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Most food storage calculations encourage families to store about 60 lbs. of sugar per person per year.  This total can include honey, molasses, jell-o, jams and jellies, or corn syrup too.  Agave is another great sweetener to consider for long-term food storage.  If you haven’t tried agave, you need to!  A friend who is battling breast cancer, and really watching her diet and nutrition, introduced me to agave about two years ago.   Agave nectar comes from a plant that is similar to an aloe vera plant.  There are light and dark / amber varieties.  The light is similar to a mild-flavored honey.  I stir it into my oatmeal. The amber is slightly stronger, somewhat similar to maple syrup, and especially good for use in barbecue sauces.  It is a near-perfect sweetener for a lot of reasons.  It is low on the glycemic index scale making it great for diabetics, and for others looking to reduce their sugar intake.  It is very similar to honey in taste and consistency, so it is sweeter than sugar, and can be substituted for sugar in smaller quantities for reduced caloric intake.  To substitute agave for sugar in baked goods, use 1/2 cup agave for 1 cup sugar in the recipe.  In baked goods, I have increased this to 2/3 c. to 3/4 c.  to increase sweetness.  This link provides even more detailed directions for substitutions (and the site has other interesting facts about agave) :

http://www.allaboutagave.com/substituting-agave-nectar-for-other-sugars.php

I won’t get on my soapbox, but I loathe artificial sweeteners, so I love that agave is a natural and healthful sugar replacement.  The bonus food storage benefit is that agave doesn’t crystallize like honey does.  It has a long, stable shelf-life of about 2-3 years. I have found that agave is quite pricey locally, so I order mine from Amazon in bulk, which is typically on sale.  Here is a link to their agave products:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw_0_8?url=search-alias%3Dgrocery&field-keywords=madhava+agave+nectar&sprefix=madhava+

If you have used agave, I would love to hear your tips and recipes. 

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2 Comments to “AGAVE: Sweet Storage!”

  1. Heather says:

    Thanks for the post. I have used agave some and I like it. It’s good to know about it’s long shelf life. Thanks also for the tip about Amazon because I’ve hesitated to buy a lot of it because it is so expensive. I’ve used the amber kind as a syrup substitute for waffles and it is delicious (and a lot more healthy like you said).

  2. Hi Kim,
    Did you know we are carrying Xagave beginning in April? We have this on our next catalog and I am tickled to see you make comments about this. The owner came in and told me all about this and we are tickled to offer it. Thanks for all YOU do. Ali

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