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Which is better Agave or Honey?

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Agave vs. honey: Is one betterImage

Q. Is agave better than honey?

A. This is going to be our toughest food fight yet! Two natural sweeteners pitted against each other. Here we go:

  • Agave

Most agave nectar is produced from the blue agave plant grown in desert regions. The syrup is extracted from the “honey water” found at the core of the plant, filtered, heated and then processed to make it into the thicker nectar you see at the store. This makes agave a good sweetener for vegans who don’t eat honey.

Agave nectar has a dark amber color, but has a more neutral flavor than honey. One tablespoon of the sweetener has about 60 calories compared to about 45 and 60 in the same amount of granulated sugar and honey, respectively. It’s 11/2 times sweeter than sugar and so you can use less of it.

The media has hyped up agave because of its low glycemic index (GI of 17) compared with regular sugar (GI of 68) or even honey (GI between 60-74 depending on variety). This low-glycemic index has made agave a favorite among many diabetics. However, according to the American Diabetes Association, agave should be treated just like any sweetener and be consumed in limited amounts.

  • Honey

One tablespoon of honey has about 64 calories. The flavor of honey depends on where the bee collected its nectar. The darker the color, the more robust the flavor and the more antioxidants present. You also can find a variety of minerals like iron, copper, niacin, riboflavin, potassium and zinc.

Honey is sweeter than sugar so you don’t need as much when using it in a recipe. When substituting for granulated sugar, use lighter-colored (and milder-flavored) honey so it won’t overpower your recipe.

There’s also been some belief that eating local honey can help alleviate seasonal allergies. The theory stems from the facts that bees collect local pollen spores and that if we consume around a tablespoon a day, it could help build up immunity through gradual exposure.

 

This food-fight winner is honey. Agave is a bit more processed and has been over-hyped by the media and built up to be a super-sweetener, but it’s like all the others; use moderately.

Courtesy Toby Amidor on foodnetwork.com

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Honey – More Than Just Sweet!

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Honey, sweet

But so much more

Designed by the Creator

This wonderful, miraculous food!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

As we have progressed in our beekeeping adventure, my quest for information has continued to consume my days.  It must be the teacher in me.  Or maybe it is genetic – my father was an “information junkie” and when CNN came to be, he was in heaven and watched it all the time!

I started collecting books about beekeeping and honey and other hive products – and reading, reading, reading.  While I have always lihoneyrevolutionked honey, I love it even more every time I read about it.  My favorite book, though quite technical and scientific is The Honey Revolution, by Ron Fessenden and Mike McInnes.   It is quite a tome and not easy to read, but great for info junkies like me.

They now have an abridged version, that only costs about $5, that is a quick read of the facts without all the scientific explanations and references.  Both are fascinating. honeyRevolution-ab

Here are some things I have learned:

Honey Facts

  • Honey really is metabolized differently than sugar or high fructose corn syrup! ( the opposite of what we are told on all those HFCS commercials on TV!)
  • Honey is metabolized more like a fruit than a sugar, in the body.
  • Honey stabilizes blood sugar.  It triggers a much lower insulin release than sugar or HFCS.
  • Honey is stored in the liver as glycogen, as provides fuel for your brain
  • Honey consumed before bedtime promotes restorative sleep.
  • Honey reduces metabolic stress by preventing or reducing the release of adrenalin and cortisol during sleep.

Now, if I could just apply all this great information and stop eating JUNK!!  I need to find some easy recipes for honey snacks!  I am an impulse eater and just look for the nearest, easiest thing to munch on!

Proverbs 24

13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

14 Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.