frequently asked questions
Q. What is Agave Nectar?
Agave nectar is a natural and delicious liquid sweetener that is made from the core of the Agave plant. Read more about agave nectar on our About Agave page.
Q. What is the difference between the Light Agave and the Amber Agave?
Taste and consistency; Amber Agave has a richer flavor and has a slightly thicker consistency. Light Agave is heated less, resulting in a sweetener that does not add any flavor to your recipes. Amber Agave is processed a little longer to get the darker color and richer flavor. Similar to caramelizing sugar, when you first melt sugar it is clear, but as it caramelizes it becomes darker and thicker.
Q. Is agave nectar suitable for baking?
Yes, but you will see better results in baked goods with a denser texture, such as brownies, muffins, heavier cakes and bar cookies.
Agave nectar is a liquid sweetener and will sweeten baked goods just like sugar, but it does not have all the properties of sugar. Click Here to learn about baking with agave.
Q. How do I substitute agave nectar for the sugar in my recipe?
For each cup of granulated sugar in your recipe, use 2/3 cup Light Agave and reduce the amount of other liquids by 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Use Amber Agave to replace light brown sugar and reduce liquids by 1/4 cup.
Q. Will substituting agave nectar work in all recipes?
Yes, but you may see slight differences in some of your finished baked goods. For example, cookies will have a more cake-like texture.
Q. What recipes will Light Agave work best with?
Light Agave can be used in desserts that are light in color. It is wonderful in vanilla cake, muffins and cheesecake. It is also the perfect everyday sweetener in beverages like coffee, iced and hot teas, over fruit and in smoothies or mixed drinks. See Agave Recipes for more ideas.
Q. What recipes will Amber (Dark) Agave work best with?
Amber Agave is rich in flavor so it's best to use in recipes that have a darker color, like chocolate cake, brownies and cookies. It is also great to use a blend of both Light and Dark Agave in desserts.
Q. Do I cream the agave nectar with the butter and eggs just like I do when using sugar?
No, because agave nectar is a liquid, it will not cream like sugar. To add agave nectar into a recipe, first whip softened butter, then pour the agave in and mix, you would then follow with the eggs.
Q. Can I use agave nectar for candy making?
With the exception of Agave Marshmallows, agave nectar will not work when making candy. Agave nectar will burn before it reaches the high temperatures needed for traditional candy. It is best to use granulated sugar for your candy recipes.
Q. If I want my baked goods sweeter, can I add more agave nectar to the recipe?
Yes. You can go as much as cup for cup.
Q. Is your agave nectar made from "Blue Agave"?
Yes, it comes from the Weber Blue Agave plant. Agave nectar can be made from various agave plants, however the Blue Agave plants are a species of the plant that produce a premium nectar.
Q. Why is your agave nectar sold by weight and not by volume?
Agave nectar has a variable consistency that changes with temperature, similar to honey. Because the volume fluctuates with temperature changes, the most consistent way to measure agave nectar is by net weight. C&H® Organic Blue Agave Nectar is available in either 23.5 oz. or 11.75 oz. net weight bottles. Keep in mind, these are not fluid ounces. There are 16 FL OZ in each 23.5 oz. bottle and 8 FL OZ in each 11.75 oz. bottle.
Q. Does agave nectar have an expiration date?
Yes, 2 years from the date it is packed. You can figure out the date that your specific agave nectar bottle was packed within the code date. The number will be printed down one side of the bottle.
To read the code date, the first letter is the facility where packaged. The second number is the year. Third number is the week of that year and fourth is the day of the week.
For example, a code date of "Y1142" is read as:
Y – facility
1 – 2011
14 – Fourteenth week of year (week of April 4)
2 – day of week (Monday)
Q. Is this product domestic or imported?
It is a product of Mexico, meaning that the agave plants are grown in Mexico. But the agave nectar is processed in the USA.
Q. What is the difference between raw agave and your product?
Since we heat the agave nectar to pasteurize it, we cannot call it "raw". Heating is also an additional measure to promote consistency and quality.
Q. What is the process used with agave?
We pasteurize our agave nectar products by heating them. Since it is an imported product, we opted to pasteurize as a measure of food safety and it gives our products a longer shelf life. Heating is also an additional measure to promote consistency and quality.
Q. How does agave nectar compare to sugar in calories?
Agave has a slightly higher caloric count than sugar, but since you generally use less agave nectar to sweeten than you would sugar, you get equal or fewer calories.
Q. What does it mean that agave nectar has a "low glycemic index"?
A "Glycemic Index" or "GI" is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI. C&H® Organic Blue Agave Nectar has a glycemic index in the low 20s.
Q. What is the difference between agave nectar and corn syrup?
Agave nectar comes from the core of a succulent agave plant and corn syrup is made from corn. The only processing used for agave nectar is heating to pasteurize the product.
Q. Why do I use less agave nectar than sugar?
Agave nectar is slightly sweeter than sugar, so you can use less of it to get the same sweet results.
Q. Can people with diabetes use agave nectar?
Agave nectar has a lower glycemic index than traditional sugar. It is more slowly absorbed into the blood stream, releasing glucose more slowly. We recommend you consult your physician before adding this or any new product to your diet.
Q. Can I use Agave Nectar in place of sugar when making jams and jellies?
A. Yes, you can. Just replace the appropriate amount of Agave Nectar for the sugar. The jam or jelly will thicken as it cools.
Q. Will Agave Nectar work if I am making jam or jelly that calls for storing in the refrigerator?
A. Yes, Agave Nectar will function in jam or jelly recipes just as it would with sugar so it is perfectly fine to store in the refrigerator.
Q. Will the Agave Nectar work if I am canning?
A. Yes, it will. Agave Nectar works with canning the same way as it does with sugar.
Q. Is agave nectar the same thing as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)?
A. Agave nectar is not the same as HFCS, and it is not chemically altered. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that comes from the core of the agave plant. Because of all the concerns with HFCS, people often question the consumption of fructose. The reality is that fructose is found in almost every fruit and vegetable we eat. HFCS has a bad reputation because of the unnatural process used to create it. Therefore people wrongly associate fructose as being bad for you. Fructose, like any sweetener, is fine when consumed in proper portions. Agave nectar, unlike HFCS, has a slow energy release of fructose, giving it a low glycemic index that helps keep energy levels balanced. The fructose found in agave nectar is a naturally occurring sweetener and is not the same as HFCS.