Top Pick Of The Week

May 15, 2007

. .

Equinox Maple Flakes

Yogurt may be an obvious choice, but Maple Flakes also are delicious toppings on cappuccino, salad, fish, chicken, sweet potatoes, ice cream, cake icing...the list seems endless.

WHAT IT IS: 100% pure maple syrup, dehydrated into flakes.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: It’s solid, crunchy maple syrup with half the calories—7.5 calories per teaspoon compared to 17 calories for regular maple syrup.
WHY WE LOVE IT: More opportunity to enjoy delicious pure maple flavor. Plus, dry, crunchy maple flakes have all of the maple flavor without syrup’s cloying sweetness—or messiness.
WHERE TO BUY IT: and retailers nationwide.

Equinox Organic Maple Flakes:
Solid Syrup

Love the flavor of pure maple syrup but want a lower-calorie and less messy way to enjoy it? Equinox Organic Maple Flakes were a standout among thousands of products at a recent major food show—not just because we had never seen a maple flake before, but because they taste just like delicious maple syrup, only crunchy. They offer flavor and endless creative cooking options most of us would not think to try with our bottles of maple syrup. That’s because Equinox Maple Flakes make an attractive and neat (as in both non-messy and nifty) garnish for breakfast foods plus main courses, salads, sides, desserts and beverages.

At just 7.5 calories per teaspoon, the Maple Flakes are less than half the calories of regular sugar, brown sugar and maple syrup, and one-third the calories of honey. They are certified organic and kosher. You won’t tire of finding new uses for them. In fact, Equinox Maple Flakes may be the most fun food product you discover this year.

THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.


More About Maple

From Maple Tree To Syrup The Maple Syrup Book The Naturally Sweet Baker
From Maple Tree to Syrup,
by Melanie Mitchell. A full-color overview of “sugar season,” the winter season when not much else is harvested, but holes are bored into maple trees and delicious amber syrup is made from the clear sap. The next best thing to being there, you can appreciate the syrup more after this step-by-step journey. Click here for more information.
The Maple Syrup Book, by Janet Eagleson and Rosemary Hasner. A combination of good knowledge and good cooking. Learn every aspect of maple syrup, from how it is made and the many colors, grades and flavor variations (finally, an end to the confusion!). And of course, there are lots of tasty recipes. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Naturally Sweet Baker: 150 Decadent Desserts Made With Honey, Maple Syrup, and Other Delicious Alternatives to Refined Sugar, by Carrie Davis. Just for starters, Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Buns, Devil’s Food Cake with Italian Meringue Chocolate Buttercream, Black Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream and Banana Chocolate Crêpes. Click here for more information.

Equinox Maple Flakes: Solid Syrup



Equinox Organic Maple Flakes are a ground-breaking product: an exquisitely sophisticated, dehydrated form of maple syrup. Like magic (but with a lot of technology instead of a wand), organic maple syrup is turned into crunchy maple flakes that add the sweet taste of maple to food and beverages. And, the flakes have less than half the calories of maple syrup and regular sugar.

The magic is created by Decacer, a small Canadian company in Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly near Quebec City, using advanced  vacuum technology to dehydrate the maple syrup at low temperatures. What is left after the proprietary process are small, light, crispy flakes with rich maple flavor. It’s a completely natural sweetener, unrefined and preservative-free.

Imagine maple syrup with the cloying sweetness taken away, so that the essential mapleness remains, moderately sweet, a delicate version of its syrupy self—perhaps with a halo of brown sugar. (The best analogy we can give for intensity is, a cup of coffee or tea sweetened with one teaspoon of sugar instead of two.) The flakes are quite elegant: Think of them as a new, upscale sweetener and seasoning.

Creme Brulee
Crème Non-Brûlée: You don’t need to wield a torch to get some crunch.

Decacer was recently awarded first place for product innovation for Equinox Organic Maple Flakes at the SIAL International Food Exhibition in Montreal. SIAL is the world’s largest international food and beverage trade exhibition.

Back to Index

Maple Flakes Flavors & Serving Suggestions

Equinox Maple Flakes MillThe flakes are available in two flavors, Organic Maple Flakes and Cranberry Maple Flakes, which are seasoned with concentrated cranberry juice that provides a tangy flavor that makes the flake taste more like brown sugar and lemon than maple. Both flavors are boxed in resealable bags for freshness.

For home use or for gifts, the Organic Maple Flakes also are packaged in an attractive 7" mill. The mill serves a very different purpose, pulverizing the flakes so they can mix into vinaigrettes or sauces, or working like a pepper mill to grind tiny pieces of flakes directly onto food. Ground flakes add some bit of texture, but not the larger-scale crunch one gets from the whole flakes. We like the mill a lot, but if you’re only going to get one product to start with, make it the plain Organic Maple Flakes.

The flakes can be used as decorative condiments, or to add a touch of maple flavor and some crispy texture at any time of the day: to breakfast cereals and the pancake/waffle/French toast group, and at lunch or dinner to appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts. They also can be eaten as a snack, like granola—but at these technology-induced prices, it’s best to stick to the granola.

Mesclun Salad
You can add ground maple flakes to your vinaigrette or toss whole flakes onto the salad—or do both!


  • Use a lesser amount of maple syrup on pancakes and waffles and add more maple flavor with lower-calorie Maple Flakes.
  • Perk up hot and cold cereals
  • Top off yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Sprinkle in your tea, hot chocolate, or atop your latte or cappuccino


  • Accent chicken, turkey and duck
  • Replace sugar in marinades
  • Make a mustard-maple crust for fish and pork (also see salmon teriyaki recipe below)
  • Add to Asian spices to enhance the flavor of fish or meat in a spicy crust
  • “Dust” plates with a sprinkling to create an artistic, edible garnish


  • Add ground maple flakes to a vinaigrette or sprinkle over salad for extra crunch (they’re particularly delicious with field greens or mesclun mixes)
  • Add to roasted root vegetables glazed with balsamic vinegar
  • Garnish squash and sweet potatoes
  • Garnish vegetable soups and cream-based soups


  • Decorate cakes and cupcakes
  • Top ice cream or frozen yogurt, or alternate layers to make a parfait
  • Use to replace hard sugar crusts, for example, in creme brûlée
  • Garnish baked apples and other cooked fruit, fruit salads, dessert crêpes
Cake With Icing and Maple Flakes
Make a plain cake much more interesting—for both the
eyes and and the taste buds.


There’s no end to what can be done with Maple Flakes. Here are examples of an hors d’oeuvre, a first course or appetizer, and a main course.

Rillette canapés, garnished with a pickled onion or a
gherkin, get an extra dimension of flavor from Maple

Rillette Canapés


  • Rillettes* or pâté (duck or pork work best)
  • Baguette slices or crackers
  • Pickled onions or gherkins


  1. Spread the duck rillettes on a baguette.
  2. Garnish them with pickled onions or a halved gherkin for color and piquancy.
  3. Sprinkle with maple flakes. The delicate taste of the flakes blends marvelously with the rillettes.

*Rillettes are a preparation of meat that is a more rustic form of pâté: The meat is cubed or chopped, salted and cooked slowly in fat, shredded and then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste (pâté). They are generally spread on bread or toast and served cold. Originally made with pork, rillettes are also made with other meats, duck and game birds, rabbit and sometimes with fish such as anchovies, salmon and tuna. The name, which means “plank” in French, is thought to refer to its appearance when spread on sliced bread.

Tuna Tartare

A favorite dish for its glamour, light, fresh flavors and low calories, Tuna Tartare can be served at lunch or as the first course of an elegant dinner. All of the ingredients can be prepared in advance, but do not mix until right before serving so the flakes stay crunchy.


  • Fresh tuna
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Chives
  • Fleur de Sel or other sea salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • Cranberry Maple Flakes


  1. Cut the tuna into small cubes, then season with a drizzle of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, finely chopped chives, fleur de sel, a little freshly ground pepper, and maple flakes.
  2. Blend quickly and serve. The texture of fresh tuna cubes with a sprinkling of maple flakes is sensational!
Tuna Tartare
Tuna Tartare: a delicious and low-calorie first course.

Salmon Teriyaki

Whether you want to make a more elaborate dish like teriyaki or just plain grilled salmon, a sprinkling of Maple Flakes turns the dish into something new and special. For another low-calorie variation, spread Dijon mustard onto the salmon before grilling, then add Maple Flakes for a delicious maple-mustard crust. Makes 2 servings.

Salmon Teriyaki
Salmon Teriyaki with Maple Flake Garnish.


  • 3/4 pound salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Maple Flakes, separated
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (rice wine) or dry
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi


  1. Cut the salmon fillet crosswise into 1-inch strips.
  2. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of maple flakes in 2 tablespoons of water. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Arrange the salmon skin side down in a broiling pan and brush with sauce. Cook 2 minutes, brush again, and sprinkle the remaining maple flakes over the salmon. Cook the salmon about 10 minutes total or until the fish is just flaky.

Back to Index

What’s the difference between Light Amber and Medium Amber? Grade A and Grade B? Read about the different types of syrup in our article, Understanding Maple Syrup.

Nutritional Benefits

Maple syrup is a low glycemic index food. Since Maple Flakes are made only of pure maple syrup, they too are a low glycemic index food.† The glycemic index is a scale used to compare the effects of different foods on blood sugar when compared to 100% glucose (or sugar). The glycemic index of pure maple syrup is about 54, which means that maple syrup affects blood sugar about half as much as 100% glucose.

†This is deduced; lab testing has not been done and the company couches its claims in the area to state that, “Our sources say it’s likely that maple flakes are quite low on the glycemic index.”

Here are additional reasons to use Maple Flakes as part of a well balanced diet. They:

  • Provide texture and flavor along with sweetness, so you use less but get more taste.
  • Contain important minerals like manganese and iron.
  • Have half the calories of a teaspoon of sugar.
  • Allow you to buy natural, unsweetened products and add just enough sweetness.
  • Are all-natural and pesticide- and allergen- free.
Save on the high-calorie syrups: Enjoy latte and cappuccino with a sprinkling of Maple Flakes.

For dieters, using Maple Flakes to lightly sweeten foods is a great way to avoid the artificial sweeteners in many diet products. Because the flakes are so flavorful, a little goes a long way, so you can use less and still satisfy your sweet tooth.

For anyone, even if you substitute Maple Flakes for some of the sugar in your diet, you come out ahead. Not such a flaky idea!

—Karen Hochman

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to anyone who uses sugar or who wants a lower-calorie, lower-glycemic substitute.


Organic Maple Flakes and Organic Cranberry Maple Flakes (flavored with cranberry juice concentrate)

Certified organic by USDA and Ecocert Canada
Certified kosher (parve) by Montreal Vaad Hair

  • 4-Ounce Box
  • Mill (Grinder)

Purchase online at

Available at specialty food stores, health food stores and supermarkets nationwide.

Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.

Back to Index

Maple Flakes - Packages
Two flavors: regular Organic Maple Flakes (right) or
Cranberry Maple Flakes with tangy cranberry juice
concentrate (left).

Read more about our favorite
sweeteners and related products in
THE NIBBLE online magazine.

Check Out These Other Top Pick Of The Week” Sweeteners:


FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, special offers, contests, opinion surveys, the Top Pick prior issues archive, product gift-finder and more, visit the home page of

Do you have friends who would enjoy THE NIBBLE?
Click here to send them an invitation to sign up for their own copy.



ABOUT THE NIBBLE. THE NIBBLE, Great Food Finds™, is an online magazine plus newsletters about specialty foods and the gourmet life. It is the only consumer publication and website that focuses on reviewing the best specialty foods and beverages, in every category. The magazine also covers tabletop items, gourmet housewares, and other areas of interest to people who love fine food.

© Copyright 2004-2024 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All information contained herein is subject to change at any time without notice. All details must be directly confirmed with manufacturers, service establishments and other third parties. The material in this e-zine may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Lifestyle Direct, Inc.