Agave syrup is produced from the Agave cactus, which famously is the plant from which tequila is made. It’s a great, sweeter alternative to sugar and it is low on the Glycaemic Index. This means that the sugar rush, from eating Mars bars or whatever, does not occur. Agave syrup has a minimal ‘raising’ effect on blood sugar despite tasting sweet.
This has clear health benefits, as prolonged episodes of raised blood sugar levels and resultant insulin usage, from eating sweet foodstuffs, protecting against the chances of developing Syndrome X and diabetes. This means blood sugar remains pretty stable, it won’t cause a sharp rise or fall, clearly illustrated in the graph. Moreover, this makes Agave syrup a good choice for sufferers of the conditions mentioned above.
The cacti have the leaves removed when matured, with the core (piña) retained and the sap (aguamiel) extracted. After filtering the aguamiel is heated at a low enough temperature to retain the nutrients, ensuring all beneficial properties of the nectar remain intact. A second filtration results in the final product.
To use in place of granulated sugar replace each cup of sugar with 2/3 of a cup of Agave syrup and reduce other liquid in the recipe by 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup. Easy! This equation works for all forms of sugar, while other equations can be used for other sweeteners.
I use Agave syrup in my porridge. Typically, I’ll add a little to some oats with a small apple chopped and added. Also I add some seeds, pumpkin and sesame work well and some cinnamon for flavour. After it’s cooked I like to add some ground linseed and hemp, the Agave helps disguise the taste of hemp protein powder, which is not palatable on its own.
I’ve found another oat based recipe that I will try, this looks delicious, watch this space for updates!