A sweet import from Mexico, agave syrup is extracted from the agave Americana (also known as the century plant) and is a trendy sweetener. Read all important facts here!
- ...gives energy.The fruit sugar it contains offers a quick energy boost. This can be used consciously when, for example, you have a meeting after your lunch break and feel weak. However, the effect only lasts for a short time before the blood sugar drops again.
- ...can be intolerant.Those who suffer from fruit sugar intolerance should generally avoid agave syrup altogether as it has large quantities of fructose.
- ...damages the teeth.Many consider agave syrup to be healthier than normal sugar; some even think it is better for the teeth. Unfortunately, this is not true: the fructose in agave syrup also damages enamel and can promote cavities.
- ...can promote gout.Anyone who has too much uric acid in their body or is susceptible to gout should sweeten with agave syrup in moderation. The body forms more uric acid when it breaks down fructose than when it breaks down granulated sugar.
- ...contains hardly any nutrients and vital substances.Agave syrup contains some minerals and plant substances compared to sugar. However, the amounts are so small that they can in no way compensate for the possible damage caused by the high fructose content.
- ...can disturb the digestion.The fructose in agave syrup has an effect on the intestines. If you sweeten a lot with it, expect stomach cramps, flatulence and diarrhea.
- ...can cause a metabolic syndrome.Scientists say a high consumption of fructose — as contained in agave syrup — can lead to diseases such as fatty liver, diabetes, high blood pressure and fat metabolism disorders.
What You Should Know About Agave Syrup
Many people in this country know agaves as a decorative exotic plant. The fact that agave syrup is also used to make thick juice is only slowly gaining traction because the sweet syrup is considered to be a vegan, particularly healthy sweetener and sugar alternative.
Agave syrup is obtained from the so-called heart of agave. The juice that escapes from this heart is boiled in steel kettles until the water content drops and a thick syrup remains.
Agave syrup consists of almost 100 percent fructose, which has a particularly high solubility and sweetens about 1.2 times as much as normal household sugar.
The food industry is using agave syrup more and more frequently in drinks, pastries, desserts and sweets.
Agave grow throughout Central America while Mexico is considered the home of agave syrup.
Agave syrup tastes neutral and only slightly sweet.
Here are all recipes for agave syrup.
How Healthy is Agave Syrup?
The agave itself is considered a medicinal plant. Already the Aztecs used its juice to produce natural remedies for wound healing and to fight inflammation.
However, the same can’t be said about agave syrup, which is not as healthy as a natural herbal product from organic farming. Although agave syrup has about 100 calories less and significantly less carbohydrates than sugar, agave syrup is almost as poor in vitamins and minerals. And, fruit sugar in high quantities can lead to intolerances such as diarrhea. Experts therefore recommend using agave syrup sparingly.
Environmentalists criticize agave syrup because it requires high amounts of resources since it’s transported from Mexico in a costly manner and production energy costs are particularly high.
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Shopping and Cooking Tips For Agave Syrup
You can get agave syrup in organic shops, health food stores and supermarkets.
Because of its high sugar content, agave syrup remains fresh for about 18 months both in the closed bottle and when it’s been opened without refrigeration.
What to Make With Agave Syrup
With agave syrup you can sweeten cold and warm liquids like tea, coffee, cocoa, mixed drinks, etc. The light and neutral tasting syrup is also perfect for sweetening yogurt, desserts, cakes and doughs. Agave syrup is also a real classic for vegan baking.
Another option: You can also make sauces or salad dressings with agave syrup.