Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Our Menu: 2 whole wheat waffles, toppings (1 Tbs real maple syrup and 1 tsp almond butter), 2 slices of organic apple wood smoked bacon, 1/2 banana, 2 mugs of coffee. Approximate Cost per person: $2.92
Nutrition: 555 cal., 28.3g fat, 7.1g saturated fat, 16.7g protein, 5.4g fiber, 1200mg sodium
Denny's 2 wheat pancakes, 2 slices bacon, 3 Tbs maple flavored syrup, 2 mugs coffee: 563 cal., 6.1g fat, 15g protein, 8g fiber, 1261mg sodium
Perkins Belgian waffle + syrup/powdered sugar/whipped butter, 4 slices apple wood smoked bacon, 2 mugs coffee: 850 cal., 45g fat, 18g saturated fat, 21g protein, 1585mg sodium, 2 fiber
Denny's and Perkins were the only sites that posted menu nutrition information. Perkins had the most user friendly site. If we approximate that both of these meals cost between $5-7, it's easy to see that you definitely save money by eating at home. You can also save on calories, fat, and sodium; depending upon what exactly you choose to make.
While there is no calorie difference between real maple syrup (1/4 cup=220cal) and the fake stuff that comes with names like 'Aunt Jemima' and 'Log Cabin'. (1/4 cup=220cal) there is a huge difference in taste. Real maple syrup has that true maple taste that isn't masked by the fake sweetness of corn syrup. It's also much thinner. This business of of being 'thick, rich, and buttery' is just ridiculous. Real syrup is not thick! And because it's flavor is more concentrated I'm convinced you need less of it. Another way to decrease the amount needed is to use a small bowl of syrup and dip your bites of pancake or waffle into it. This way it doesn't get soaked up after pouring it on your freshly make flap-jacks.
Not only does the real stuff taste better, you also get a few antioxidants as well as some calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. You won't find any of those in faux syrup. Maple syrup also has a lower glycemic index compared to the corn syrup found in most products. (54 vs 75), High Fructose Corn Syrup, now called corn sugar has an even higher GI of 87. This is why many people with Diabetes use real maple syrup as a sweetener in their tea and on oatmeal. Even so, maple syrup is something to limit your portions on especially if trying to lose or maintain weight. It's easy to go overboard with it.
While a bottle of maple syrup and some organic bacon might be a little pricey up front, they will probably save you a few pennies in the long run when you stay at home instead of taking the family out. Plus, portion control is so much easier when the temptation of never ending pancakes is not there.