How Does Raw Honey Compare As A Natural Sweetener To Agave?
Everyone knows that raw honey is sweet, which gives it its appeal, along with its health benefits. As a natural sweetener, there isn’t anything more healthy on the planet that tastes so good. How does it compare to a sweetener like agave, though?
Those of you unfamiliar with agave should know it’s also a natural sweetener, though a little different from regular honey in taste and appearance.
Which one is better for you? Let’s look at some comparisons and additional information to help you make a smart dietary choice.
What is Blue Agave?
Agave is considered more like a nectar or syrup since it comes from blue agave plants found in Mexico. Yes, Mexico is the only place where agave is found, making it a more valuable sweetener to use on food and in drinks.
When the syrup is extracted from the plants, it’s processed much like honey is to sell in stores. The heating process thickens the product, just like honey, and ultimately what’s sold in most marketplaces.
Many vegans prefer consuming blue agave because those who prefer vegan diets don’t always buy honey due to personal philosophy on the labor of bees. Still, the comparison between honey and agave is an interesting one.
A good argument can be made in both being of equal value, even though how each is processed makes the difference in their nutrition levels.
How Much Sugar is in Agave?
Part of the appeal with blue agave is it has a lower glycemic index compared to organic honeys. Many diabetics turn to agave for this reason. Overall, it has fairly high fructose content, something that requires careful balance if you’re watching your sugar intake.
On the glucose end, it’s not quite so high with agave, though it depends on how it’s processed. It only has 60 calories, which is about equal to raw honey. Interestingly enough, granulated sugar is a little lower in caloric level.
What matters above the health aspects of agave is how it tastes.
What Does Agave Taste Like Compared to Raw Honey?
Most people describe blue agave as tasting sweeter than sugar, giving it major appeal for use in recipes and libations.
Compared to raw honey, both are very similar in taste. Someone not aware they were tasting agave might think, initially, it’s honey.
Then again, other people think the taste of agave is more neutral. When you find a darker colored version, it can sometimes taste like maple syrup. Others say when you buy a lighter version of agave, it has a unique sweet taste that stands alone compared to honey or sugar.
One thing to note about blue agave is it’s not quite as thick as honey. While this all goes by personal tastes, you still have to use agave (and honey) in moderation due to both having sugar and fructose content.
Should You Buy Your Blue Agave in Organic Form?
A major problem exists with processed agave, just like with honey. Those of you who’ve bought types of honey in grocery stores for years are probably getting the pasteurized variety that takes away all the healthy enzymes raw honey has.
Agave is going through the same issue. All the processed agave in grocery stores you might be buying also has its healthier properties stripped away by heating.
Your best bet is to buy organic blue agave to get the healthiest type. Here at Artie’s Harvest, we work closely with local farmers to make sure you get organic blue agave directly from the farmers who harvest it.
We work with farmers who connect with agave growers in Jalisco, Mexico who make sure safe growing practices are carefully followed.
The verdict: Honey and agave are both great natural sweeteners, but only a couple of tablespoons per day is all you need to enjoy their wide variety of benefits.
What Makes Artie’s Harvest Raw Honey Different?
At Artie’s Harvest, we care about our bees. We always make sure our honey is raw, preserving all its essential nutrients and health benefits.
Our organic honeys aren’t ultra-filtered like most types of honey on the market. Instead, we keep in all the pollen, propolis, and other goodies from the hive.
Every jar was produced by our cooperative of Pacific Northwest local beekeepers, and we never blend it with honey from outside our region.
We also never mix our honey with corn syrup or other adulterants the way many large-scale honey producers do.
We give our bees the freedom to decide which flowers they want to forage on. Plus, we avoid keeping our bees in monoculture crops where hives can be subject to spray from herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers.