If you like to eat honey, you'll also like Agave nectar, which is a healthier vegan alternative. While honey and health seem to go together because honey is a natural sweetener (that is healthier than most other sweeteners), agave is even healthier.
About Agave Nectar
Agave nectar is a pure, unrefined, natural sweetener that is harvested from plants in the high desert region of Central Mexico. Agave nectar comes from the same agave plants from which we get tequila. The nectar from the agave plant is often referred to as aguamiel, which is Spanish for "honey water."
How Agave Nectar is Made
To make agave nectar, sap is extracted from the plant. Then it is filtered and heated slowly at a low temperature of less than 118 degrees-which makes it qualify as a raw food by raw food enthusiasts. There are several varieties of agave nectar. Lightly-colored and dark colored varieties can be made from nectar from the same plants. Lighter varieties usually have a milder flavor than darker varieties.
Health Benefits of Agave Nectar
As a sweetener, agave is very versatile and healthy. It is sweeter than honey and sugar, yet it has a subtle, sweet flavor that enhances a variety of foods and beverages, such as coffee and tea. Agave dissolves smoothly in cold beverages, as well as hot beverages.
It is gluten and allergen free, and has a low glycemic index-which makes it one of the safest blood sugar foods because it will not over stimulate the production of insulin or cause sudden blood sugar spikes (like honey and refined sugars do).
Agave also has earned both organic and kosher certification. It is healthy for everyone to eat in moderation, from childhood to old age.
Agave Nectar Flavor
While agave makes a healthy substitute for honey, it does have a different taste-which some people like even better than honey. Its flavor is more similar to caramel or toffee than honey. Because its flavor is very consistent and its texture is moist and smooth, agave nectar is very good to use with baking.
Honey and Agave Nectar
While honey adds a distinct flavor to foods, agave is a milder sweetener. Both honey and agave nectar offer health benefits, and they are each better in certain recipes. While honey provides vitamins and minerals, and helps with digestion, agave delivers even more health benefits than honey. Agave is a tasty natural sweetener that can be used safely in moderation to replace high glycemic and refined sugars and artificial sweeteners by dieters and some diabetics, as well as everyone who strives for good health.
You don't have to give up your honey to enjoy agave nectar. A little of both honey and agave nectar will help most people enjoy healthier, sweeter lives.