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agave nectar-- raw??

edited December 2010 in Food Preparation

So I’ve heard a lot of things about agave nectar being not REALLY raw, even though I see it on TONS of recipes and use it on a daily basis. I really love the stuff.

That being said, I want to know everyone else’s opinions on it. Is it really raw? If it’s not, can you get it raw? Is it still ok to use? How does stevia compare as a replacement in certain recipes?

I know dates could replace agave sometimes but they are so much higher calorie, I’d rather use agave. Just wanted some feedback, thanks guys.

Comments

  • I have read that if it is sweet, then the agave has been heated to make it that way.:( So, I have gone back to using raw honey. GASP! Yes, that does come from poor little animals, but find a compassionate bee keeper and it’s fine. Bees are amazing little buddies, and the honey is their food. if they can sustain their wonderous little lives on this stuff, then it’s fine by me for us. SOOOO nutritious. And at least you can get it really raw.

    Stevia, in drop form or granule form has been processed. if you want to use it, get yourself the actual herb, and pluck a leaf and add it to things to sweeten. I don’t really like the taste of Stevia.

    I think the thing with agave opposed to honey is agave has a lower glycimic load. I really love the taste of agave, I could drink the stuff!! I do use it once in a blue moon now though!

    hope that helps you.

  • I really like the agave. I keep hearing comflicting reports on whether it is raw or not. I agree with Luna blu, if you can find a compassionate bee keeper (or become one yourself) then you can be sure it isn’t processed or heated and at the same time it is being harvested compassionately. I don’t like Stevia in any form. I stick with the agave.

  • Thanks kiddos, that does help a bit. Hopefully I can find some raw honey for about the same price as agave…

  • The agave I use actually says raw in big letters on the bottle. Is this the same stuff that people are saying isn’t raw?

  • yeah i am confused about this too. mine also says RAW on it. there definitely was a non-raw option. even if it is technically not “raw” I still do not think it is as bad as cane sugar. or as addictive. at least for me.

  • Interesting. I wonder if it’s like almonds that can still be classified as raw even though they are now pasturized.

  • I don’t know, I buy mine in bulk from my local co-op. I’ll ask when I’m in there next.

  • I wonder if the enzymes and other nutrients in agave have a higher temperature tolerance of 118 degrees, since it’s a desert plant. The temperature inside the agave plant can reach well over 100 degrees in the midday sun, I’m sure. :)

  • I think what they do is they heat it so that it becomes sweet, and then they put it into the bottles and then don’t pasturize it? Maybe that’s why they call it RAW? Just a thought.

    My bottle of Agave says raw in big letters on it, but i really don’t think it is raw. It’s so darn good though!:(

    achin70 – I have wondered about that. Gets pretty hot lying there in the desert sun!!

  • This link has some good agave processing info http://www.fromsadtoraw.com/Misc/AgaveNectar.htm

  • RawNutrition.ca: Great info! I wonder if the Wholesome Foods brand is truly raw. That’s the brand my local co-op carries. I’ll have to check it out. :)

  • Agave 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 45c/115f and thus producing sweet “Raw”? nectar.

    See here for more things that are sold as “raw” but aren’t usually found truly raw, or generally believed to be raw but aren’t:

    http://purelyraw.com/deadfoodlist.htm We haven’t updated the list for ages, that’s why Almonds aren’t on there.

  • luna blu – during my transition to raw, i need sugar, so i use honey (im a strict beegan – i use no animal products, but i use honey). i started this when i heard that agave might not be truly raw. the agave debate continues…

  • I still use agave…I like it better than honey because it is thinner, so I can use smaller amounts and it lasts longer. Stevia, in my opinion, tastes like ass. I accidentally bought some tea recently that had stevia leaf in it and EW it tasted like splenda (which is also nasty).

  • why not make date syrup? it’s vegan. raw. delicious. and cheaper than agave.

    i’ve actually bought fresh stevia from the farmer’s market and it tastes pretty good. i doubt stevia in packets is raw anyway.

  • p.s. in my humblest of opinions i think calories are not a holistic way to measure food. they don’t tell the whole story. a rice cake might be lower in calories than an apple, but which is better for your body? (i’ll give you a hint: it stats with A and rhymes with grapple).

  • Yes. Not raw, even when labelled so. Interesting article about all that it’s “watered down” with in Living Nutrition. I am personally terrified of high fructose corn syrup and Once a had a Maragarita that was amde with so-called agave—It was HF corn syrup and I gagged, never to have the stuff again. It’s just too sweet. Dates, date syrup—way to go!

  • how does one make date syrup?

  • The agave nectar I use is Madhava brand, says RAW on the label, and on the side it says “specially processed at temps below 115 degrees farenheit” – If it were really corn syrup, my body would know it for sure! It is sweet, and it feels good to my body. Raw honey is good, too, unless you have super crazy blood sugar issues like I have lately :) I use a few dates sometimes to balance, because they have more or different nutrients than agave. Sad to know there are so many companies promoting their stuff as raw/healthy when it’s not, but it’s good to have options – thanks everyone for the input!

  • if the calorie thing was in fact directed at me, let me clarify. i like to use less not to save calories (i mean really, what does that save maybe 30? stupid) but to save money. i don’t have a lot of $$ and agave and honey are expensive. I prefer not to power through a whole bottle a week. I am aware that apples are healthier than rice cakes thanks.

  • if the calorie thing was in fact directed at me, let me clarify. i like to use less not to save calories (i mean really, what does that save maybe 30? stupid) but to save money. i don’t have a lot of $$ and agave and honey are expensive. I prefer not to power through a whole bottle a week. I am aware that apples are healthier than rice cakes thanks.

  • no, actually i was just responding to slosh-up saying dates were high in calories.

    date syrup is made by blending dates and water (with a pinch of salt) until smooth and creamy. i asked this question in another forum and got some tips… type in “date syrup” in the forums section. =)

  • I found this information on Agave Nectar at this site. It should not matter if agave is raw or not if it is toxic to consume it…

    http://v.mercola.com/blogs/public_blog/Surge-In…

    Refined fructose from corn (High Fructose Corn Syrup or Crystalline Fructose, there is no such thing as industrial fructose from fruit) or Iso Glucose (the labeling in the EU and UK for the same from modified starch refining process, but from beets or wheat typically), or falsely and CRIMINALLY AFFIRMED FRAUDULENTLY labeled ‘Agave Nectar or Syrup’, (which is chemically refined hydrolyzed high fructose, 70-90 DE, inulin syrup, intentionally falsely labeled, to deceive consumers), ARE ALL BAD to human health, AT ANY INGESTION LEVEL!!!

    So called ‘agave’ harms even more, because it is FRAUDULENTLY not from blue agave, as claimed, not organic, and proven to cause red blood cell membrane deterioration in ALL ingestees, in addition of converting to triglycerides or stored body fat.

    Agave Nectar or Syrup (again, a FALSE and illegal ingredient descriptor)causes spontaneous abortion in pregnant woman, at low ingestion levels, is not FDA approved, is NOT Generally Recognize As Safe (GRAS), is highly allergenic, was never used in this highlly chemically refined form in Ancient Meso America as claimed, is NOT all natural, or remotely near naturally occurring, and the FDA has affirmed this criminal fraud in writing as of May of 2,000.

    All brands using fraudulent ‘agave’ stopped using it, after the FDA busted the main industrial sweetner distributor in Los Angeles in 2000, and put these scam artists out of business for criminal fraud. The officers of that operation fled the country with the assets of that company and from criminal prosecution.

    Avoid such naive, or deceptive brands (such a Raw, Raw Indulgence, or Pure bars) recently using this criminally fraudulent product as an ingredient; typically found in so-called natural health food stores.

    If you wish to read the FDA letter on the subject, you may send me your fax number at: russ@adepthq.com

    Is ‘agave’ safe? NO! Is agave natural, or naturally occurring, in this form? NO! Is ‘agave’ what it’s claimed to be? NO! Is ‘agave’ dangerous and toxic to humans? YES! Is ‘agave’s’ so-called certification that it’s organic in any way legitimate? NO! Should anyone consume ‘agave nectar or syrup or sweetener’? NO! Unless you also like highy refined High Fructose Corn Syrup and want to damage your health!

    By the way, just take a triglyceride comparison count, from a simple blood test, 20 minutes after ingestion of phony and criminally fraudulently labeled ‘agave’; your triglyceride counts will be jacked-up.

    Hmmmm, come to think of it, ‘agave’ is probably endorsed by Lipitor and Robert Jarvick to sell more expensive liver killing cholesterol drugs.

    Uncle Russ

  • I’m with pianissima, I actually found a farm where they grow stevia plants and bought one, the taste from the leaf in it’s pure form is devine and very very sweet. That being said, I also like raw honey (no rock throwing).

  • Sounds like agave is the new big scam. I was in my local wild oats store this past weekend, and they had a HUGE endcap of agave nectar promoting it as the wonder sweetener. I guess its true of everything in life-If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. I do use agave and it does not seem to spike my blood sugar as raw honey does, but the brand i buy is 3 times more expensive than honey.I guess it is time to introduce stevia into the line-up of sweeteners. Anyone have any experience with yacon syrup? i have read this has no impact on blood sugar, but as with agave, there are questions to if it is truly raw.

  • I have never used agave before but use dates if i am making something sweet. I was going to buy some agave from detoxyourworld and wondered if this could be 100% raw? I hate buying dried fruit and nuts from supermarkets as I never trust that they are raw. Pine nuts seem to be fine as well as most seeds but I worry about macadamias, dried figs and now almonds as I’ve read an article about them all coming from america where they are heated. Can anyone set this straight for me??? This is a very confusing thread!x

  • Almonds are definately pasteurized. Many other nuts are too, I just am not sure which ones. One Lucky Duck sells a variety of nuts that they claim are truly raw. Rawguru.com sells them also.

  • Almonds are definately pasteurized. Many other nuts are too, I just am not sure which ones. One Lucky Duck sells a variety of nuts that they claim are truly raw. Rawguru.com sells them also.

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