Is maple syrup vegan? The answer isn't as simple as it seems. Maple syrup is frequently recommended as a vegan substitute for honey, or as an alternative to refined sugar.
But, are all maple syrups vegan friendly? In this article we'll cover which popular store bought brands are suitable for a plant-based diet, which to avoid and why.
What Is Maple Syrup?
In order to understand if a product is vegan, we need to understand where it comes from, and which additives might be added that might make it non-vegan.
In it's original form, maple syrup is simply the sugary sap that comes from the maple tree. It's produced by drilling a hole in a maple tree, releasing the sap and boiling it to remove excess water. The result is a concentrated syrup that's a perfect condiment for pancakes without milk and eggs and waffles.
How To Tell If Maple Syrup Is Vegan
While maple syrup is vegan friendly in it's pure form, some store bought brands contain non vegan ingredients.
Ingredients you might find in popular store bought brands of maple syrup that are not vegan friendly include:
- Honey: Surprisingly, honey is a sweetener frequently found in store bought brands. And, because honey is not vegan-friendly, these maple syrups aren't suitable for vegans. Check the label to make sure that honey is not included in the list of ingredients. Or, to be on the safe side, only buy organic 100% pure maple syrup. And avoid any products that contain erythritrol, an artificial sweetener. For more information on the safety of erythritol, see this article : Is Erythritol Safe?
- Butter, Cream Or Milk Products: Some store bought brands contain butter flavoring that comes from dairy products.
- Lard: Maple syrup produces a lot of foam during the boiling down process, and what stops this process is fat. Some producers use lard in their defoaming process. However, most use vegetable oils and the practice of using lard is extremely rare.
How To Choose A Vegan Maple Syrup
Check for the following things on the label to ensure that maple syrup you're buying is vegan:
✅Maple syrup is the only ingredient listed in the ingredients portion of the label, or the label reads - 100% pure maple syrup.
✅It's vegan. It's not essential that maple syrup be labeled vegan, in order for it to be vegan friendly. However, when you see that it's certified vegan, you know you're buying true vegan maple syrup.
100% Vegan Maple Syrup Brands
While it might cost a bit more to buy pure maple syrup, you'll be rewarded with a deep maple flavor that you just can't get from cheaper pancake syrups that are full of additives. Plus, you can be assured that these brands are all vegan friendly.
- Wildfour organic maple syrup
- 365 Whole Foods Market organic maple syrup
- Maple Grove Farms pure maple syrup
- Lakanto Sugar Free Maple Syrup - Suitable for keto diets
- Crown Maple organic amber color rich taste maple syrup
- Coombs Family Farms organic maple syrup
- Butternut Mountain Farms organic maple syrup
- Buckwud 100% pure Canadian maple syrup
- Kirkland Signature 100% pure maple syrup
Frequently Asked Questions
Technically, the ingredients listed in Aunt Jemima maple syrup are all vegan. However, it does have a variety of unknown artificial colors. In addition, some ethical vegans are turned off by the racist history of the brand.
Yes, golden syrup contains no honey or animal derived ingredients.
Yes, it is! But, be careful of cross contamination if the brand you're considering buying is produced on a line that makes products with gluten.
Once opened, maple syrup should be stored with the lid on in the refrigerator to prevent mold growth. The good news is, that due to the sugar content, maple syrup never goes bad!