Agave: Is This Sugar Substitute What You Think It Is?
Blueberry Muffins with Agave
Agave Sweetener: Information with a Recipe
If you haven’t heard of using agave as a sweetener just yet then you are probably not familiar with the supposed source of this delicious sugar substitute, much less it's amazing taste.
Well, here's a quick look at the scoop:
• Even though it is cactus-like, agave is not cacti.
• It is a succulent that is at home in southern and tropical areas of the USA.
• It's also a fantastic sugar substitute that works well in most recipes.
• It has some valuable health benefits, as well.
Now that you are in the know about agave and its advantages, read on for more info about using this gift from nature. You might be pleasantly surprised!
An Ancient Sweetener is a New Product--Check Out Agave!
I was hesitant to try agave because I’ve never found a sweetener for my coffee that I like better than sugar. Using stevia in anything fruity such as lemonade or desserts makes my taste buds dance, but neither the raw or any of the packaged brands work in my coffee. Honey is also great in most drinks and foods as far as I’m concerned, but it doesn’t do it for my coffee either.
Of course, artificial sweeteners are out of the question, so it’s not that I’m closed to trying unusual natural sweeteners. It’s just that I had not found another sweetener of any kind that did it for my coffee, and if you are a coffee lover, you understand. If you use a sweetener in it, its absolutely gotta’ do right by the coffee.
Eventually, my friend convinced me to try the agave in my coffee. I broke down in a weak moment and now I’m glad I tried it. Glad because we all need to consume the healthiest foods we can and anytime we can drop the amount of sugar that we use we are doing ourselves a huge favor, but there are some issues that we need to consider when using all sweeteners. This one is no different.
One of creation’s wonders, agave is promoted as an all natural low-glycemic sweetener that is 1 1/2 times as sweet as sugar, meaning, obviously, that even we who deal with a sweet tooth can be satisfied with less.
There is some question as to whether it truly has added health benefits over sugar, and as well, whether it should be considered a low-glycemic sweetener that is safe for diabetics.
The jury is out, as they say, and more research is needed, but for the average person, agave used in moderation may be a better choice than refined white sugar. If a little sweetener is needed in a smoothie, a lemonade, or other drink, why put white sugar in it if there is a good substitute?
The agave nectar that we buy at the store is processed. Even those that advertise “raw” agave should be carefully scrutinized if you want to be sure of what you are buying.
The details of its fructose content are an interesting study and if you want to check out a couple of articles on the subject go here and here, but don't stop there. Do the research for yourself in order to make the best decision for you and your family.
Well, after all that research I still wanted to know if agave products would work well in baked goods because stevia recipes must include sugar if cakes, cookies, or muffins are going to turn that appealing “done” brown color that we are so used to.
After fiddling around in the kitchen with a few ingredients I discovered that it does indeed play nice when used for baking and I came up with the following recipe as my first experiment with this sweetener.
It is a hearty, dense, easy-to-make muffin for a quick, good-for-you breakfast or snack. You may be interested in some or none of the substitutions I use for the milk (almond milk), eggs (flax eggs), and oil (coconut oil).
Very Berry Blueberry Oat Muffins with Agave Sweetener
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/2 Cup Quick Cooking Oatmeal
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 4 Tablespoons Milk, Warm, but not boiling.
- 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 Cup Blue Agave
- 1 Egg, Room temperature.
- 3/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries
Rate this Blueberry Muffins with Agave Recipe
- Set oven at 350º to preheat and prepare a 12 cup muffin pan.
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- Mix liquid ingredients together and stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
- Stir in blueberries.
- Divide batter into muffin cups.
- Bake approximately 14 minutes, until muffins begin to brown.
- Let cool about 5 minutes and remove to a plate to finish cooling.
- Store in an airtight container if there are leftovers. May be frozen.
Have you used agave for baking?
Reduce and Replace Sugar in Recipes:
Blueberry Info Will Make You Want To Eat Them!
More About Sugar and Other Foods for Your Health:
- Almonds: Are They Really That Good For Us?
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- Amaze Your Doc: Help Lower Cholesterol With Fresh Ground Flax Seed!
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- Whole Wheat Apple Muffins: A Healthy Choice
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