​Ingredient Glossary: Agave Syrup

​Ingredient Glossary: Agave Syrup

Posted by Emily on 1st Dec 2019

What Is Agave Syrup?

Agave syrup (also known as agave nectar) is a naturally occurring sweetener akin in texture to honey, albeit slightly thinner. It's derived from various species of the agave plant, predominantly found in Mexico and South Africa.

It readily dissolves, making it suitable for cocktails and smoothies. Its liquid form often substitutes honey (for instance, by vegans) or golden syrup. Comprising fructose and glucose, it has a markedly lower glycemic index than conventional granulated sugar (sucrose). Agave is retailed in bottles and various shades, intensifying its flavour as it darkens.

Learn more about the health benefits of agave.

How To Cook With Agave Syrup

Agave syrup is a great topping for cereal, pancakes, or bread. It can also replace honey in dessert recipes, though the difference in viscosity should be taken into account. Despite its low GI, it's around 30% sweeter than sugar, requiring less for the same level of sweetness. It performs well in chewy bakes like flapjacks, sticky cakes and muffins.

However, it's important to note that you should lower the cooking temperature by approximately 10°C. Agave nectar contains high levels of fructose, considered one of the more harmful forms of sugar. Thus, it's advisable to use it sparingly and opt for organic, raw agave over the cheaper, highly processed variety.

Availability of Agave Syrup

Agave syrup is an imported product, usually sourced from Mexico. It's typically found in most major supermarkets within the baking and confectionery section, or alongside other sweeteners. It can also be purchased online from UK-based internet retailers.

Alternatives to Agave Syrup

Consider trying honey instead.