Thursday, May 13, 2010

Agave as sugar substitute

I've been curious to try agave as a sugar substitute, so at my recent outing to Costco I bought a couple bottles of the Organic Blue Agave syrup. It seems that many health conscious people are using it these days and I thought I'd do a little research on it. You, like me, may also be curious so here is some info I found on agave from this site.
  • Agave is a plant that grows in Mexico and is actually best known as the source of tequila. The agave nectar (syrup) come from the core of the plant. The core of the blue agave is harvested after growing 7-10 years and looks similar to a pineapple and can weigh 50-150 pounds! The sap is extracted from the core of the plant, filtered, and heated to make the agave syrup. See picture below.
  • Tastes similar to honey.
  • It is a good substitute for sugar because it has a lower glycemic index (produces only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels, which enables long-term health by reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss).
  • Provides sweetness without the unpleasant "sugar rush" and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars. Acceptable with many diet plans.
  • Agave is sweeter than sugar so you can use less of it (4 parts sugar = 3 parts agave).
  • Agave also has a lower glycemic index than honey and doesn't crystalize like sugar and is safe for babies.
  • A great substitute for corn syrup with half the glycemic index.
  • Gluten free and may work with some diabetics diets.
You can purchase agave at health stores, Costco, or online. I believe I paid $9 for two bottles at Costco and each bottle was 23.5 oz.

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