I’m starting a blog series! Right this second, and you are all invited!
It’s inspired by a suggestion from my friend Lee to make a series of posts using the alphabet as my guide, that highlight ingredients and techniques found in Vegetarian and Vegan cooking. I hope you all join me on Wednesdays for a little informal information on living the veg-life.
What’s the Word?
As you may have just guessed, I’m starting with A and in my books;
A is for Agave Nectar
What is it?
Agave nectar or syrup is a natural liquid sugar much like maple syrup and honey. You may be familiar with the Agave plant once I mention tequila. The nectar is collected from agave plants. As far as I can gather there are two ways to process the aguameilo (honey water) to make agave nectar. One uses heat to break down complex sugars (poly-fructose) into simple sugars (fructose and glucose) while the other method yields similar results via fermentation. The USA deems production of agave via the fermentation process to be a raw food product.
What does it taste like?
Agave nectar can be categorized by light, medium and dark syrup. There are also flavoured version of agave sweeteners. It’s both sweeter-tasting and thinner in consistency than honey. The light version seems to be the most readily available and does not have a strong flavour, the medium version is the closest in taste to honey and the dark version is the strongest flavour.
Where do I use it?
Agave nectar can be used generally as a substitute for most liquid sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup. Since it is plant based and processed without the use of animal products it is considered vegan as well. Unlike honey, agave syrup dissolves well in cold liquids making it a perfect sweetener for your chilled drinks. Some suppliers even make flavoured versions of agave nectar, check our Madhava Sweeteners!
Are there health benefits?
Agave nectar is still a simple sugar and sugar in general should always used in moderation, however compared to other sweeteners, it does boast a lower glycemic index. Agave itself is sweeter when compared teaspoon to teaspoon to other sweeteners, which in theory would mean you may need less to sweeten your food, thereby potentially consuming less calories from sugar.
V-Spot recipes and suggestion for using Agave Nectar:
I usually prefer agave in my iced coffee and iced tea as it has a neutral taste. In the morning for a quick breakfast I’ll top a sprouted grain or multigrain bread with natural peanut butter and agave syrup for sweetness. Other than that you can use it in place of the maple syrup in these Vegan Brownies, or to sweeten my Chocolate Avocado Pudding.
Agave Nectar Recipe Inspriation:
I did some food blog trolling and these recipes really stood out. I hope they offer additional inspiration!