Maple sugar is evaporated maple syrup. Maple syrup is awesomely Paleo, because it is a natural sugar that has been extracted from maple trees for thousands of years. There are a few different forms of maple syrup that I want to make sure you’re aware of. Grade A is separated into three different categories: light amber, medium amber, and dark amber. Grade B is the darkest, because it is harvested at the end of the season (so it has the most nutrition!). Grade A has gotten a better reputation, but it’s actually a bit of a misunderstanding! If you’re able to make note of the type of maple syrup used for your maple sugar, that could make a difference in the amount of nutrition it has.
Not only does maple syrup taste fantastic, but it’s an awesome source of micronutrients! When you buy grade B maple syrup, you get a lot of minerals, including manganese and zinc. Other trace minerals include calcium, potassium, and iron. Another amazing thing about maple syrup, especially grade B, is that it contains up to 24 antioxidants!!
Maple sugar definitely adds a maple flavor to baked goods (that I happen to love), but I find it more neutral than the flavor of honey. I have written a lot about the art of Paleo-fying recipes and which sweeteners are your best option(s) depending on your goals (check out the blog posts: Is Sugar Paleo? and The Science and Art of Paleofying – Part 4, Sugars). I have used maple sugar in many of my sweet AND savory dishes!