How to Use Agave Instead of Honey

One Methods:Sweetening Cold Foods with Agave

Agave is syrup derived from the sap of the agave plant (also called aguamiel) found in the desert region of Central Mexico. It is a natural sweetener that can be used in place of sugar and honey. Learn how to use agave instead of honey and provide a different taste to your food when sweetening beverages, eating cereal or pancakes, cooking, or as a topping on raw fruit.


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    Learn the differences between agave and honey before using it as a replacement.
    • Since agave is derived from a plant, it is considered vegan, unlike honey which comes from bees. Agave is deemed a viable, natural sweetener for those following a vegan diet.
    • Agave does not crystallize as honey sometimes does because it is high in fructose.
    • While honey has a unique taste and imparts its flavor to the food that is being sweetened, agave has a subtler flavor and lends little or no taste to a dish or beverage.
    • Agave tastes sweeter than honey because of higher fructose content.
    • Honey is not recommended for children under the age of 1 due to the presence of a few botulism spores. Agave may be consumed by people of all ages.
    • Agave has a thinner consistency than honey.
    • Agave is great for adding body fat because of the high fructose content.
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    When using agave as a replacement for honey in cooking, use a 1:1 ratio to keep the consistency of the product the same.
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    Lower your baking temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit (13.9 degrees Celsius), and lengthen the cooking time when using agave. Since agave browns more quickly than honey, you don't want the food to pick up a burnt taste or turn an unappetizing color.
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    When using agave in cooking to replace dry sweeteners such sugars, reduce the liquid contents of the ingredients as needed.

Sweetening Cold Foods with Agave

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    Use agave to sweeten cold drinks. Honey will solidify in cold liquids, while agave will not. Agave can also be used to sweeten iced tea by drizzling the desired amount into the beverage and stirring.
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    Sprinkle agave to the top of yogurt, and stir.
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    Sweeten your cold foods, such as fruit salads, with just 1 teaspoon of agave. Experiment until the desired sweetness is reached. If honey is called for in a cold salad recipe, start by replacing half the recommended amount with agave and add as needed.


  • When fermented, agave nectar is used to make tequila.
  • Agave contains 60 calories per tablespoon while honey has 64, and sugar has about 40. However, due to the extra sweetness of agave, less can be used.
  • Consult with a doctor if you must limit your sugar intake before using agave.


  • Agave is purported by some to have a lower glycemic index value (15 to 19) than sugar or honey. Diabetics are recommended to use agave in the place of honey or sugar. The Mayo Clinic disputes this claim, saying there is no scientific evidence to verify this.
  • Pregnant women are advised against using some forms of agave because more than 200 species may contain steroids with contraceptive affects that could cause miscarriage.
  • Agave syrup, although considered a natural sweetener, will still cause tooth decay, weight gain, poor nutrition, and stimulate the need for insulin. The Mayo Clinic advises consuming all sweeteners in moderation.
  • Agave is made of fructose, which is linked to higher triglycerides.
  • Some agave products may not be pure agave but may be agave-flavored syrups.

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