What is agave? I have been asked about agave nectar several times in the last few months. This post will answer the questions, what is agave, what do you use agave for, what does agave taste like, and most of all, is agave safe for diabetics?
I use agave and have for the last year and a half. But, like many people I was skeptical at first. Was it just another product on the market that ‘everyone’ was using but really didn’t know about it? I had been drinking it for the last few years in cocktails and in my iced tea, but could I bake with it?
What is Agave?
Agave is 25% sweeter than refined white sugar, so a little bit goes a long way. Agave is naturally a low glycemic food, which means it doesn’t cause the rapid spikes in blood sugar caused by refined white sugar and many other sweeteners. So, many see it as a healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners with sugar alcohols.
The brand I have been using the most is Agave in the Raw . This product is 100% organic, delicious and naturally occurring. It comes from the Blue Agave plant that is native to Mexico.
Now I am not saying I never use white sugar, because I do. There are certain dessert recipes, like melt in your mouth decadent chocolate cake, that just wouldn’t be the same without using real cane sugar in them. I also sweeten with honey, brown sugar, and occasionally Stevia. A favorite brand of mine is Stevia in the Raw. I generally cook/bake and determine what is right for that particular recipe. I have made a conscious choice over the years to decrease the amount of refined sugars we take in and truthfully, it has not been a hard adjustment. It is not like I noticed a difference in my morning coffee or in iced tea. Agave is a liquid, blending easily into hot or cold drinks.
Because of it’s ability to brown and make baked goods moist, agave is also a good alternative to sugar in baked recipes.
A Few Facts About Agave in the Raw:
It is vegan, 100 % organic,gluten-free, and Kosher. Agave in the Raw has a long shelf life, and it has a very low GI (Glycemic Index) of about 30. Anything less than 50 is considered low.
Like all things I believe in using agave in moderation. I am not saying you all need to go out and buy a bottle at your local grocery. Although, if you want to purchase agave nectar, it is readily available in most markets nationwide. All I am saying is that agave is a great healthy option available. There are just some things you need sugar for. I can’t imagine making caramel with anything else. BUT, there are some things my family loves that I use Agave in. Hot drinks, oatmeal, pancakes (to sweeten batter), smoothies, muffins and breads, etc.
The first and best resource you can use to answer your questions about Agave would be the company’s website: Agave in the Raw.
That is where I found this super awesome recipe for the most moist and flavorful banana bread I have made in a very long time. The healthier banana bread was gone in 1 day and we liked it so much, I made 2 more loaves; one for my husband to take to work and another for me to share at work. It didn’t last long!
You can get the recipe for the banana bread from the company’s website, or click here —> Healthier Banana Bread (made with agave)
Now that I have answered the question, “what is agave”, the only remaining question is “what is the first thing you’ll make with agave?”