Syrup Alternatives to Agave
Hope you had a great weekend!! It’s still only the end of August dammit- we can still hold on to summer!! :) I love my apt. now in Santa Monica!
I headed down to Newport Beach to visit some clients at a beautiful spa there, and had some nice beach walks.
I also caught up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. She was a travel buddy that I met in Australia, and we would periodically meet up on the road. Some adventures we shared include camping on frozen ground in Nepal in January (!), sharing a bungalow in Thailand and having a zillion dead bugs rain down on us when we let down the mosquito net, exploring some random deserted islands in the Philippines with only a few fishing families living on them, and taking a small plane around Mount Everest. She almost killed me when her ocean kayak flew right by my head when we were getting huge air kayaking in Byron Bay, up the coast of Australia, and we also touched the Great Barrier Reef in Australia together for the first time… she also came back to visit me when in Sydney after I was working there after college. With all the craziness we’ve been through- or should I say survived- we’ll always be super close, and when I see her its as if no time has passed!
So back to thoughts around the kitchen… I started drastically cutting back on agave over a year ago, and stopped it cold turkey a few months ago. Agave is highly processed and is a very high percentage fructose. Despite its being advertised as being low-glycemic and a “natural” alternative, it really isn’t a viable option for those of us that want to look and feel our best. I recommend you cut it out completely as well! Also, be sure to check labels. I was in Wholefoods in Venice the other day looking at the labels of raw food products, and almost every single one had agave in it!! If we all start to shun it I think hopefully eventually manufacturers will have to switch!
Stevia and xyletol are good dry, powdered sweetener alternatives. Liquid stevia is very concentrated and you drop it out with a little dropper. But how to replace agave for liquid needs?
Organic dried or dehydrated fruit is a great source of natural sugar that comes right from nature off the tree or the bush! Be sure to purchase varieties that are free of sulfites and other preservatives, and don’t have any additional added preservatives.
Lately I’ve been using dates, figs and raisins, and I make a syrup/paste by adding water. I start with 1-2 Tbs of water and blend with the dried fruit, then add more depending on how thin I need the syrup to be and what I’m using it for. Soaked nuts combine okay with dried fruit, so depending on what you are making, you can also add some of the oilier seeds and nuts for texture. These include sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and almonds.
Dried fruits should be used in moderation (or avoided altogether for those with Candida or sugar issues), as they do have a high concentration of sugar, but they are easy for our bodies to digest and break down. They also have some health benefits as well:
Dates: High in calcium, also contains copper, iron, amino acids, Vitamin A, and some riboflavin and thiamin.
Figs: High in potassium! Contains mucin and pectin, and have detoxifying and blood-cleansing properties. Also contains calcium and magnesium.
Raisins: Contains iron, potassium, calcium, silica, magnesium, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, zinc and amino acids; an awesome addition to my tabouli salad recipe!
Give these little “candies” of nature a go, and see how you do!
Have a wonderful early part of your week!!
See you soon.