is agave good food?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: What about the controversy surrounding agave?

Answer: I have seen a couple of people with clout on the internet say that one should be careful with agave.   They make a decent point that since much of the product imported into the U.S. is from Mexico, we don’t always know what we’re getting.   Sometimes imported product can be pretty wild and woolly, especially from developing countries.   An allegation has gone around that high fructose corn syrup is cut into the agave.   That would certainly be a way to increase your profit margin, if you’re an agave manufacturer.

The agave I use, that I buy in huge bulk for my local buying group a couple times a year (66 cases of 4 gallons each sitting in my garage right now), I know does not contain corn syrup.   Personally, I react very negatively to HFCS, and I feel great when I use this agave.   I required the company I buy from wholesale to produce their organic certification.   I checked into the importer’s reputation and didn’t find anything amiss.   I got the nutritional sheet on both the light and dark, and compared (overall, no big difference).

You can get agave RAW or not.   I don’t believe there’s any way the product is literally cold-pressed from the cactus straight into the bottle.   I don’t personally believe it’s truly raw.   So I use agave sparingly, as a replacement for items that are more processed and more destructive to your blood sugar.

Agave has 1/3 the calories and 1/3 the impact on your blood sugar that other concentrated sweeteners do, like HFCS, sugar, and honey.   That’s pretty brilliant.   Don’t take that as a license to go crazy with it, though.

If you want to be an absolutist or  purist, don’t use any sweeteners at all.   Just eat fruit and dates.   Even most raw foodists do use maple syrup, which is never truly raw, and agave.   If you want to use occasional sweeteners for baked goods, etc.,  a good brand of agave  is probably the best or one of the best sweetener options.   (Madhava, a brand a few of you have mentioned,  does have a good reputation.)

Locals, I bought some extra agave, so let me know if you want a case: 4 gallons for $130 (raw, organic).

9 thoughts on “is agave good food?

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  1. This is the first I have heard about all of this on the Agave. I have met the owners and one of the farmers from Madhava Agave and it seems to me that they are people of integrity. They only buy from one family farm. I don’t think they are doing any of the HFCS to this at all. I eat mostly raw food but do use maple syrup occasionaly to sweeten things…occasionally. (It tastes great in home made vegan ice cream and also in raw whip cream…tastes better than cool whip!) I use dates often in smoothies that my family drinks many times a week and have been making my own nut butters and putting raw honey in it. Sooooo good. I do like agave for many things but have found that using plain ol fruit for green smoothies is perfect for our palate.

  2. what is the shelf life on the agave? –can it be bought in single gallons or no? you’re going to let us know when the almonds come in on here right?

  3. Can you tell me your feeling about homeade bone broth (boil a carcass of a chicken for 24 hr) is this the same as having animals to eat?(supposedly it has lots of vitamins and calcium, etc etc)

    I have heard this is wonderful to “heal my son’s gut” because he has allergies—the only two things people tell me about that could help this are probiotics, cod liver oil and bone broth–and I don’t know how I feel about the latter two because they are animal sources—please share!

    (and do your soups not have any broth-even homeade? I gotta figure out how to do this)

  4. anonymous: I saw on the news recently that the reason Chicken Soup is supposed to be so good for a sick person is because it has an anti-microbial ingredient. I wonder if that’s why bone broth was recommended to you. Well, lots of plant sources have anti-microbial or anti-fungal components like young coconuts, coconut oil, raw honey, and tea tree oil to name a few.

    Local raw honey is also supposed to be good against environmental allergies because the bees visit all the different local flowers to make the honey. But my guess is that you are talking about food allergies.

  5. I make some vegetable broth, simmering a lot of different vegetables, and I met a lady this last summer who said she didn’t waste anything and put the stems from her greens in her broth.

    It really does add a lot of flavor to the broth, stems from chard, spinach, kale, collard greens etc.

  6. Hey Jeane, what a great idea. I strip the thickest part of the stems off all my smoothie greens, and just throw them away. I never thought to make broth, thanks for the tip!

  7. Great idea. But for the record, if you haven’t heard me say this, I put the ENTIRE stem in my green smoothies. (Do not try this at home unless you have a turbo blender–as in, the $400 kind.)

  8. Robyn: Is it possible for a group of us here in Texas to get together and order Agave from your source? If they ship to you – would they not ship to Texas. The little bottles don’t last long enough and they are much more expensive than to buy in large quantity. I would love to hear from you on this.;

  9. Let me work on that. Some readers now have buying groups put together because of the almond buy, so that’s probably a good idea. I will tell you that the holidays are not the best time to do group buying, though, so maybe look for an announcement on that in Jan. on this blog, okay?

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