Holy Sweet Tequila!

I bet that got your attention!  I’m actually not writing about tequila, but a great product that comes from the tequila plant!  It’s called Agave Syrup, have you heard of it?

agavenecter
Source

I actually had never heard of Agave Syrup until I started following Heidi Swanson’s recipes.  Heidi occasionally uses Agave Syrup as a sugar alternative on her blog, 101 Cookbooks, and in her book, Super Natural Cooking.

I have to admit, I don’t think I would have ever tried Agave Syrup without Heidi’s recommendation.  But, also my high usage of Splenda — about 3 packs a day — made me decide that I need to alternate it with a more natural sweetner than sugar (I try to avoid sugar as much as possible, not easy when you love sweets).  I really love using honey, but have always been curious about Agave.

Here’s a little overview of the health benefits of the plant:

Especially in the last century, the western diet has become increasingly dominated by refined sweeteners such as granulated sugar and corn syrup. The problem with these substances is their high glycemic index and glycemic load – both measures of the relative impact that foods have on our blood sugar. Foods that raise blood sugar quickly trigger the release of the hormone insulin. Excessive releases of insulin and, more specifically, chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels are linked to Metabolic Syndrome (also called Syndrome X), which is a complex of health disorders. Associated ailments include insulin resistance and type II diabetes, abdominal weight gain and obesity, problems with blood lipids (raised triglycerides and cholesterol) and high blood pressure.

One of the most health-promoting properties of agave nectar is its favorable glycemic profile. Its sweetness comes primarily from a complex form of fructose called inulin. Fructose is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant “sugar rush” and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars. Agave nectar is a delicious natural sweetener that can be used moderately – by dieters, some diabetics, and health conscious cooks – to replace high-glycemic and refined sugars.

So, when Capt. and I were shopping at Wegman’s the other night and stumbled upon Agave I decided to try it out.  I stirred it into a cup of tea and ta-da! It’s sweet!  It’s somewhat flavorless, not like honey, which has a distinct flavor.  The Agave I purchased (pictured above) comes in liquid form, similiar to honey but much more runny. 

For those who bake, the Agave Website recommends has measurements for substituting it with regular sweetners.  I actually want to bake or at least make something sweet so I can test it out! 

If you have, let me know what you think!

Oh, and I came home and showed off my Agave Syrup to my dad, who quickly snacked it from my hand and took a swig of it.  It was very gentleman-like.

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2 Responses to “Holy Sweet Tequila!”

  1. Hannah Says:

    Great blog and hope to have time soon to come back and read some more! xx

  2. Jenn Ford Says:

    I’m not sure that I could bring myself to bake with this…something about cheating on sugar makes me feel just plain wrong! But if you try it, let me know how it turns out!

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