I purchased Florida Crystals Organic Agave Nectar Light Sweetener liquid for review this past weekend to sweeten almond drinks, tea, and cereals. I’ve found this organic agave nectar to be a stupendous alternative to white sugar and corn syrup-based sweetener products. It has 60 calories per tablespoon, and appears to equal in sweetness that of honey and pure maple syrup.
The big difference however, between this agave nectar and more typical sweeteners is its significantly lower glycemic index (GI). With a GI of between 15 and 30, this makes small amounts less objectionable for use by diabetics than are other carbohydrate-based sweeteners. The GI of pure maple syrup is 54; significantly higher than that for agave nectar, meaning that a given amount of agave nectar triggers a lower blood-sugar spike response. Thus, there’s less of a “sugar high” than that which results from other, more highly processed sweetener products.
But, though the GI of agave nectars like this one is lower than that of other sugars, remember that this is still a concentrated sugar source. Thus in my observance, this can make you crave more of it, if you consume too much; just as all sugars tend to do. So use this light sweetener sparingly; its ‘healthy’ reputation notwithstanding. Florida Crystals agave nectar tastes very much like the other agave nectars I’ve reviewed from Madhava and Honey Tree. So in terms of taste, these are all interchangeable.
Benefits, Features, Pros, and Advantages
- This light agave nectar indeed impresses the tongue as a mostly neutral, mild flavor, and has little if any aroma at all for the nose.
- It is clear and medium amber to orange in color; like clover honey, but darker than the Madhava light product. So it can slightly change appreciably the colors of any foods or beverages you add it to.
- Like all other agave nectars I’ve tried out, Florida Crystals Agave Sweetener dissolves quickly and fully in hot and cold drinks.
- Requires just one stirring, as it does not tend to separate after it’s completely dissolved in beverages.
- The product only recently appeared on bigger grocery store shelves. In fact, the bottle I have says “New!” on it. It’s nice to see more of the big players getting in on the natural sweetener craze. I wondered when we’d see an agave nectar product from Florida Crystals. Well, here it is, and it’s a great one.
- Has a thin yet syrupy texture, slightly thicker than pure grade A maple syrup, yet thinner than honey and grade B maple syrup. Thus it well-seasons pancakes with little difference in texture than pure maple syrup, although the flavor of agave nectar differs markedly from maple. It pours more easily than does honey.
- I’ve experienced no intestinal or stomach problems from Florida Crystals Organic Agave Nectar Light Sweetener.
- You need not refrigerate agave nectar after opening it.
- I like the “spill proof” top that Florida Crystals includes with this product. It works well and really does limit spillage.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- If spilled, any agave nectar can draw bugs, just as spilled sugar or sugary syrup might. As you’d do with sugar, take care during clean-up that you leave no sticky films behind that possibly could attract ants and roaches. It’s easy to clean and water-soluble. So a wet dish rag effectively removes spills of agave nectar.
- To adequately sweeten my tea, I must use three to four tablespoons of this sweetener; unlike the liquid stevia products I use that require far less than one tablespoon. This can further drive up the cost of agave nectar as a tea sweetener and add lots of calories.
- Can indeed be more expensive than sugar per pound. I paid roughly $5.88 for one 23.5-ounce bottle, which lasts about a week when used exclusively to sweeten my teas and other comfort beverages.
I’m tickled with the Florida Crystals Organic Light Agave Nectar Sweetener and believe fully that you’ll like it too. I’d rate this sugary product at 85 out of 100; probably so low due to my growing default bias against refined sugar products like this one.
Where To Buy Florida Crystals Organic Agave Nectar Light Sweetener
Look for the clear bottle with the avocado-green label with the dark green letters in your favorite larger grocers and health food outlets. You too will probably find that you need sacrifice nary a trifle of taste for the health benefits of agave nectar in this product. Enjoy.
- Agave Nectar on Wikipedia
- Florida Crystals Web Site
- Where to buy Florida Crystals Organic Agave Nectar
- 2015-01-28: Moved this post to the Tom’s Diet Quest blog, tweaked the content, and rearranged category and tag assignments.
- 2014-12-01: Extended References section, updated content, added whitespace for enhanced clarity, and adjusted ad placement.