What Is Blue Agave? And How Do You Use It? (Plus, Vegan Recipe Concepts!)

Like many historic cultures, the Aztecs worshipped many various gods and goddesses. Huitzilopochtli, for instance, was the god of the solar and conflict, whereas Tlaloc was the god of rain. And Mayahuel was the fertility goddess of agave, a succulent plant. 

Sure, lengthy, lengthy earlier than it grew to become an obsession within the West, and lengthy earlier than colonization, the Aztecs worshipped the agave plant and even drank its juices. When the Spanish arrived, they, too, experimented with agave, and consequently, created tequila (which, in fact, continues to be drunk broadly as we speak).

However agave isn’t simply present in cocktails and shot glasses everywhere in the world. With a really comparable consistency to honey, agave nectar is a really efficient sweetener, and so is usually added to smoothies, desserts, muffins, salads, and extra. Right here’s what you have to find out about this deliciously ultra-sweet vegan ingredient, the different sorts accessible (what’s blue agave, for instance?), and learn how to prepare dinner with it. 

What’s agave nectar?

In the case of texture and consistency, in its liquid kind, agave nectar (additionally known as agave syrup) has so much in widespread with honey. However in contrast to the latter—which, in fact, is made by bees—agave is vegan as a result of it comes from a plant. That is why vegan recipes usually name for agave nectar as a honey alternative. Most agave syrup comes from Jalisco, Mexico, the place agave crops—that are prickly succulents with lengthy leaves—develop in volcanic soil.

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What’s blue agave?

There are a whole bunch of species of agave crops, however two are cultivated and harvested predominantly for consumption: agave tequilana and agave salmiana. The previous can be known as blue agave, and (because the identify signifies), it’s the one agave plant utilized in tequila manufacturing. However blue agave can be bought in syrup kind and is broadly thought-about to be the “premium” model of the nectar.

“Not all agave nectars are equal,” notes agave specialists The Tierra Group. “Many agave producers use combined sorts of agave as a result of they purchase their agave from a number of distributors. This makes it harder for them to make sure the standard of their product.”

However based on the group, the Mexican authorities has strict tips across the manufacturing of agave nectar from blue agave, which ensures its high quality. “This plant generates a premium agave nectar product which is greater in fructose and decrease on the glycemic index than nectar constructed from combined agave,” it continues.

VegNews.agavenectarAgave In The Uncooked

Is agave nectar wholesome?

As talked about above, agave does have a low glycemic index (decrease than sugar, honey, and maple syrup, in reality). And this can be a good factor, because it means it doesn’t trigger a fast spike in blood sugar after consuming.

However, whereas agave is a superb vegan different to honey and is an efficient (and attractive) sweetener, it’s nonetheless vital to keep in mind that it isn’t a well being meals, and ought to be consumed in small quantities. It is because it’s excessive in fructose, a sort of pure sugar that’s significantly arduous on the liver. 

“Regardless of having a low GI worth, agave ought to be handled the identical method you’d deal with some other sugar—sparsely,” vitamin skilled Nicole Avena, PhD, informed Actual Easy.

How do you employ agave?

There’s nothing improper with having fun with somewhat little bit of agave nectar each every so often. However how must you eat it? Properly, there are a lot of, some ways to get one of the best out of this super-sweet syrup. You’ll be able to drizzle it over ice cream or oats, add it to milkshakes, smoothies, or cocktails, or, so as to add somewhat little bit of sweetness to savory dishes, you may even prepare dinner with it. 

Vegan recipes with agave nectar

In the event you’ve acquired some agave nectar lingering in your cabinet, listed below are among the greatest methods to get pleasure from this scrumptious bee-free honey different. 

VegNews.AgaveMargaritaWes Allison, Stephanie Bogdanich, Molly R. Frisinger, Jessica Morris Vegan Candy Orange Agave Margarita

Plate up the fajitas, it’s time for a Mexican-inspired banquet. And naturally, you’ll must make the last word boozy accompaniment: margaritas. In addition to silver tequila, this recipe requires zesty limes and oranges and a complete tablespoon of sugary candy agave nectar. 
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VegNews.KohlrabiBallSaladJB Douglas

2 Vegan Kohlrabi Salad

Kohlrabi is a bulb-shaped vegetable that’s candy, crunchy, and refreshing. Whether or not you’re already a fan otherwise you’re making an attempt it for the primary time, this summer time salad recipe—which options cashew milk yogurt and agave nectar—is assured to convey out one of the best of this distinctive and attractive vegetable. 
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VegNews.PeanutButterFrozenYogurt.HannahKaminsky (2)Hannah Kaminsky

3 Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt

In the summertime months, arguably one of the best ways to chill down is with some scrumptious frozen yogurt. Subsequent time you go to whip up a batch, give this tasty, creamy recipe a attempt. It options half a cup of sunshine agave nectar, soy yogurt, vanilla, and easy peanut butter.
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VegNews.SprinkleDoughnutHolesShanika Graham-White

4 Glazed Vanilla Doughnut Holes 

Whether or not it’s somebody’s birthday otherwise you simply fancy cheering up your week, these vanilla doughnut holes with funfetti sprinkles are assured to convey pleasure to any who eats them. As a substitute of sugar, the doughnut recipe requires half a cup of agave nectar.
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VegNews.ZucchiniWalnutBread.HannahKaminskyBeverly Lynn Bennett

5 Zucchini Walnut Bread

Sick of banana bread? Bake a batch of this zucchini walnut bread in the beginning of the week and also you gained’t remorse it. Made with agave nectar and barley flour, it’s supreme for nutritious, scrumptious breakfasts or as a pick-me-up afternoon snack. 
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Greek Lemon Potatoes-40Rouxbe

6 Greek Lemony Roasted Potatoes

Three tablespoons of agave nectar add a scrumptious contact of sweetness to this tangy, refreshing potato dressing recipe. Serve along with your favourite salad for a filling, tasty, and nutritious spring or summertime dinner.
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VegNews.BlackBeanBrowniesMaya A. Howard

7 Black Bean Fudge Brownies

Black beans? In dessert? It would sound odd, however we promise you it really works. Made with agave, quinoa flour, and cacao, these brownies are protein-packed and deliciously addictive. 
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