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Agave Nectar: Sugar Substitute From South of the Rio Grande

Since Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow, I wanted to tell you that the agave plant produces more than just tequila. It kind of seems like it is a super plant and practically every part of the plant can be eaten - the blossoms and even the stalks. The part that interests me, though, is the nectar that is sweeter than honey, but less viscous. In fact it is so sweet that when baking with it you use 1/3 cup agave to one cup sugar. If you are going to bake with agave nectar reduce the amount of liquids in the recipe by the amount of agave added since it is a liquid. It does seem pretty straight forward, and I am going to try baking with it. The caloric load of agave is similar to sugar, about 25 calories per teaspoon, but since it is sweeter you use less and thereby decrease your overall calories.

I have tried it in a drink, you can use it in place of simple syrup when making a margarita - like this one from PartySugar. You can also use it to sweeten tea.

I am curious if any of you have baked with agave? If you have any tips, please share them in the comments below.

Looking to buy some? DVO Enterprises sells 24 oz. bottles for $10.95.

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