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Agave Nectar

             There is a new sweetener that I am in love with. Agave nectar. For those of you who haven’t heard of or tried this type of sweetener, I highly suggest tasting this yummy product. I first found out about agave nectar while grocery shopping at the local PCC organic store near my house. I intentionally went into the store to buy some bread and jam for breakfast. I passed by the peanut butter aisle, and then saw the agave nectar lying perfectly sweet in front of my large brown eyes. I have heard of agave before, but did not know you could eat it. The agave nectar sweetener instantly caught my attention.

            Two types of agave nectar that was on the store shelves were light or Amber sweetener. Since I do not really like too sweet or strong, I decided to give the light agave nectar sweetener a shot. I drove home and went on my lap top to do a little research on this sweetener. It turns out this delicious sweetener can be added to your hot tea, iced tea, coffee, smoothies, or even protein shakes. I was thinking to myself, “Wow!” I love drinking hot tea and coffee. After my research, I went straight to my kitchen stove to boil some water into the tea kettle to make some yummy green tea. As I was waiting for the water to boil, I took out two tea packets I bought from Whole Foods called Guayaki Organic Yerbe Mate. This tea consists of a rich, balanced, and earthy taste. Once my water was boiling hot, I poured hot water over my coffee cup, placed my tea bags in nicely, and then started pouring the light agave nectar sweetener over my tea. I stirred the tea with a spoon and waited for the tea to be warm. I tasted my green tea and boy was it magnificently delicious! Never have I tasted a sweet tea drink like this before.

            Here is a brief background and description on agave nectar. Agave nectar is also called agave syrup, a sweetener produced in Mexico from several different species of agave. They include the Blue Agave, Salmiana Agave, Green Agave, Grey Agave, Thorny Agave, and Rainbow Agave. Though people may think honey is very sweet, agave nectar is actually in fact sweeter, but less intense in the tasting department. I am not a huge fan of honey, so having a sweetener as a substitute is quite actually yummy and the taste of agave nectar is not too strong or thick.

          Agave nectar is produced from the agave plant by compressing the juice from the core of the plant. This is called the “pina.” The juice from the agave plant is then filtered, and then heated into simple sugars. Then the juice is concentrated into a light syrup-like condensed liquid, ranging in color from light to dark. The coloring from the syrup depends on the degree of processing the liquids. The key ingredients of agave nectar consist of fructose and glucose. Many chefs and cooks use agave nectar into their cooking recipes and dishes for taste. Many vegans use agave nectar into their diet to replace honey. For a 23.5 oz liquid agave nectar bottle at the store ranges about $5-$6. It may seem a bit expensive, but it is worth adding to your kitchen sweetener cabinet in case to whip out the agave nectar for some delicious meals and drinks. Agave nectar comes in many different types of flavors from light, amber, dark, and caramel. This is a very good sweetener I highly suggest as a substitute for honey.