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Agave nectar, also called agave syrup, is a wonder food. It has a natural sweetness that’s more elegant than table sugar—never cloying or “sugary.” Its glycemic index is 32, half that of sugar (GI 60-65) and more than 40% less than honey (GI 58) and pure maple syrup (GI 54). It’s diabetes-friendly.
A teaspoon of agave has 20 calories; sugar has 16 calories and honey has 22 calories. But since agave is 1.4 to 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, you don’t need to use as much.
It follows that when you’re cooking or baking with agave, you need to use less. Agave is also 20% moisture, so you also have to reduce the moisture when baking.
Substitute 2/3 cup agave per 1 cup sugar.
Reduce other liquids by 1 fluid ounce per 2/3 cup agave nectar.
Reduce oven temperature by 25°F and baking time by 5%.
The best conversion, of course, would be to have a book of favorite recipes converted and tested with agave.
Agave nectar is one of our favorite
products. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.
Alas, there’s no one great book of agave recipes (publishers take note!). Those that exist have as many critics as fans. Here’s one to take a look at: Baking with Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature’s Ultimate Sweetener.
More Agave to Sweetener Conversions
Brown Sugar: For each cup of brown sugar, substitute 2/3 cup agave; reduce other liquids by 1/4 cup. Because the moisture content of brown sugar is higher than that of white sugar, liquids may not have to be reduced as much.
Brown Rice Syrup: Use 1/2 to 1/3 as much agave; increase other liquids in the recipe by up to 1/2 cup.
Corn Syrup: Use 1/2 as much agave; increase other liquids by up to 1/3 cup.
Honey: Replace each cup of honey with 1 cup of agave syrup.
Maple Syrup: Replace each cup of maple syrup with 1 cup of agave syrup.
White Table Sugar: For each cup of white sugar, substitute 2/3 cup agave; reduce other liquids by 1/4 to 1/3 cup. This substitution also works for demerara sugar, evaporated cane juice, Sucanat and turbinado sugar.
Find more information at AllAboutAgave.com.
All About Agave
Here’s everything you need to know about agave nectar.
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