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Agave: A delicious natural sweetener

Even though I avoid artificial sugar substitutes like Splenda, I still like sweet things. Lately I’ve discovered Agave nectar as a natural sweetener, and I must say that it has won me over.

Lighter than honey, Pure Organic Raw Agave Nectar is extracted from the core of a yucca-like cactus. It isn’t heated above 118 degrees F, so the enzymatic structure is preserved making it a good choice for raw foodists and others who value live food. With a low glycemic load, it won’t send your blood sugar levels soaring and then crashing, like sugar might.

Because of its similar look and consistency to honey (it’s a little bit runnier, less viscous), I had automatically assumed I would only enjoy agave in places where I might choose honey, but that’s not the case. I’m enjoying agave in my coffee, for one thing, whereas the thought of honey in coffee turns my stomach.

Agave comes in shades from dark to light amber. The darker the color, the more intense the flavor, so stick with lighter shades in things like coffee.

Agave cooks well and we’ve been using it in place of honey or sugar in bread and other baked goods with great results in a one-to-one ratio, even though it may be a touch sweeter than honey. An almond-butter and agave sandwich is a lip-smacking treat.

It’s a good option for vegans or babies under 1-year old, since, unlike honey, it is not produced by insects.

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