I looked around for just the right sweetener for Chicaoji. I chose agave nectar for a couple of reasons.
- I like its complex flavor.
- Customers find agave nectar’s relatively low low glycemic index valuable and desirable.
- I like that the agave is organically produced.
I purchase Chicaoji’s agave nectar from GloryBee.
- Gluten Free
- GMO Free
GloryBee agave nectar is available at many food coops and natural food stores. Here’s a link to their store locator.
How is agave nectar made?
Interestingly, the production of agave nectar is very similar to how a bee creates honey. The bee adds enzymes to the complex sugars of nectar, which changes it into the simple sugars making honey. It is also through enzymatic action that the complex sugar found in agave juice is changed into a simple sugar sweetener- Agave Nectar.
Agave nectar is a newly created sweetener, having been developed during the 1990’s. Originally, the blue agave variety was used. This is the same plant used in the manufacture of tequila. During the late 90’s, a shortage of blue agave resulted in huge increases in cost and a sweetener based on this plant became uneconomical.
Why eat agave nectar?
Agave Nectar has many fine qualities. Foremost among them are the certified purity, both organic and kosher. Also of note is the flavor. The light variety’s neutral flavor will not alter the taste of the foods in which it is used making it ideal as a sweetener for coffee, tea, fruit “smoothies”, and other beverages. The amber variety’s mild natural flavor will lend a delicious and mysterious hint of flavor to sauces or baked goods. This sweetener is also very convenient to use, as it has a long, stable shelf life and will not solidify. It pours quickly even when cold, blends and dissolves readily in or on all foods. For baking, its moisture retention properties are comparable to those of honey. Bakers also may notice a silky, smoother texture to their goods and better definition of other natural flavors.
Limiting glucose consumption is a contemporary concern for many people. The introduction of this new sweetener is timely as it has a relatively low glycemic index due to its higher proportion of fructose and lower levels of glucose. This fact should prove attractive to those with special diet considerations or who monitor glucose intake.
- Low Glycemic Index:
This is a relatively new concept which can be important from a metabolic standpoint, especially to diabetics, along with athletes and grossly overweight individuals. The index is an indicator as to how much your blood sugar increases in 2-3 hours after specific food consumption. Most if not all carbohydrates are normally metabolized into the simple carbohydrate glucose, which in the glycemic index concept is arbitrarily assigned a value of 100.As a result, the higher a glycemic index food number is, the faster it raises your blood sugar level. Foods or ingredients with glycemic index numbers close to or above 100 present some significant health issues to diabetics, and in general, sweeteners of all kinds should be avoided by diabetics. Nonetheless, for those diabetics who choose to consume certain amounts of carbohydrates, Agave Nectar, it should be noted has a lower glycemic index than honey. Agave Nectar was found to have a glycemic index of 32. In contrast, honey has a reported glycemic index of 58, due to its higher ratio of glucose to fructose, as compared to the ratio of glucose to fructose in Agave Nectar.Please note: these values are based on using glucose as the reference point, which is the currently accepted approach relative to reporting glycemic index. Earlier, white bread was the reference point, but white bread composition can vary widely, and thus glucose is now the preferred base product.