Friday, 16 April 2010

Sugar? Agave? Nothing at all?

Vegan chocolate cake date I baked using agave nectar

There are many studies around about the use of sweeteners. The white sugar is always the "bad guy" and we all know that it is really bad (
mainly due to its refinement process) and in some places it is still not vegan too. Because of all that, people started to look for other options, healthier, of sweeteners.

The agave nectar (or syrup) has been used for a lot of people as a more natural option. I had never used before two months ago and I thought it was really good to bake using it and that it could be better to replace the white sugar in the cakes with it (Matteo's birthday cake was made with agave). Then two days ago I received this article by email, about the myth of the agave and how bad it can be to our body. I'm not an expert in the issue and I really don't know what to do. In Brazil is not that hard to find the brown sugar,
known as a more healthy and less toxic option and I can find it here in Ireland as well (including some organic options). But will be this enough? I really like sweets and I'd like to have some good options.

But what should we use as a really good option? Nothing at all? What do you think?

9 comments:

Andréa N. said...

G, have you tried organic evaporated cane juice? It comes in a bag as crystals and it's supposedly a less processed sweetener than white sugar. While I don't think it's the solution, at least it's another option. No sugar is good sugar unless you eat a fruit, anyway. We still use agave nectar at home, but we rarely use it for cooking. We drink our coffee black and never make dessert. We also keep it for guests. I think the secret is using as little sugar as possible on anything. :)

Jill said...

I read a similar article about agave recently and was shocked. It sucks to hear that what you thought was the solution, might not be after all. It's cliche but I think the real solution is everything is okay in moderator. And, stick to the healthy alternatives like unrefined cane sugar and agave. I always question the amount of sweetener recipes call for and try to reduce it to the point where it's sweet enough but doesn't compromise the flavor.

Sweet @ Adventures in Veg said...

I reckon the jury's out when it comes to Agave - the guy who wrote the main anti-agave article is a doctor but quite controversial in some of his views - but too much of any sweetener isn't good.

Have you tried brown rice syrup? It's not as sweet but is nice to replace agave and I've used it in cakes & cookies before (cookies turn out quite 'cakey'). It's used in macrobiotic cooking so it's not really a 'new' product like agave.

Also you can get maple sugar; coconut sugar; cane sugar; molasses etc.

睿玄 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mondoperdido said...

Eu realmente nao sei qual eh o melhor, conheci o Syrup aqui e adorei. Minha familia aqui nao costuma usar muito acucar (branco), so entao me dei conta como eu comia acucar no Brasil. Agora raramente uso e minha host tenta sempre usar o acucar mascavo.(ainda sou beeem leiga em tudo isso hehehe mas estou aprendendo!)
=D

Sarah said...

Hey there, love your blog!

With agave, I think it's the same as any other sweetener i.e. use in moderation. I don't think it's any more toxic than other forms as it's still acidic. Agave and maple syrup are def my sweeteners of choice :)

Simply Life said...

oh that looks great!

1208茹宣dinoreale said...

i consder your artical is so nice!........................................

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Have you tried Date Syrup yet? It's pretty tasty!

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