Agave may ring bells of TEQUILA! However, the same inner core of the Agave plant that makes Tequila, also makes a sweet nectar that can be substituted for refined white table sugar. Its main makeup is fructose, but it is concentrated in such a way that you can use less of it (25% less) in recipes that call for sugar. It also does not impact blood sugar the same way that other sweeteners do. It is becoming more popular in the U.S. as a natural substitute for sugar, and may even be available at your local super market, if not, then your health food store.
Benefits: There are some solid benefits to incorporating Agave into your diet as a healthy food to eat, especially if it would be easy to substitute for the sugar you already may consume. It contains a type of “friendly” bacteria called bifidobacteria, which has been shown to fight colon cancer. It is an anti-inflammatory, an antimicrobial (reducing the growth of yeasts, mold, an life-threatening bacteria), and it has a cancer-killing ability (interrupting the life cycle of cancerous cells).
You can store an unopened bottle of “nectar” for up to 3 years. The nectar comes in light, amber, and dark depending on its processing, and is heated to make a concentrated syrup that is a little thinner than honey. The dark nectar definitely has a stronger flavor, while the lighter nectar has a more refined taste.
You can use the nectar as a substitute for sugar in recipes, you can mix with berries to make your own syrup for pancakes or waffles, you can try in drinks such as tea and even coffee.
Agave may have a popular connotation with Tequila; however, it also has some major health benefits. Do you see yourself using table sugar too much? Are you suffering from such things as inflammation or yeast infections? Agave could be one answer for you and easily be incorporated into your diet.