There’s another sticky-sweet option for your pancakes, and this one even has a little fiber. But are the reported health benefits and flavor of maguey (mah-gay) sweet sap enough to convert maple syrup lovers? Here are the facts and what we thought in Food Network Kitchen.
Heralded by ancient Aztecs as a soil protector and regenerator, the maguey plant is part of the agave family and has recently undergone a revival, thanks to the family-owned farm Villa de Patos in Northern Mexico.
The golden-amber sap is thicker than pure maple syrup, and, according to its producers, it’s processed at temperatures low enough to retain a unique profile of naturally occurring phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
It also boasts 1 gram of prebiotic fiber for every 1-tablespoon serving. Prebiotics serve as the food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut. Paired with probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, they can be part of a dynamic duo. (Here are some of our favorite prebiotic-and-probiotic combos.)
Our tasters loved the how thick the maguey sweet sap was and thought it tasted a little like molasses and sweet corn. It was delicious on pancakes, but so is maple syrup. And since any added sugar should be enjoyed in moderation, it’s really a matter of preference.
Here’s how sap and syrup measured up:
1 tablespoon of maguey sweet sap: Calories 56; Fat 0 g; Sodium 1 mg; Carbohydrate 15 g; Fiber 1 g, Sugars 13 g, Protein 0 g
1 tablespoon of maple syrup: Calories 52; Fat 0 g; Sodium 2 mg; Carbohydrate 13 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugars 12 g; Protein 0 g
Leah Brickley is a Nutritionist-Recipe Developer for Food Network Kitchen.