Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Is Agave?

Upon googling agave plant photos I discovered that there are many varieties, and most of them seem to resemble an aloe-vera-like cactus, although it is not in the cacti family at all. 
The core of the agave plant is called a piña (and it really does resemble a pineapple!)  It is pressed and the extracted juice is heated, in a process similar to making maple syrup
The piña core of the blue agave plant is distilled and roasted during tequila production.  The tequila manufacturers must have caught on to the fact that people are using  agave as a substitute for sugar and honey because they've also been selling blue agave nectar.  Hmm...if I leave it in my cupboard for a long time will it ferment and turn into tequila?
Agave registers 27 on the glycemic index, as opposed to honey which rates 83 (out of 100)  To be considered "low" on the GI it must be 55 or less, so agave seems to be a great alternative sweetener for diabetics.  However, its natural sugars are high-fructose so it's probably best to use agave in moderation.
If you'd like to learn more about Agave there is an excellent article here.


Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Nice blog vegan. Will stop by again.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Haha when I first heard mention of "agave" as a vegan product, I was like, "What?! Vegans use TEQUILA instead of sugar?!"

Janet said...

LOL that is too funny!