Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I really like this. It is debated whether this is a good alternative to sweetners. Some say yes and some say no. I say it has to be better than Pure Sugar and certainly better that artifical sweetners. So I say go for it. I use it all the time and I think it's a good thing. When cooking with this alternative lower the oven temperature 25 degrees and use about 25% less than the recipe calls for, 3/4c. instead of 1c.

The agave (uh-gah-vay) plant has long been cultivated in hilly, semi-arid soils of Mexico. Its fleshy leaves cover the pineapple-shaped heart of the plant, which contains a sweet sticky juice. Ancient Mexicans considered the plant to be sacred. They believed the liquid from this plant purified the body and soul. When the Spaniards arrived, they took the juices from the agave and fermented them, leading to the drink we now call tequila.

But there is a more interesting use for this historic plant. Agave syrup (or nectar) is about 90% fructose. Only recently has it come in use as a sweetener. It has a low glycemic level and is a delicious and safe alternative to table sugar. Unlike the crystalline form of fructose, which is refined primarily from corn, agave syrup is fructose in its natural form. This nectar does not contain processing chemicals. Even better, because fructose is sweeter than table sugar, less is needed in your recipes. It can be most useful for people who are diabetic, have insulin resistance, or are simply watching their carbohydrate intake.

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