No wonder my sugar cravings haven’t dissipated! I’ve been eating agave! Turns out that agave may cause negative health affects similar to high fructose corn syrup! OMG. Somebody give me some raw honey—quick. Apparently this is about as raw a syrup sweetener as you’re going to get unless you just squeeze the nectar out of a banana. Granted any fruit juice can be a substitute sweetner. I suppose concentrated apple juice at least isn’t as pernicious as corn syrup.
I loved agave like I love a good tequila. Hey, I really do believe tequila itself has some magical medicinal properties. And I’m sure agave in it’s most natural form is an amazing sweet juice, like cane. Unfortunately there’s no clarity around how it’s processed, which, given high temperatures and chemical components, may alter the chemical structure of the nectar.
This news about agave came first from my personal, holistic health coach, and then from the internet of course. Here’s something from a Huffington Post blog. Here’s another tale from an athletic nutritionist that describes the negative impact of processed fructose, which is the main sugar component of processed agave.
Apparently, I just hadn’t done enough homework on agave–I was duped! The reality is that some manufacturers are more scrupulous than others, but how can you tell which is which–for instance, which agave has the lowest level of fructose? That’s not something I’ve seen on a packaging “flag” or “starbust” of superfluous marketing speak. It’s never raw as it might say on a bottle, since the juice is cooked to create the syrup (like maple), but worse than that, the high level of fructose in the stuff is akin only to that of high fructose corn syrup, both of which can create or exacerbate immune disorders, degenerative, and diabetic diseases. OH SNAP!!!
So I’m officially on a foray for other baking substitutes. Fun! I’ll keep it gluten free for good measure, since it seems like every body and they mama is allergic to wheat glutens these days. (What is going to happen when we all find out we are all allergic to most US manufactured, pesticidal, hormonal, genetically modified staple goods…revolution anyone?).
Here’s a shortlist of the sweeteners I’ll be investigating based on nutritional & environmental quality, availability, price, and quantity needed for 2 of my favorite (and quite similar) snacking staples, “Over-Stuffed” oatmeal cookies, and “Thank Goodness its Granola” granola.
Stevia whole leaf herb (possibly best for diabetics if you can somehow grow it yourself, a true magical herb, but one must be careful of selecting the manufacturer of the white powdered form. I hear try to find a green powder, which would indicate the leaf was less processed.)
Raw honey (not great for diabetics, but fortunately for me, I don’t have that worry)
Maple syrup (<–on 2nd thought, NIX Maple. It’s just too darn expensive for me to be a regular baking ingredient, but if you have it like that…)
Brown rice syrup (cheaper than honey, but not as sweet.)
Soaked date nectar
Apple juice concentrate
Do you have any alternative sugar-tales to tell?