I was diagnosed with PCOS with insulin resistance back in 2001. I didn’t begin to take that diagnosis seriously until 2004 when I was pregnant with my second child. I knew that my insulin resistance could very well turn into full-blown diabetes if I didn’t change my eating habits. While it was difficult, I gave up many of my favorite sweets and looked for natural sweeteners I could use in those instances when sweetness was absolutely necessary.
I often use agave nectar in hot beverages for my family such as hot tea and hot chocolate. I also add a little to smoothies that need a bit of sweetening. I have used it in teriyaki sauce too! Most importantly, I gave some to my mom (who is diabetic) to replace the artificial sweeteners she had been using on a regular basis. As someone who uses agave nectar regularly, I was quite intrigued when I read about Xagave Nectar, a special blend of agave. I requested a sample and looked forward to trying it.
According to the website, this particular type of agave nectar is special:
Xagave is a Premium Blend of Agave Nectar derived from organic Agave Salmiana (White Agave) and organic inulin from Agave Tequilana (Blue Agave). This combination results in the highest quality nectar with the best taste, best cooking qualities and the most health benefits of any nectar on the market; making our nectar the perfect sweetener for all of your cooking, canning, and baking needs. Your foods will taste better while saving calories and our nectar can be simply exchanged for sugar or honey in any of your favorite recipes.
This particular blend of agave nectar was developed by Stephen Richards, a father of two from a family with a long history of diabetes. According to the cookbook, he actually traveled to Mexico where he spent time talking with farmers and industry experts. He believes that this blend of agave nectar is superior to others in terms of taste, texture, cooking qualities, and health benefits.
I am very impressed with the cookbook. The recipes included call only for wholesome ingredients that I’d feel comfortable feeding my family. The recipes are not vegan, but I’m sure substitutions could be made. Here are a few recipes in the book that caught my eye:
- Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats
- Blueberry-Cranberry Granola Bar Muffins
- Whole Wheat Pancake and Waffle Blender Mix
- Strawberry Jam
- Banana Bread
- Grilled Yams
- Mango Salsa
- Simple Coleslaw
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Tangy Ketchup
- Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
- Whole Wheat Carrot Pineapple Cake
- Whole Grain Texas Sheet Cake
- Homemade Ice Cream and Sorbet
- Banana Chocolate Oat Cream Shake
- Strawberry Daiquiri (Yes, there is an adult beverage section!)
Since discovering agave nectar, I have used it often, but until now, I felt that I could not use it in baking due to the cost. After trying this product, I plan to order a large bottle of Xagave since it appears to be a good value when compared to the small bottles found at Whole Foods. I will post a follow-up after I’ve tried some of the recipes mentioned here!