Answer: Yes, agave nectar is safe for vegan consumption. It is entirely plant-based and a perfect alternative to sugar.
Sugar is one of the most debated ingredients in the vegan community. Many vegans believe its refinement uses bone char to create the perfect white color.
Hence, many vegans have searched for different alternatives to sugar. On top of the list is the agave nectar. It is a 100% plant product with just the right amount of sweetness for any vegan dish.
Curious to learn more about agave nectar? Keep reading because we will discuss everything you need to know about it.
What Is Agave Nectar?
If you’re fond of tequila, you might already know what agave is. It is a plant that originates from South America. And history dictates that during the Spanish colonization, Spaniards influenced the region to create tequila out of this plant.
An agave looks like an aloe vera. It has a pointy tip and is green in color. When you cut through it, you will see a gel-like substance known as agave nectar.
Through time, its nectar has been used in the food and beverage industry. The nectar flavor is said to be even sweeter than white sugar. It also resembles the taste of honey but with a thin consistency compared to it.
What Are The Health Benefits of Agave Nectar?
One of the advantages of switching to agave nectar is its high nutritional value. Like any other green vegetable, agave is filled with vitamins and minerals that provide health benefits to your body.
Agave nectar contains vitamins and minerals, namely, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, and Vitamin C. Here is a detailed discussion on the health benefits of agave nectar:
Agave Nectar Is Rich In Calcium
Calcium is important to our body because it helps maintain strong bones. Aside from this, it also helps to strengthen our teeth.
Agave Nectar is a rich source of calcium, especially since it is a green plant. Many people are missing calcium in their meals, so replacing sugar with agave nectar ensures you receive the right amount of calcium in your body.
Agave Nectar Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Agave Nectar can help in reducing inflammation due to its inflammatory properties. Thus, incorporating this into your diet can help you avoid inflammatory diseases.
Antibodies and white cells are important as they fight sickness or injuries in our bodies. When activated, these cells can cause inflammation in the affected area. Worst-case scenario, you can have chronic inflammation.
You can avoid this by adding food that has anti-inflammatory properties to your nutrition. Hence, the agave nectar.
Agave Is Rich In Antioxidants
Agave nectar does not only help in preventing inflammation, but it also fights off the free radicals that cause our body to weaken or age.
During the respiration process, the oxygen is replenished by the lungs and is distributed throughout our body. Along this process, its atoms split and find some other atoms for bonding. This is where free radicals are formed.
And these radicals cause damage to our cells, which results in different body diseases and unwanted aging. Thus, adding ingredients rich in antioxidants, like agave nectar, is a good way to prevent these.
Agave Nectar Has High Glycemic Contents
Foods with high glycemic contents allow you to enjoy sweet food without affecting your blood sugar level drastically. Unfortunately, most commercially available foods with sugar have low glycemic content.
To help you better understand the glycemic index, here is a table that shows the measurement for each level:
|Low Glycemic Food||1 – 55|
|Medium Glycemic Food||56 – 69|
|High Glycemic Food||70 and above|
White sugar typically ranges in the medium-high glycemic index, with measurements between 50 – 84. On the other hand, agave nectar falls in the low glycemic food category with only an index of 17.
Hence, consuming agave nectar will help you maintain a stable blood sugar level.
Negative Implications of Agave Nectar Consumption
While consuming agave nectar has a lot of benefits, several negative implications surround its consumption.
The most dominant negative effect of agave nectar consumption is the scarcity of its supply. The demand for it has risen dramatically over the years. Hence, its population has been in danger.
So, instead of manufacturing 100% agave nectar, many manufacturers have thought of adding corn syrup in its preparation. Now, this would cut out all the health benefits that you will get from raw agave nectar.
To avoid this, you can purchase raw agave nectar. Also, you can look for those manufacturers who are FDA and USDA-approved. Companies with these stamps are globally recognized for producing high-quality products while following all necessary ethical procedures.
What Are The Different Variations Of Agave Nectar?
Like any other plant, agave nectar comes in different variations. In determining this, you want to look at its color as its main distinguishing factor.
The darker the agave is, the stronger flavor it will produce. Those that are light in color will give you the perfect flavor for a sweetener for general usage. At the same time, those that are dark in color are more suited when you want to have some baked chocolate pudding or other baked treats.
Its filtration also causes its variety of color and taste. Depending on the filtration process, different quantities of salt and minerals end up in the agave nectar. The most common colors of the sap are raw, light, amber, and dark.
If you want an alternative to honey, the amber color is the perfect fit. Despite being dark in color, amber agave nectar can also be used as a regular sweetener. You can also use this variation in your drinks, and it can also be used in baking your vegan treats.
You should also take note that using agave nectar in the baking process will result in a darker color. If you want to make some vegan candies, agave nectar can be the best alternative to corn syrup.
How Should I Store My Agave Nectar?
Storing your agave nectar should never be difficult. There is no physical requirement for you to keep them fresh. As long as you keep the bottle sealed and away from direct sunlight, it can last up to a year.
You can notice that your agave nectar starts going bad when its color and consistency change. And yes, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated to keep its freshness.
Best Agave Nectar Brands
Now that you’ve already known the all-around about agave nectar, we have provided you with some of the best brands you can easily grab at your favorite supermarket or even online.
Organic Agave In The Raw
Organic Agave In The Raw is among the most popular agave nectar brands. It is USDA-approved, so you shouldn’t worry about the corn syrup as an ingredient.
Also, 100% raw agave and is a certified vegan-friendly brand. It is also approved by Kosher and is a naturally gluten-free product. This can be best used for your morning waffles, baking, or even in your cocktails. Most importantly, it has a low glycemic value.
MADHAVA Organic Light Agave
MADHAVA offers USDA-approved, gluten-free, and vegan agave nectar. It is best known for its quality farming and years of being recognized by different bodies in the food industry.
You can ensure that their agave is contaminant-free and 100% organic. It is partnered with Non-GMOs businesses to ensure its high quality.
Kirkland Signature Organic Blue Agave All-Purpose Sweetener
Kirkland’s is among the best agave nectar brands that can be used as a general-purpose sweetener. It is organic and proven to be vegan friendly.
Blue Green Agave Organic Nectar, Light Blue
Blue Green’s agave nectar is certified by different trusted organizations in the food industry. It is certified to be Non-GMO, USDA approved, and vegan certified.
This can also be best used as a general-purpose sweetener and for baking. Plus, using this for cocktails can also be recommended.
Agave Nectar Is The Perfect Vegan Alternative To Sugar
If you’ve been dying to replace that sugar on your kitchen shelf, agave nectar can be one of your alternatives. This is 100% plant-based and provides many health benefits to your body.
Agave Nectar can be used as a general-purpose sweetener, a baking sugar alternative, and complement your favorite cocktail drinks. Plus, working with agave nectar is very handy and efficient.
As enlisted above, different commercially available brands offer agave nectar.
Choosing agave nectar is a step toward being conscious of your health and the food you consume. Actually, it shouldn’t be just an alternative anymore but a staple to every kitchen.
Did this article make you crave some sweet treats? Make sure to read Are Sweet Tarts Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Sweet Tarts?