Agaves (Aaah-gaav-veys) are large, spikey plants that look like cacti or yuccas but they are actually succulents similar to the familiar Aloe Vera.
There are over 100 species of Agave and one of the main products derived from this amazing plant is agave nectar (also called agave syrup). This is usually sourced from the Blue Agaves that thrive in the volcanic soils of Southern Mexico.
Agave nectar has a complex form of plant and vegetable sugar (fructose) called inulin. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides the sweetness of taste without the unpleasant “sugar rush” and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars. It’s mainly for this reason that it seems to be getting popular.
It also has healing properties for the skin and can be applied directly as a balm for skin infections. I find this very interesting because the Aztecs called the syrup ‘honey water’ and in Africa my mother used to apply honey to my skin for burns and scars.
The most famous product from agave is tequila which has no healing or nutritional properties as far as I know except releasing those feel good vibes when drunk in moderation :-)
Recipes using agave nectar or tequila