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A Guide to Understanding Nature's Agave Premium Nectars

What is Agave Nectar?

Agave Nectar is an all-natural, low glycemic sweetener that tastes great and offers an alternative to sugars, HFCS, and artificial sweeteners. Steeped in a long history of Mexico’s native Indians, every part of this amazing plant is utilized for nourishment, medicinal, and ceremonial purposes. Agave nectar is delicious, and possesses several key attributes compared to chemically processed sugars, high fructose corn syrups, and artificial sweeteners. It is an organic low glycemic food that is 1.4 times sweeter than sugar, so less is needed to achieve the desired sweetness, and products containing agave typically have fewer calories. As more consumers look for ways to add healthier foods to their diets, the agave nectar market has begun to gain momentum as one of the fastest growing natural alternatives to sugar in the US

Where does Nature’s Agave Nectar come from?

Nature’s Agave Nectar starts with the blue agave plant which grows in Jalisco, Mexico. The blue agave plant, also known as Tequilana Blue Agave, is a perennial and xerophyte plant which belongs to the agavacea family – it is not a cactus, but rather more closely related to the lily family. This amazing plant thrives in volcanic soil in arid climate zones, producing the optimal moisture and carbohydrate content for agave nectar.

Why is Nature’s Agave considered Premium?

Not all agave nectar is created equal. Nature’s Agave premium line of nectars are made only from the prized Weber Blue Agave plant, bringing you the highest quality and purest form of premium certified organic agave nectar. Some other brands use lower-cost varieties of the agave plant. We prefer the Weber Blue Agave for its unique natural carbohydrate profile and richer agave taste. Grown and nourished for 8 – 10 years in the red volcanic soils of Jalisco, Mexico, our Weber Blue Agave is harvested only at the peak of maturity to ensure sweet perfection. Compare Nature’s Agave Nectar to any other brand and you will taste the difference.

What are the benefits of Nature’s Agave Nectars vs. other natural sweeteners?

People prefer our 100% organic, low-glycemic, all-natural sweetener as an alternative to processed sugars and artificial sweeteners for its superior quality, color and taste.  Really, who needs artificial chemicals or sugar highs and lows anyway?  Since Nature’s Agave Nectar is sweeter than sugar, and honey, you don’t need as much, cutting unnecessary calories from your daily diet.

The key benefits include:
• Low glycemic (Amber & Raw GI Rated at 17)
• 100% organic and Kosher
• 1.4x sweeter than sugar (use less, save calories)
• Dissolves in cold and hot!
• Will not crystallize
• Fantastic Taste!
• Naturally Gluten-free

Do you have any tips for baking with agave nectar?

Agave nectar is great in your favorite baked goods recipes. Agave retains moisture, so with a few minor adjustments to your existing recipes, you can enjoy delicious, sweet treats and reduce table sugar, brown sugar, and corn syrups. As a general guideline for any baking recipe: * Substitute 2/3 cup agave for 1 cup of sugar (you may find that 1/2 cup will suit your sweet desire) * Reduce the baking temperature by 25 degrees because the agave speeds the browning process * Reduce the total liquid in the recipe by about 1/3 cup (agave is a liquid and retains moisture) For great baking ideas, check out our Recipes section.

Does agave nectar contain inulin and minerals?

Yes. Nature's Agave contains up to 5% inulin, a prebiotic fiber known to help the digestive system and studies suggest may prevent bone loss. Our agave nectar also contains natural trace minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper and iron, which help assimilate vitamins into our bodies.

What products do you carry?

Nature’s Agave offers a variety of pure nectars and organic flavors infused with raw agave for retail customers, each with its own signature flavor and complexity.

Clear – Deliciously sweet and pure, our extra-filtered Clear delivers the lightest agave taste of our premium nectars. Use Clear when you want to add sweetness without color or additional flavors.

Amber – Rich and velvety to the taste, our Amber is a "raw" nectar and exhibits luxurious overtones of butterscotch and caramel. Use our Amber to add smooth, subtly rich flavor and color to your culinary desires.

Raw – Produced at low temperatures, our ultra-delicious Raw nectar delivers butterscotch, caramel and molasses tones without overpowering the palette. Dark and rich with mouthwatering complexity, our Raw nectar is perfect for barbecue sauces, salad dressings, and wide array of culinary delights. 

Raw Maple Syrup – Enjoy the delicious, rich maple taste of this all natural maple + raw agave syrup on pancakes, over waffles, yogurt, or in your favorite baking and sauce recipes. Unlike regular maple syrups, our organic maple-agave is low glycemic and sweeter to the taste, making it the ideal choice for avoiding blood sugar spikes and lowering sugar calories, without sacrificing taste.

Nature’s Agave also offers a variety of agave nectar products to wholesale food and beverage companies.

What type of agave is used in Nature’s Agave Premium Nectars?

Nature’s Agave Nectar starts only from perfectly aged Weber Blue Agave, considered the highest quality agave variety due to its mineral content and high concentration of fruit sugar derived from inulin-fructooligosaccharides. Nurtured in pesticide-free mineral-rich volcanic soils for 8 to 10 years, the mature agave plant is harvested by hand. The plant’s spiky leaves are expertly cut away in the field by a seasoned “jimador”. The remaining heart of the plant, known as the “piña”, is brought back to our certified-organic production facility.

Are there additives in Nature’s Agave Nectar?

Our premium Agave Nectars are produced without the use of enzymes or chemicals. There are absolutely no additives in our agave nectar.  We double lab test every batch; first at the production facility in Mexico, then we sample test the batch again in a GMP Certified lab in California to ensure purity from production through bottling.

Why is Nature’s Agave Nectar different from other brands?

There are other agave nectars on the market, and we support all companies that support agave growers and provide great agave nectar products to consumers. We believe that our agave nectar products are of the highest quality for 3 reasons:

Lowest Glycemic ratings available: our Amber and Raw products have been independently tested and received a 17 rating on the Glycemic Index. We are testing our Clear product, which lab tests have confirmed a lower glucose ratio than any other agave we’ve tested, and believe that it will rate as low or possibly lower on the Glycemic Index.

Best Tasting Agave Nectar: the Nature’s Agave founders spent over a year meeting with agave growers in Jalisco, Mexico, touring the farms and production facilities, and sampling the agave nectar before selecting their agave suppliers. The result is 3 unique taste profiles that (yes, admittedly we are biased) are the best-tasting nectars on the market. Taste for yourself, and you will know exactly what we’re talking about.

Widest Color & Flavor Range: color and flavor are understandably important for culinary use. Some recipes require a clear, neutral sweetener that won’t interfere with the final look or flavor of the recipe. Others require depth and complexity that can only be found in our Amber or Raw products. From the pure sweetness of our Clear to our deep, richly dark Raw, Nature’s Agave Premium Nectars are different from any other brand on the shelf. 

Is agave nectar highly processed?

Actually, Nature’s Agave Nectars are minimally processed, and never use any additives or enzymes. First each agave plant is individually hand-harvested in the traditional way by a trained “jimador.” This is a beautiful art in itself – no tractors or mass harvesting involved. The hard-working jimadors expertly cut away the leaves of the spiky agave, revealing a large pineapple-shaped core, called a piña, which is cut from the field and transported to the production facility. The piña is shredded to express all the natural juice, gently heated and filtered to remove solids. The final process evaporates the excess water, bringing the agave juice to its final syrup consistency. Although the process is quite simple, there are food scientists on-site throughout the production to ensure temperature levels, brix levels (thickness), and sugar levels are consistent with quality agave nectar. This process is both art and science.  We believe that the whole process of agave growing, harvesting and production is wonderful. It provides jobs for the local residents, revenue for the community and a sense of pride in this special region of Mexico.

What does it mean for agave nectar to be considered “raw”?

Raw food enthusiasts are looking for natural foods that posses the natural enzymes and have not had these enzymes cooked away. This can happen in foods heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Our raw products are never heated above 118 degrees to maintain the agave nectar’s natural enzymes and “raw” status.

Which of Nature’s Agave Premium Nectars are raw?

Nature’s Agave Premium Nectars include three raw products: Amber, Raw and our new Raw Maple Agave Syrup. These products are produced at temperatures below 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nature’s Agave Clear Premium Nectar is different from anything else I’ve seen. Is that the natural color of raw agave sap?

Raw, unheated sap from the Weber Blue Agave plant is light in color. Our “Clear” nectar starts with raw, uncooked inulin juice from the heart of the agave plant. It is then filtered to remove the solids through a proprietary microfiltration process, and heated to convert the inulin juice into a clear, pure sweetener.

Does Agave Nectar come from starch like corn syrup? 

No – there is no starch in the agave plant. Mistakenly, some internet articles continue to inaccurately state that agave is similar to corn syrup as they both start as a starch. By simply adding heat, the agave plant’s inulin-fructans (a carbohydrate) converts to natural fruit sugar (similar to heating an apple). In stark contrast to corn, our agave is raised on certified organic farms using sustainable farming practices, without the use of chemicals. The agave growers we have partnered with do not use pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and offer fair wages to their employees. Contrary to the misconception of some internet bloggers, there are no chemicals or enzymes used in the production process of our agave nectars. Our production process is certified organic from internationally-recognized independent agencies, and each facility is inspected and audited for the USDA's organic compliance.

Who Buys Nature’s Agave Nectars?  What are the best ways to use the products?

Everyone from health-conscious consumers to gourmet chefs to fitness enthusiasts enjoy Nature’s Agave. There are so many ways to use our products – the possibilities are endless! 

Many people love to try Nature’s Agave Nectar in their coffee and tea, or as syrup for their pancakes or drizzled on oatmeal.  Its luxurious flavor and moisture-retaining character also makes Nature’s Agave Nectar a favorite in cookies, brownies and smoothies.  It tastes great every time and most importantly, saves calories compared to sugar.

Chefs love the taste and flavor complexities of Nature’s Agave Nectars so much that we’ve invited a series of culinary experts to share their favorite recipes and join the GO AGAVE! movement.  Check out our "Featured Chef" and "We Agave" sections to see how some of today’s most creative talent in the kitchen are using the superior flavor profiles of Nature’s Agave Nectars.

For information responding to Dr. Mercola’s recent article, here is a thoughtful and factual response from Dr. Edward Group.