Agave syrup is a multipurpose sweetener obtained from the core of the Mexican Agave cactus, also known as maguey. The plant’s sap is famous as a source of tequila, but it’s been used as a natural sweetener only since the 1990’s. Agave syrup is about 25% sweeter than sugar and consists of 10% sucrose and 90% fructose along with trace amounts of minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. The high natural fructose content of Agave syrup gives it a low glycemic index score (40 – 45), which means it affects blood sugar levels less dramatically than ordinary sugar.
Agave resembles honey but is slightly less viscous and dissolves easier in liquids. Most agave products are unrefined and many qualify as raw, having been processed at temperatures lower the 118°F. Its color also resembles honey, ranging from pale to dark amber with the darker colors exhibiting a more robust flavor that contains a pleasant hint of molasses.