In Mexico the nectar made from Agave is known as aguamiel, or “honey water.”
The ancient Aztecs prized Agave as a gift from the gods and used the liquid from the plants core to flavour foods and drinks.
Raisa's Organic Agave Syrups are available for Food Service in 5.6Kg and 25.5Kg quantities
Agave Syrup (also called Agave Nectar) is most often produced from the Blue Agaves that thrive in the volcanic soils of Southern Mexico. Agave plants have been an integral part of the local agriculture for centuries, traditionally planted in rows between the fields that grow the staple foods of the region: beans and corn. They thus provide a natural barrier against erosion by wind and water and held the soil.
Agaves are large, spiky plants that resemble cactus or yuccas in both form and habitat, but they are actually succulents similar to Aloe Vera. Agave plants come in many sizes and colours — there are well over 100 species. Because of its high carbohydrate content (which results in a high percentage of fructose in the final nectar) Blue Agave is the preferred species for producing nectar. Though there are other species used to produce Agave Syrups, such as the Maguey Agave, the premium nectars are produced from 100% Weber Blue Agave.
When an Agave plant has grown to 7-10 years old, the leaves are cut off, revealing the core of the plant (called the “pina”). When harvested, this pina resembles a giant pineapple and can weigh 25 to 75 kilograms.
To make Agave Syrup, sap is extracted from the pina, filtered, and heated at a low temperature, breaking down the carbohydrates into sugars. Lighter and darker varieties of Agave Syrup are made from the same plants. Because of the low temperatures used in processing many varieties (under 118°F) Agave Syrup can be recognized as a raw food.
Although Agave Syrup was used for centuries as a flavoring, native peoples were also aware of its health benefits and used it medicinally. The Aztecs used a mixture of Agave Nectar and salt as a dressing for wounds and a balm for skin infections, and Agave’s use as a folk remedy continues today.
Modern medical study has confirmed Agave’s remedial properties. Agave Syrup has been found effective against pyogenic (pus producing) bacteria such as Staph aureus. Adding salt to the nectar has been found to further boost the anti-microbial properties. Agave Syrup has also been demonstrated as effective against enteric (intestinal) bacteria.
Modern health food
Especially in the last century, the western diet has become increasingly comprised of refined sweeteners such as granulated sugar and corn syrup. The problem with these substances is their high glycemic index and glycemic load – both measures of the relative impact that foods have on our blood sugar level. Foods that raise blood sugar quickly trigger the release of the hormone insulin, and excessive releases of insulin and chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels are linked to Metabolic Syndrome (also called Syndrome X) which is associated with a complex of health disorders. Associated ailments include insulin resistance and type II diabetes, abdominal weight gain and obesity, problems with blood lipids (raised triglycerides and cholesterol) and high blood pressure.
One of the more health-promoting properties of Agave Syrup is its glycemic profile. Agave Nectar’s sweetness comes primarily from a complex form of fructose called inulin. Fructose is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrate in Agave Syrup has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant “sugar rush” and unhealthy blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars.
Agave Syrup is a delicious natural sweetener that used moderately – by dieters, some diabetics, and health conscious cooks – is a superb replacement for high-glycemic and refined sugars.
Agave Syrup tastes like?
The taste of Agave Syrup is comparable, though not identical, to honey, though many who do not like the taste of honey find Agave more palatable. It has none of the bitter after-taste often associated with artificial sweeteners.
Though some brands offer a half dozen varieties of Agave Syrup based on different plant varieties and varied preparation methods, most offer two types: a light and a dark. The lighter syrups undergo less heating and a more thorough filtration producing a mildly flavoured product that is neutral enough to be used in many culinary applications. The darker syrups are filtered less, and the solids left in the syrup create a stronger nectar with a flavour that can be compared to maple syrup.
Agave Syrup is a natural sweetener harvested from the core of the blue agave plant; prized by the ancient Aztecs as a gift from the gods who used the amber liquid to flavor their favourite foods and drinks.
Free of chemicals, additives or other unsavoury things.
Pure deliciousness. Sweet!