Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Agave syrups are typically made in Mexico. These are very useful for cooking and baking. There are various areas of Mexico where the agave syrup processing takes place. One area isnít far from Guadalajara, especially Tequila. The agave used for this is the Agave tequilana, which is grown or harvested specifically for the sap, which is extracted from the heart of the plant and made into tequila as well as agave syrup.
Using Agave Syrup for Cooking
It can be used as an ingredient in cooking and baking just like you would honey. This tastes sweeter than granulated sugar. So, less of it will be needed. For that reason, the general recommendation is to use only ĺ cup of syrup to replace one cup of sugar.
When cooking with agave syrup, it may be necessary to make an adjustment in the recipe since youíre adding more liquid than what the recipe calls for. Some bakers recommend using one-third to one-half cup of agave syrup for one cup sugar. The easiest approach is to use a honey cookbook, and substitute the agave syrup. The honey recipe has already accounted for the amount of liquid that youíll be using. Use the same amount of agave syrup as there is honey in the recipe.
When compared to other sweeteners, agave nectar has 20 calories per teaspoon, which is slightly less than honey. According to my bag of granulated sugar, one teaspoon of sugar contains 15 calories. So, agave is quite a bit sweeter and higher in calories than plain sugar. For that reason, you would want to use less of it. Measured on a sweeteners scale, this is roughly 40 times sweeter than sugar.
Other Uses for Agave Syrups
There are even popular agaves sticks, which are similar to honey sticks or straws. Only, the agave version contains syrup, which is extracted from the center of the agave plants.
For these agave sticks the manufacturer adds food coloring and fruit flavors to the syrup. One company advertises that its agave sticks are a natural source of fructose and suitable for diabetics.