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Friday, January 16, 2009

What is Agave Nectar and why do I care?

For the past year, I have heard some rumblings here and there about Agave Nectar, especially surrounding gluten-free and ‘health’ food worlds. Well, a few weeks ago, I spotted a bottle of the stuff and carried it home, admiring it as if it were an Emmy statue. I now know that it is just as valuable: It is shiny and sweet and has opened a whole new world of opportunity for me. Yes, it is on my mantle. Not really. Well, not yet. Anyway, before I share my first recipe utilizing this creature, I must introduce you properly to Agave Nectar.
Agave nectar is a natural sweet liquid from the core of the Agave plant, that is right people, the same plant used to make Tequila. Now I have your attention don’t I? The nectar has been used for many years in other cultures, in fact, the Aztecs considered it a gift from the gods. In Mexico, where it is mostly produced, it is called ‘honey water’. Now that is has burst onto the scene and everyone is talking about it, it is becoming the preferred sweetener of health-minded people. Even those involved with the raw food movement regard the nectar as a raw food because of the low temperatures utilized in processing agave. Many health professionals are fans because is has a lower glycemic index than sugar, which means that it won’t spike your blood sugar like granulated sugar does and it is not a manufactured sugar.

More facts about this cutie:
*The syrup is often used as a substitute for sugar or honey by Vegans and now that the public is learning more, I suspect more will be doing the same.
*Dissolves easily in cold beverages as well as hot
*Used as a pancake topping instead of syrup
*Light, amber, dark varieties.
*Does not taste like or crystallize like honey
*No after taste like the fake c**p


Oh, and try it in your coffee and skip the substitute.


queenoftheclick said...

I've heard of this, but never seen it and didn't know that you could put it in coffee. Thanks for the great tip!

admin said...

You can also buy it flavored. Madhava has hazelnut, vanilla, and irish creme. The vanilla is amazing! Great in coffee, tea, my morning cereal, sauteed with pears. I know Amazon has it, but possibly on in groups of 6. Google it. I'm sure you'll find it.

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