The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Agave nectar verses Honey?

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curvesarein's picture
curvesarein

Agave nectar verses Honey?

I can get both raw, what are your viewpoints out there on both? It seems lots of controversay on Agave. I'm going to buy from Azurestandard,com.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

My suggestion is to pick the one with less fructose content.  

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Personally, I much prefer honey. Besides being sweet, honeys have flavor. Different varieties have differing tastes.


Up until now, I have always thought of agave as just being sweet, without much discernable flavor; at least compared to honey. As time goes on, that may change, as more "marketers" come on the scene.


I have read though, that agave is (much?)better if diabetes is a consideration.

arlo's picture
arlo

What was always the said word when I was working with the COOP was that, agave has a lower Glycemic Index than honey. So yes, it is a consideration for those with diabetes. I personally thought agave was sweeter, so I always used a bit less in the called for recipe.


Agave is going to be pricey since it has been a hot topic item for a little while now. My thoughts though is nothing can beat a nice local honey from your area.

Vogel's picture
Vogel

Well, as others suggested before, it depends on the personal criteria.


From a health point-of-view I have the same opinion as for almost every food-based questions: There isn't any proof yet that any food is healthier than any other. Today everyone is telling in the media that whole flour is more healthy than white flour, tomorrow everyone is warning about the phytic acids in whole grain and you "learn" that cake is better for your body than whole grain bread and fried potatoes are healthier than cooked ones. So actually we know nothing. The best thing is to just listen to your body; the latter will tell you most accurately what is good for you and what not.


From a ethical/environmental point-of-view it probably depends on where you are living. If you live in an area where agave nectar is actually produced or in an area where honey bees and the workers are treated in a disastrous way or if you are a vegan buying agave nectar may be the better decision. If the agave nectar has to fly around half the world in order to get into your supermarket and if locally produced honey, that has been produced under good conditions, is available too you, than the latter may be better.


Flavour is of course a very personal aspect and I'm probably not well-informed enough to talk about diabetes. Agave syrup is indeed a little sweeter than honey, so you need about 20% less in a recipe that asks for honey.


Personally, I try to use neither. I am a vegan so I don't really want to buy honey, but also I don't feel comfortable about agave nectar traveling the long way from Mexico to Europe.

curvesarein's picture
curvesarein

The Agave Nectar is Raw Blue Agave coming from Mexico, I am in AZ, so not far. But I discovered I can buy Orange Blossom Honey for less and that is what I used to use 30 years ago and my bread was fantastic. I'm assuming the Orange Blossom has to be from either California,AZ, or Florida. Guess I should ask www.Azurestandard.com.

Vogel's picture
Vogel

Sorry, I didn't want to say that one *has* to look for the origin of products and make descisions based on this. I was just talking about my personal behaviour, so no need to justify or anything :).


Similar to sugar and maple syrup there are variants that taste more neutral (the ones with a brighter colour) and ones that have a strong caramel flavour (darker ones, similar to brown sugar compared to white sugar).

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

...then you have to know that honey, natural though it may be, is a highly concentrated sugar and must be used with caution.  If you just want the flavour and aren't worried about diabetes, by all means use honey.

curvesarein's picture
curvesarein

Vogel,


You did not offend me at all, no apologies needed.


Patty,


I am looking for flavor for bread and don't think that much honey will be in it. Orange Blossom is great in whole wheat bread.