What is the first thing you think of when you read the word “Halloween”? A few possible answers include black cats, witches, scary movies, and pumpkins. Now go and ask a child. I assure you one of the words will be “candy.” Not just your typical taffy or sucker, we have found ways during this holiday to turn healthy options into a dentist nightmare: enter the caramel apple.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like a little sugar as much as the next guy. I do, however, think we should look for ways to limit our use of sugar. An excellent sugar alternative is agave. Agave nectar, Agave tequilana, is created as juice from the agave leaf, which is filtered, then heated and thickened. This nectar is generally 1.5 times sweeter than sugar with a consistency similar to that of honey. It can be used as a sugar substitute in most recipes and beverages. In general, use ½ to ¾ cup in place of 1 cup of sugar or honey. You may also want to reduce the overall liquid added to the recipe.
Young Living’s Blue Agave is an excellent option for those interested in agave nectar. A nutritional profile performed on our Blue Agave indicated that 1 teaspoon contained 20 calories and had a glycemic index (GI) of 25, compared to table sugar containing 21 calories and a GI of 68. The GI is a measure of the effects on blood sugar levels. The higher the GI, the greater the blood level spikes. This is important for those looking to moderate their current blood sugar levels. Blue Agave is composed mostly of fructose (65 percent) and glucose (13 percent).
Admittedly, it took some time to dial in the correct amount of agave to substitute, but my kids haven’t seemed to notice. Depending on the recipe, I substitute agave for 50 percent to 100 percent of the sugar. My favorite recipes include cookies, cakes, homemade yogurt, and granola.
No matter how sweet you like it, or how much you substitute, every little bit helps. I would love to hear how you use agave in your daily meals. Please share your thoughts or recipes in a comment. Everyone who leaves a comment by October 26 will be entered into a drawing for a free 8-ounce bottle of Young Living Blue Agave!
—Ryan Seely, YL Product Marketing Manager