Is Maple Syrup Vegan?

The Vegan-Friendly Alternative

With veganism quadrupling in the UK over the last few years, it’s clear that the diet that cuts out animal-based products is here to stay. Over 600,000 people are currently vegan in the UK, with the country having the highest consumption of vegan alternative products in Europe.

The rise in popularity of non-meat diets doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon, with a quarter of the UK population estimated to be either vegan or vegetarian by the year 2025; it’s also already estimated that a quarter of all evening meals consumed in the UK are vegan or vegetarian.

Even those who aren’t taking the plunge by cutting meat products out of their diet altogether are consuming more vegan and vegetarian meals, with an estimated 1 in 3 Brits looking to cut down their meat consumption.

Those who are new to plant-based diets might be confused about what does or does not constitute as a vegan ingredient, especially with milk or cheese powder featuring in a lot of everyday food items. This confusion is likely especially prevalent in the estimated 400,000 worldwide participants of Veganuary – the yearly movement that sees people attempt a fully vegan diet for the entire month of January.

Finding plant-based alternatives to popular ingredients can be difficult, especially when looking to recreate vegan-friendly versions of your favourite recipes and bakes.

Luckily there is one all-natural sugar that’s packed with vitamins and minerals that is vegan. An ideal replacement to honey, as well as some sugars and artificial sweeteners that aren’t always vegan, pure Canadian maple syrup is 100% vegan and has a range of additional health benefits!

Whether you’re looking to make vegan-friendly pancakes, a vegan chocolate cake recipe or vegan dinner ideas with added sweetness, pure maple syrup is a pantry essential for anybody looking to move to a plant-based diet; whether that’s for one meal, a month or more long-term.

Vegan Recipes

View our latest vegan recipes

Benefits of Maple Syrup

There are many health and nutritional benefits to maple syrup. Being completely free of additives and preservatives, as well as being a natural source of energy, pure Canadian maple syrup holds many benefits for athletes, or those following a healthy lifestyle.

Maple syrup is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Manganese, which looks after bones and connective tissue
  • Riboflavin, combating tiredness and fatigue
  • Copper, again promoting healthy tissue – as well as boosting nervous and immune systems

In fact, the nutritional benefits of pure Canadian maple syrup are so great that we put together a free nutritional booklet which includes balanced diets*, workouts and tips for mindfulness.

*Please note, not all recipes in our nutrition booklet are vegan.

Vegan Maple Syrup

Pure Canadian maple syrup is vegan thanks to its origin and how maple syrup is made. Harvested from two specific varieties of maple tree, maple products – including syrup, sugar, flakes, butter and water – are produced thanks to the frigid winters and mild springtime of Québec (the area in Canada that produces 70% of the world’s maple syrup).

Throughout the summer months Québec maple trees produce sugar through photosynthesis, which in turn promotes the tree’s growth and causes it to store starch in its roots; then, in the spring months, an alternating night-time frost and later thaw causes sap to flow through maple trees.

During the evening freeze sap expands, meanwhile water is absorbed by the tree’s roots and rises up through the tree, soaking up the summer sugar reserves along the way. On the other hand, during the daytime, trees – and the sap inside the branches – thaw, causing the sap to be pushed out toward the tree trunk.

Once this process is complete the sap is harvested via tubing systems – plastic lines connected to spiles at multiple trees – before being boiled down to reach a specific sugar content; on average it takes 40 litres of maple sap to create 1 litre of maple syrup!

This process ensures pure Canadian maple syrup is a vegan-friendly ingredient, while its versatility lends itself to both sweet and savoury dishes. Complementing everything from soups and vegan dahls to cakes and speciality desserts, maple syrup enhances flavours and is an excellent alternative to non-vegan or processed sweeteners.

Is All Maple Syrup Vegan?

Pure Canadian maple syrup actually comes in four distinct grades, all with different flavour profiles, depending on when in the season sap is harvested from the maple tree.

All four grades of pure maple syrup are vegan-friendly, however you still need to be careful in the supermarket, as some shops in the UK sell mixed or blended maple syrups. These lower quality syrups can be mixed with sugar or fruit syrups or – in some cases – honey.

It’s important when shopping for maple syrup that you check the ingredients as not all blended maple syrups will be vegan; look for pure maple syrup to ensure your syrup is vegan.

Best Vegan Recipes

So now we’ve covered that pure Canadian maple syrup is vegan-friendly, what are some of the best vegan recipes that you can make that add the balanced flavour profile of maple syrup?

From breakfasts and dinners to desserts, there’s excellent vegan meals you can make using maple syrup.

For those new to a plant-based diet who are looking for their chocolate fix, this vegan chocolate cake recipe is deliciously gooey, while the dairy free chocolate topping makes it the perfect showstopper.

A popular dish with those looking to cut their meat consumption, this easy to prepare vegan dahl soup recipe is warming, spicy and packed with fragrant flavour.

Thanks to a versatile ability to be grilled, roasted, added to a sauce or cut into steaks aubergines are a popular meat alternative amongst vegans. Our one-pot vegan aubergine hot pot recipe is bursting with flavour.

Rounding off these varied vegan recipes is this ever-popular vegan pancake recipe from our chef ambassador, David Colcombe, which are too good to have just once a year.

A natural source of energy

Maple syrup is a natural source of energy. Check out our recipes for food and drinks before, during, and after exercise.