Wednesday, February 24, 2010
PRODUCT REVIEW: AGAVE NECTAR
Okay, so I’ve been slow to get on the agave nectar train. It’s because my research uncovered some startling facts, leading me to conclude that agave nectar is certainly not a health food. So to use it to make a dessert “healthful” is counterproductive. Typical agave nectar could contain corn syrup or even harmful contaminants; and worse yet, agave nectar is not as low glycemic as many think.
But then I saw organic agave nectar and finally gave in. After all, the USDA certified organic label means something. Agave is lower in calories, and has no overbearing strong flavors or aftertaste. And what’s so healthful about cane sugar anyway? I decided to give it a try. I selected one of my very best muffin recipes that has honey as a main ingredient, and substituted agave nectar for the honey. The muffins tasted delicious, but the texture was tough and chewy. I prefer my muffins to be moist and tender, not tough and chewy.
I thought about the trash, but my neighbor and his wife are not as picky as I. They gladly took the muffins and actually told me they were the best I’ve ever made. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Bottom line: I agree with Cook’s Illustrated. In their December/January 2010 issue, they mentioned their test kitchen had similar disappointing results with agave in baked goods, and recommended it only be used as a sweetener for liquids.
QUESTIONS: What do you think about agave nectar? Have you used it in baked goods? What were your results?