Agave nectar is a low glycemic sweetener that comes from the agave plant. While agave is most often known as the plant from which tequila is made, it has also been used for thousands of years as an ingredient in food. The nectar made from the plant is known in Mexico as aguamiel, or “honey water.”
Agave nectar typically comes in two varieties, light and dark. The light variety adds sweetness without any flavor, the dark adds that caramel note to your recipes. Both varieties dissolve easily, making it a great sweetener for cold beverages.
Be sure to look for raw agave nectar; it is produced at temperatures below 118 °F in order to preserve the natural enzymes.
Nutrition: Agave nectar is considered a low glycemic sweetener, however it is 1.4 to 1.6 times more sweet than sugar. One tablespoon contains 60 calories, with a glycemic index of 30. In comparison, an apple has a higher glycemic index at 54. It is a good source of iron and magnesium and also provides some calcium.
Uses: Agave nectar is a versatile sweetener, great for beverages, smoothies and desserts. Agave also adds a sweet touch to salad dressings and many other recipes.