Agave Nectar: A Sugar Alternative
By Tania Reuben
If you haven’t tried Agave Nectar yet, give it a try. Don’t take my word for it, Dr Oz has named Agave Nectar as the best sugar substitute on Oprah
Agave Nectar comes from the agave cactus plant. It looks a lot like honey – but has a more neutral flavor than honey – making it ideal for teas, coffees, yogurt and other times you need just a little sweet.
While Agave is not a low calorie sweetener – it will be lower in calories than sugar or honey because it’s sweeter, so you will use less to get the same sweetness. I’ve seen it reported as a substitute at a ratio of 1/4 to 3/4 of a cup of Agave to a cup of sugar. So it really depends on your own preference and the brand of Agave.
Agave has a low glycemic index – around 27 (depends on brand), honey is 83 and white bread is 112. This means that the sugars aren’t absorbed as quickly in the bloodstream.
Even though Agave it’s not a low calorie sweetener our bodies process it as though it is – because it doesn’t cause blood sugar to spike like sugar and white flours.
You can substitute agave for sugar in recipes at the ratios mentioned above – you also need to reduce liquids by about 25% and decrease baking temperatures by 25 degrees.
I made some yummie cookies – I used 2/3 cup of Agave instead of 1 cup of sugar with good results – I don’t do it routinely because it can put a dent in your budget using it a cup at a time.
To learn a little more about Agave Nectar I like the information here (their prices seem higher than other vendors though).