Saturday, July 26, 2008
Marc from the wonderful food blog Chefectomy suggested I speak a little bit about Agave Nectar since so many of my recipes call for it.
Agave nectar has been a favorite sweetener of mine for a few years now. It's a natural sweetener created from the juice of the Blue Agave plant. It behaves like sugar or honey in recipes, but is sweeter and more fluid.
I first started using it for health reasons. Even though I don't have diabetes, many sugars send my energy on a roller-coaster ride. Agave Nectar is low on the glycemic index and therefore has less of an effect on my blood-sugar. It's wonderful for its versatility and clean taste as well.
I reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe by about half if I am going to use agave nectar as a replacement. Some recipes, such as muffins, also require you to adjust the liquid level by 1/3 less to compensate for this sweetener's fluidity. However, in the type of baking I do extra moisture is welcomed, and I don't bother with that adjustment.
At times, I use it instead of honey. Keep in mind, that Agave Nectar will not provide the aromatic hint that is so delightful in honey, for that you still need the real deal. It's a great way to sweeten ice-tea and salad-dressings, because it blends right in.
For more information you can go to the Madhava honey website. It's sold in health-food stores, some bigger grocery stores and at Trader Joe's.
Here are some links to past posts that included this now famous ingredient:
Quick and Simple Fig Jam
Beet Daikon and Carrot Salad
Chocolate Almond Raspberry Muffins