Artificial sweeteners abound in the market today, the likes of xylitol and aspartame and stevia. But there is another alternative callled: Agave syrup or agave nectar.
What is Agave?
Agave is a succulent plant that is native to the southern part of US and also abundant in the tropical America.
The syrup or nectar is a natural alternative to sugar as a sweetener, but because it is very sweet, one should not use too much.
Agave is very popular with vegans, as reported. This syrup is also used in some drinks such as mojitos or even ice cream flavoured with agave.
Credit to maker of this video www.MadhavasAgave.com
Is agave nectar good for you?
There is a lot of debate going on regarding agave, whether its healthier than honey or as bad as the high fructose corn syrup. In this stance, I would say, these controversies need more clinical studies or research. But in the meantime, as with everything else, moderation is key – too much of everything is bad.
From what I have read, agave syrup is popular with diabetics for the reason that it is supposed to be low in the glycemic index. In this connection, this probably would not cause a drastic rise in blood sugar, according to some studies and information from online blogs and websites.
(again, readers are entitled to their own careful research and decisions; my blog is my own opinion, according to my own research and interpretation)
Why use agave nectar?
If buying agave syrup, one must make sure it is organic, and raw or very close to raw, as much as possible – with less heating and processing.
Agave, in its most natural form, is rich in nutrients. It has saponins, according to an article on the site called Sheknows.com. Saponins are a known antioxidant with the following health benefits: cholesterol lowering effect and also could play a role in cancer reduction (source www.livestrong.com).
How to use agave syrup?
You can use agave in your oatmeal bowl.
You can also use this in baking but just make sure the amount is a lot less than when using regular sugar. You also need to lessen the oven temperature as this sweetener can react easily to high heat – this resulted in my cake looking a bit brown than the ordinary.
Agave syrup can also be used in marinades for your barbecue or grilling recipes, but so far have not tried it – might do pretty soon.
Here is a Dessert Recipe that uses agave syrup from a site called Theawesomegreen.com by Ana:
Link to the site for the instructions on how to bake it http://www.theawesomegreen.com/raw-chocolate-almond-butter-fudge-bars/
Where to buy agave syrup?
The best site to buy this is directly from Amazon.
The product is called Organic Agave Syrup – Dark and Raw – this brand is certified organic by the Organic Food Federation – you can never go wrong. If you check their main store site, you can find tons of organic and healthy products being sold – a true blue, dedicated store for everything healthy and mostly organic.
This brand of agave boasts of its qualities: certified raw food, suitable for vegans and vegetarians, gluten free and sourced from Mexico.
Indigo Herbs has a guarantee on their Amazon store that their agave is a raw food due to its less heat and filtering production method. To add, it says that the growing and processing of the syrup is certified organic and totally raw and all steps are strictly monitored and tests are carried out so that the final product is quite possibly some of the best Agave Syrup on the market that they can offer to the consumers.
“Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”