Many people have been confronted by the question of whether or not Raw Agave is:
1) truly raw
2) truly low glycemic
3) the same as corn syrup
4) cut with corn syrup
Well I don’t have your answer, but I have the same questions and have heard many conflicting reports. For the most part it seems the majority of people I speak with and the majority of what I have seen online says that it isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. I am not going to say it is or it isn’t, and will continue to investigate until I have clarification.
Some of the view points I have heard is that most agave nectar’s on the market are highly heat (could be below 118) processed in a similar way that corn syrup is processed. Separating the starch from the sugar and leaving a much sweeter and more refined syrup. The other thing that I have heard is that truly raw agave is completely clear and if your agave is brown or amber it has definitely been heat processed. Finally what has been termed low glycemic agave nectar is only the agave that comes from the blue agave plant.
Being that I am a raw food pastry or dessert chef I have a lot of experience with agave and different types of agave mainly amber blue agave and clear “truly raw” blue agave nectar. What I have found using my palate as the tool of this science experiment is that for one the flavor of both is very different. The clear “truly raw” agave is not as sweet on the palate and has much more complex floral notes. Amber and dark agave have a simpler and highly sweet flavor. The other thing that I have noticed is that eating something made with a darker agave will give me a high/low that other refined sweeteners give. I haven’t experience the same effect when consuming the clear agave.
Having said that what I would like to do is share this short video of a man opening the agave plant and reaching the nectar at the center. What did catch my eye and I encourage you to notice is that the nectar he finally gets to after quite a process is clear, and seams a bit more fluid than the darker agave’s on the market.
This isn’t hard evidence of any sort, just a little more information to put on the shelf and pull down at the appropriate time. I will continue to investigate and post what I find as I do.
I do want to add that what concerns me even if agave is a low glycemic, healthy sweetener is how the process of harvesting agave seems highly unsustainable.
So here we are again learning new information, allowing us to make healthy choices for our physical shells as well as for the planet. I am not going to completely discontinue my use of agave nectar, I will choose to use the truly raw agave when it is available and all this until I have become clear on what the best choice is. However in the mean time. I am choosing to use more raw local honey (if we all were to take on a hive in the back yard it would benefit our Momma earth immensely! [I speak to myself as well]), and have heard of a raw Jerusalem artichoke sweetener, and Yacon is a favorite of mine….for the right things!
Here’s to growing, and choosing the highest level of service for all of creation!