Cooking With Agave Nectar

Monday, September 10, 2012

So a couple of weeks ago, I got a bottle of agave nectar at the store.

So what is agave nectar, you may ask?

Agave nectar is an all-natural sweetener derived from the sap of agave plant.  It's kind of like honey, but not nearly as thick, and it's sweeter.  Because it's so much sweeter than sugar or honey, you don't need to use as much.  Plus since it's plant-based, it makes a great vegan-friendly alternative to honey.

a blue agave plant (pic from Wikipedia)
Proper substitutions when using it call to use 2/3c of nectar for every cup of sugar called for, and you need to reduce all other liquids by 1/4.

I used organic Agave in the Raw in place of sugar when making no-bake cookies this weekend (I didn't take a picture before they were all bad).  I reduced everything as per the instructions, and they turned out well.  The cookies still formed as they should, and weren't any thinner for the lack of sugar.  The taste was a bit different, of course, but the difference was subtle, and it wasn't bad at all.

I also used agave nectar in my overnight oats for the first time last night.  It was okay, but I prefer maple syrup.

All in all, I recommend agave nectar if you're looking to cut down on refined sugar consumption.  It is more expensive (obviously), but a little goes a long way.

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