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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).

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Hawaii Seo/Webdesigner June 29, 2009, 12:06 am

    nectar is good for the skin,”  I use it daily great post

    • Tania Reuben July 1, 2009, 9:03 pm

      How do you use it for your skin?
      Isn’t it sticky and messy?

  • kimatsprig January 7, 2010, 9:40 am

    Quick question for you: I grabbed Agave Nectar for the first time when making your Oatmeal Banana Muffins (btw – LOVE them, yummy & filling, a great breakfast). Store had light and dark nectars… what is the difference and is one better than other for baking, etc? I guess I am asking when should you use light and when dark or does it matter?

    Thanks for introducing me to this!

    • Tania Reuben January 8, 2010, 1:45 am

      Glad to hear you liked them.
      The color of Agave the lighter the color the milder the flavor.. more amber will have more of a caramel flavor.

  • kelly June 18, 2010, 11:40 pm

    Really really should forget about Agave Nectar..  It’s where high fructose corn syrup is made from!!  Being a moderator for an aspartame support group, I know this to be true.

    • Tania Reuben June 26, 2010, 1:43 pm

      There is a reason to moderate all our sweetener intake. My understanding is the manufacturing is much different.

  • Danielle August 15, 2010, 10:59 am

    It is a fructose product, but it is not as processed as HFCS.  The key is how it is processed by your body and it is low glycemic.  To compare it to HFCS is absurd.  

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