My new year's resolution has been to find alternative ways to sweeten life without using refined sugar. Lots of taste testing takes place in making lemonade, for example, to make it sweet enough and not overly sweet while experimenting with other natural sweeteners.
Agave is a great substitute I've been experimenting with. It has become fascinating to me, dating back to the Aztecs. It is sweeter than sugar so requires less in recipes.
Its sweetness comes primarily from a complex form of fructose called inulin. Fructose is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant "sugar rush" and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars.
I was impressed years ago when I visited Europe how simple and delicate desserts and sweets were. That other flavors could be the spotlight instead of the intensity of just "sweet" I was accustomed to back home.
A million things come to mind: twinkies, soda, candy, cookies, pies, cakes, etc. How accustomed we are to very sweet.
So far, these past few years, my children still love and are thrilled with cookies made with whole grains (I put it in everything) and much less sugar (or substitutes).
Give it a try: use a natural sweetener like real maple syrup or honey in a recipe. You'll actually be benefiting from their natural vitamins and minerals as well. Check here to know how to substitute for refined sugar.
Now for the winners of the totes!
Anna Hale and Zeeny--Congrats! Send me a message in "Contact Me" with your home address to know where to ship them.