Agave nectar is commonly known to be a key ingredient in tequila, but it is becoming the preferred choice of sweetener for health conscience individuals today! With vegan and raw food diets becoming more and more common, agave nectar has become all the rage!
Agave nectar comes from the Blue Agave plant grown in Southern Mexico. The nectar, or syrup, is extracted from the center of the plant called the pina, which is similar to a pineapple. The taste of agave is similar to that of honey, but it is a little sweeter and not quite as thick.
There are many varieties of agave nectar — light, amber, dark and raw. The lighter the coloring, the more mild the flavor will be due to filtration and heating processes. Amber and dark agave nectar are commonly used as toppings in place of maple syrup on dishes such as waffles or pancakes. Raw agave nectar, often used as a sweetener by raw foodists, is produced at lower temperatures to protect its natural enzymes.
Agave nectar differs from other sugars because it has a low glycemic index. This means that it will provide a sweet taste without causing a spike in your blood sugar. Because your blood sugar tends to spike after consuming other sugars, agave nectar may offer a sugar alternative for those with health disorders like diabetes. However, it is important to note that agave is high in fructose. Understand the way fructose is metabolized in the body before jumping on the agave wagon. When using agave nectar in place of other sugar sources, be sure to also take into consideration substitution measurements, as all sugars are not created equally and will require different amounts to get the same result.
Try some agave nectar next time you are looking for a little sweetness in your meal and let Eat Chic know what you think!