ok i am new to this stuff. my question is-agave is bottled…so how is it raw?and rice syrup is bottled and so is maple syrup.so my choice for sweetening would be dates? right or??are these others actually ok.thanks so much
Though used by many raw foodists, maple syrup is not technically raw, nor is rice syrup. They are, however, a better choice than refined and processed sugars. Agave can be raw, just make sure it specifies “raw” on the bottle. Dates are a great choice, but sometimes they need to be soaked and/or pureed for certain recipes, so agave can be convenient in that regard.
thank u so much rosie.rae-dean
stevia is great and soaked dates that are then blended can make a wicked good syrup. Another One would be fresh pressed sugar cane juice. Your best bet with agave would to buy one that says raw on it, but dont use too much just to be safe :)
I don’t regard agave nectar as raw even when it is sold as raw on raw food websites. It has to be heated and altered from its natural state to taste sweet. Even when labelled or advertised as raw, if it’s sweet, it has been heated. Some manufactures claim that lower air pressures can be used to keep the heat below the magic 45c/115f and thus producing truly raw sweet nectar. But the biochemical structure has still been altered away from it’s natural state, and we just don’t know if the enzymes are still alive. I still get a cooked food reaction from it whenever I eat it, even the allegedly raw stuff. I think companies are stretching the truth to make money, ‘raw’ agave nectar is very expensive. There are a few articles on the internet about this ‘controversy’. I use dates, they are soooo yummy and raw! I blend them with water to make date syrup, which is just like using honey or maple syrup, except it is better coz it is raw!
how do you do Zoe ? do you soak the dates and blend with the water to make the syrup? very interesting.looks much better.
Maple Syrup – Maple syrup based on my research is cooked, so it is not raw. I have not had maple syrup from the tree so I cannot positively state maple syrup is not a viable food source.
Agave Nectar – To produce organic agave nectar, juice is expressed from the core of the agave. The juice is then filtered to create agave nectar. The agave nectar has the natural solids removed through a fine filtration process, creating a liquid that can be used in recipes that require a more neutral base that can be colored.
The agave nectar is then heated, causing thermic hydrolysis which breaks down the carbohydrates into sugars. The main carbohydrate is a complex form of fructose called inulin or fructosan. The filtered juice is concentrated to a syrup-like liquid a little thinner than honey.
Things you should know about Agave in the market. There are only 3 major producers of Agave Nectar in the world. Nekutli, IIDEA and us. Nekutli doesn’t use Blue Agave Nectar, but uses “maguey” to produce their syrup. The reasons vary as to why… but these other products contain unnatural sugars that are non existent in pure Agave Nectar (*Maltose, Sucrose, *Mannitol and others). *Maltose, also called malt sugar, is not found free in nature, but is formed by enzymes or acid hydrolysis from starch also found in Corn Syrup.
Raw Honey – Honey compared to other sugars is the most raw choice. What I found out about honey is.
There are 4 classes of simple sugars which are regarded by most nutritionists as “harmful” to optimal health when prolonged consumption in amounts above 15% of the carbohydrate calories are ingested: Sucrose, fructose, honey, and malts.
Although honey is a natural sweetener, it is considered a refined sugar because 96% of dry matter are simple sugars: fructose, glucose and sucrose. It is little wonder that the honey bear is the only animal found in nature with a problem with tooth-decay (honey decays teeth faster than table sugar). Honey has the highest calorie content of all sugars with 65 calories/tablespoon, compared to the 48 calories/tablespoon found in table sugar. The increased calories are bound to cause increased blood serum fatty acids, as well as weight gain, on top of the risk of more cavities.
Honey is pure carbohydrate sugar consisting of fructose and glucose, sucrose, maltose, isomaltose, maltulose, turanose, kojibiose, erlose, theanderose and panose.
Sugar, corn syrup, fructose, maltose, and the like destroy the good bacteria in your intestinal tract, deplete you of nutrients, offer no nutritional value, create tooth decay, spike insulin levels, and add lots of pounds.
Honey is good for topical use to heal cuts and bruises. I say pick you poison
I also forgot to mention blue agave is the most common plant used to make tequila. I wouldn’t be surprised if the companies wouldn’t try to make an extra buck or two.
Hi, Lucy, I don’t need to soak my dates because I get fresh dates from our local Asian food shop. They’re really inexpensive, about £1.50 for 500grammes, much much cheaper and better quality than buying from
normal supermarkets. They’re squidgy and blend really smooth into syrup.
But, yes, if I can’t get them then I buy dried ones and soak them well before blending.
Hi Zoe. sounds delicious !!! and 2 dollars for 500 grammes? wow!! that is a great deal. i will look all over here,Westchester,NY ,for them.
thanks a lot.
it’s much better than all the other sweeteners that joesc was talking about. i didn’t know honey had so much sugar.
Sapphire – Thanks for the great write-up on sweeteners. Very thorough and helpful!
Thanks joesc! Looks like some one did their h/w :)