Agave syrup is a natural sweetener produced from the blue agave
plant. Formulators can find both light and dark agave syrups, each of
which has a low GI of approximately 39. To create this syrup, the agave
piña is ground up with hot water, releasing the inulin from the fiber.
The remaining fiber is filtered out, leaving dilute inulin syrup, which is
then processed with low heat to break down the inulin into fructose
and glucose. The result is about 80 percent fructose and 17 percent
glucose. Agave syrup is 1.4 times sweeter than refined sugar but does
not stimulate digestive insulin secretion at the same rate as other
sweeteners. Also, because it is sweeter than sugar, you need less. For
each cup of white sugar replaced, use two-thirds of a cup of agave and
reduce other liquids by one-fourth to one-third of a cup.
Honey has always been a popular natural alternative to table sugar
and it is being seen more and more in processed products today. Although agave has it beat on the GI scale, with a rating of 55, honey still
raises the blood sugar less than refined sugar. Honey also offers beneficial antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. While honey has more
calories per teaspoon than table sugar, like agave, honey is sweeter and
so can be substituted two-thirds to three-fourths to one cup of sugar.
Honey will keep your baked goods moister longer, however, it also
causes them to brown more quickly.
Depending on where the honey was harvested and the plants and
flowers in the area, honey can take on a variety of subtle flavors, giving
formulators many unique options with which to experiment. There are
also several fair trade certified versions of honey on the market that
are connected with some amazing projects around the world.
ral. Sucanat is whole cane sugar made
from dehydrated cane juice. It contains 100 percent of the cane’s natural molasses in every granule with an
average content of about 13 percent
molasses and 87 percent sugar. Compared with refined sugar, it has a
slightly lower level of sucrose in each
granule and more of molasses’ vitamins and minerals, including iron,
calcium, potassium, B vitamins and
Sucanat’s color can vary and the
changes in color are normal since sucanat is a minimally processed sugar,
influenced by changes in weather
and soil conditions at the farms
where the sugar cane is grown. It’s a
natural one-to-one substitute for conventional sugar and provides the
same amount of calories per gram.
Sucanat is also available in fair trade.
The name “Sucanat” comes from the words: SUgar CAne NATu-
How Sweeteners Stack Up
Sweetener per 100 grams per 100 g
Organic Coconut Palm Sugar 90 90
Organic Erythritol* 0 100**
Organic Stevia 0 0
Organic Agave Nectar 76 76
Organic Sucanat 100 100
Organic Rice Syrup 60 70
Organic Sweet Sorghum 75 75
Organic Sprouted Barley Malt 40 70
Organic Molasses Syrup 45-55 65-75
Organic Honey 76 81
Organic Sugar, granulated 100 100
*effective calorie content is 0.2 kcal/gram
per 100 g
Turbinado and “Raw” Sugars
Organic Rice Syrup