Maple Syrup Is Much Healthier Than You Thought (With 5 Amazing Maple Recipes)

We thought we knew everything. We thought that maple syrup and pancakes went hand-in-hand and that (even though pancakes are enjoyed around the world) maple syrup was a healthy eating death sentence. Pure, viscous sugar that thrives on rotting your teeth and lining your innards with layers of yellow fat. Oh, how we couldn't have been more wrong.

Click here to see Things You Didn't Know About Maple Syrup.

Maple syrup is healthy, and we're hoping to justify your maple syrup addiction over the course of the next few sentences. Like honey, maple syrup is a natural source of gooey sweetness, and it's a viable, affordable sweetening option in the face of recent sugar taxes.

It's full of antioxidants, ranks low on the glycemic index, and is rich in zinc, manganese, calcium, and potassium. Additionally, a recent study by the American Chemical Society showed that there are key ingredients in maple syrup that may help to protect our brains against Alzheimer's disease (or prolong the lifespan of those who already suffer from the disease). Is your mind blown yet?

Of course we're talking about pure, real maple syrup here. Steer clear of that crap that has corn syrup, artificial flavors, and other synthesized, unnatural ingredients. The real stuff is so unbelievably good that it can even hydrate you. Companies like DRINKmaple swear by it:

"DRINKmaple is the pure, refreshing water collected from Vermont maple trees in the spring. It is naturally hydrating, with just a hint of maple, and exploding with nutrients."

Along with DRINKmaple, Omni Hotels & Resorts, ranked "Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Upper Upscale Hotel Chains" by J.D. Power's 2015 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, is at the forefront of the inevitable real maple trend.

Omni Hotels & Resorts is going to be all about maple this summer. It is creating an entire menu dedicated to dishes and cocktails featuring real maple syrup, which will be available at properties nation-wide. We have four great recipes from Executive Chefs Daven Wardynski and Andre Natera of Omni Hotels & Resorts as well as a cocktail recipe from Omni's Brand Mixologist, Kim Haasarud. Let's start there.

More and more we hear how bad high-fructose corn syrup and sugar are. Natural sweeteners like maple are fantastic alternatives as they provide the same sweetness when mixed with other ingredients. Take cocktails for example, simple syrup is used in almost all of them. Why not replace the simple syrup with maple, making it more natural and healthier in the process? That's exactly what Kim Haasarud has done with this deliciously sweet twist on the greyhound, the Double Grapefruit Greyhound Cocktail.

Click here for the Double Grapefruit Greyhound cocktail recipe.

Looking for a sweet and spicy treat to bring to your neighbor's backyard BBQ? Try making up a big batch of delicious, nutritious Pineapple Maple Salsa.

Click here for the Pineapple Maple Salsa recipe.

Not a pineapple person? How about bacon? Everyone loves bacon (we're pretty sure that vegans, although they won't ever admit it, are even tempted by bacon), and this Maple-Bacon Jam recipe is a delicious way to enjoy it.

Click here for the Maple-Bacon Jam recipe.

Roughly 50 percent of your son's football team is sleeping in your basement this weekend. How will you feed them? Simple: Make up a giant batch of Savory Granola, put it in a trough, and let the boys at it.

Click here for the Savory Granola recipe.

If you're looking to incorporate maple syrup into an entrée, fish is the way to go. A healthy, wild-caught slab of Alaskan salmon can undergo a culinary world tour when mixed with the Indian spice staple cardamom and a bit of authentic, pure, dark maple syrup from Canada. Here's how to do it:

Click here for the Cardamom Maple Salmon recipe.

The accompanying slideshow is provided by The Daily Meal special contributor Emily Alford.

Did you know these facts about maple syrup?