Most commonly known for its use in making tequila, the Blue Agave plant is just one of several species of the agave plant that can be harvested to produce agave nectar, a wonderful sugar alternative.
The proces is essentially this: juice is extracted from the core of the plant, heated, filtered, and then concentrated to form the agave nectar or syrup. Think honey, but with a thinner, less viscous, and an almost cleaner taste. It’s predominately made up of fructose, and while it has a very concentrated, sweet, flavor, it actually has a lower glycemic index rating than similar sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup. This means that it is not so destructive on your blood sugar levels as it releases gradually into your bloodstream rather than the direct injection you get with regular sugar.
I use it to add a little sweetness in hot tea, salad dressings, smoothies and as a substitute to the processed stuff in other sweet treats like this one. Try substituting it into a few of your recipes, it’s sweeter than regular sugar, though, so start by cutting the amount called for in half and go from there. One of my favorites is the Organic Nectars Raw Agave Syrup, a local company in upstate NY, and I have also tried and liked this one.
And if you are a runner, triathlete, or other endurance sport enthusiast, the little travel size sticks are an awesome pick-me-up during your training or an event.