purchase packets that contain the fine powder of this sugar substitute, or you can purchase a concentrated stevia liquid. Both of these work well no matter your purposes but you have to know how to use them because you can easily over-sweeten your food and drinks if you add too much.
Maple Syrup vs. Stevia: Glycemic Index
Compared to your typical table sugar, maple syrup has a lower glycemic index of 54. However, you can’t compare maple syrup with stevia when it comes to their glycemic index because stevia has a glycemic index of 0! This sugar substitute is fantastic for those who are managing their blood sugar levels because you’re not spiking your blood sugar — and you’re still able to enjoy something that satisfies your sweet tooth.
Maple Syrup vs. Stevia: Flavor
Stevia is 200 to 400 times sweeter than white sugar, which is why you need so much less of it to achieve the same level of sweetness you enjoy. Maple syrup doesn’t have a neutral, all-purpose sweetening type of flavor like stevia. It’s a lot richer and more complex, with undertones of both vanilla and caramel.
Maple Syrup vs. Stevia: Can You Substitute One for the Other?
You may be able to substitute maple syrup and stevia in some ways, but they do sweeten differently. They have different textures as well, so you’re going to find that you naturally want to use them in dissimilar ways. When you’re considering which is the best low-calorie sweetener, it’s stevia because it doesn’t have any calories at all! If you’re calorie and carb-conscious or managing your blood sugar, stevia gives you the sweetness you crave without feeling indulgent. Maple syrup has 52 calories per tablespoon so while you can enjoy it on occasion if you’re on a low-calorie diet, it shouldn’t be your go-to.
Maple Syrup Recipe
Although maple syrup is often used in ultra-rich desserts, you can also enjoy its sweetness in lighter fares, like salads. Try this incredible spinach salad, dressed with the best warm maple dressing to understand how much you can still enjoy maple syrup in a healthier dish. Here are the ingredients you need:
- Spinach, roughly chopped (8 cups)
- Apple, honey crisp (1/2 cup)
- Blueberries, fresh (1/4 cup)
- Feta cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup)
- Almonds, sliced (1/4 cup)
- Avocado oil (1/3 cup)
- Maple syrup, pure (1 ½ tablespoons)
- Balsamic vinegar (3 tablespoons)
- Dijon mustard (3/4 teaspoons)
- Paprika, smoked (1/4 teaspoon)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Salt, kosher (to taste)
Start by preparing the warm maple dressing using avocado oil, pure maple syrup, honey, Dijon mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper. Blend all the ingredients and set them aside in a jar with a lid. Next, toast your almonds and set them aside.
In a large salad bowl, toss the spinach, blueberries, apple, crumbled feta, and toasted almonds. Before adding your maple syrup dressing, simmer it in a small skillet or saucepan. Once warmed sprinkle it over your salad and toss again to coat it. Serve and enjoy!
You can use stevia in various ways, and one way to enjoy baked goods without them being laden with sugar is to replace your typical white sugar with stevia. It’s sweeter, which means you use less, and it cuts down on both the calories and carbohydrates of some tasty sweets. Keep it classic with chocolate chip cookies, only with stevia in the raw, instead! Here are the ingredients you need:
- All-purpose flour (1 ¼ cups)
- Stevia in the raw® (3/4 cup)
- Egg, whole (1)
- Butter, melted (1/2 cup)
- Chocolate chips (1 cup)
- Macadamia nuts (1/2 cup)
- Baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)
- Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
- Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
Get your oven ready to bake by preheating it to 375 degrees. Then, use a large bowl to beat the following ingredients: egg, melted butter, stevia, and vanilla extract. Then, move on to your dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix them together using a separate bowl. Once combined, add them to the wet ingredients. Combine to form a dough.
Then, add the macadamia nuts and chocolate chips. Form small dough balls and place them onto your baking sheet. It only takes 10 minutes for them to bake — look for browned edges. Let them cool a little before savoring your almost entirely sugar-free treat!
Looking for a recipe that uses maple syrup? Try this tasty one. Enjoy!Print
For the Maple Glazed Salmon:
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
For the Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts:
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper.
- Toss the diced sweet potatoes and halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder.
- Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are tender and slightly crispy, tossing halfway through.
- Place the salmon fillets on a separate baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Brush the maple glaze over each salmon fillet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
- Serve the maple-glazed salmon over the roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.