I recently read an unfortunate bit of information regarding agave syrup. It appears that some companies have been adding corn syrup to it!! Corn syrup being one of the most unhealthy things to put in your body, I was shocked and concerned. I wonder if anyone knows a reputable company that does not dilute the agave with corn syrup and if so please let me know. I am not going to use it anymore until I find out a brand I can trust. Otherwise I think it’s best to stick to raw honey.
I don’t use it because it’s not raw. I live in the UK and it’s easy to get fresh raw dates here from Iran. They are fantastic so I use them for all my sweets.
Agave Nectar has to be heated and altered from its natural state to taste sweet. Even when labelled or advertised as raw, if it’s sweet, it has been heated. One manufacturer claims that lower air pressures can be used to keep the heat below the magic 45c/115f and thus producing truly raw sweet nectar.
Interesting news about the Agave Nectar though. Just another thing to add to the proof that you can’t trust processed food unless you are doing the processing.
I hope you find a raw sweet that works well for you! Cheers
If you don’t mind that it is not raw then it may be better to use maple syrup instead. I don’t know of any trusted sites. I use raw honey.
Some people talk about using ‘stevia’ I am not sure what it is or if it is raw though.
Stevia is an artificial sugar but because it is derived from sugar canes some people think it’s better. I am allergic to all artificial sugar. Especially Sucralose (Splenda). Stevia is suppose to be 4 times stronger than regular sugar.
I agree with chriscarlton, looked into using agave instead of honey a few months ago but they cook it.
joesc, Stevia is actually natural, not artificial, an herb, and it’s hugely stronger than sugar. Check out www.steviainfo.com
I just wanted to clarify….Stevia is a natural herb, not an artificial sugar. I grow it right in my garden, and when a recipe calls for sweetener, I just grind up the leaves. It has been used in South America for centuries as a natural sweetener. Here in Arizona there is a company that makes it that has a nice website with information. The company is Wisdom Natural Brands and the website is http://www.sweetleag.com
It has mostly cooked recipes, so it is not really good for finding those, but the info they have on there is good.
Sorry, Joesc, I just wanted to make sure everyone had the correct information.
That’s ok. I am glad you said something. I am still allergic to it. The information I got at the time which was a few years ago was on the web it could be possible someone put it there to deter the use of it. I don’t know. I just didn’t understand why my body would reject it. That website www.steviainfo.com is a good website. You said you grow it do you have pictures because I can’t seem to find the pictures of the plant. I wonder if I try the plant if I use have an allergic reaction. If you have more info please post.
Thanks for the info!
Spiritedmama where did you buy the stevia plant? I was able to find a picture so I know what it looks like.
I was researching the information to see where I can get it. It seems the seeds arehard to germinate and I couldn’t find it on the whole food store market. I found something interesting about the stevia
I always knew that was a shrub because we use all the time in Brazil,since I was a kid.But I never though in getting it and grinding the leaves.Thanks spiritedmama,I’ll tell my mother to do that there.
I got the start for it from a friend. I will ask her where she got it and post. I guess you could also go to the web and see if you can buy either seeds or starts on line…..
I was trying to see if I could find a place that sells the plant because the seeds are hard to grow. I have a black thumbs so I know it wouldn’t survive. The wheat grass I tried to grow died. So did the tomatoes. The only thing that survived is my bamboo plant. I don’t understand why, because everything my grandmother plants lives forever.
Thank you so much for your well informed input. Chris, I love dates and somehow forgot how versatile they are as a sweetner. I’m amazed you get dates from Iran! That’s where I was born and remember eating them as a kid. My dad called them “nature’s candy”. I get mine from an organic farm here in San Diego.
Who needs agave when there are so many better choices, Stevia included!
cucinachic – in UK there are lots of Iranian food shops, we buy crates of fresh iranian dates, they are truly special and a world away from the dried dates most regular shops sell, and a fraction of the price. Anyone who starts importing them to the USA would be flooded with orders I am sure!
I see that the people who like their superfoods are using ‘lucama’ and ‘mesquite’ powders as sweetners. I haven’t tried these.
Has anyone tried them?
Are they worth the money?
Are they really raw?
I have tried mesquite powder. I purchased it off the internet from a company that says it is raw…but you know how that goes. Anyway, to me, it smells and has the light taste of coconut! I have the book Rawvolultion and Matt Amsded (spell?) has two great recipes in there…one for a smoothie and one for chocolate pudding that both use mesquite powder.
O.k….talked to the friend I got the start from. Unfortunately, she could not be of much help, as she got her start from a friend of hers that she has now lost touch with. So, the saga continues. I am going to contact some local nurseries here in AZ and see if anyone can send me in the right direction and pass on the info.
Thank you for trying. I know if I were in Atlanta I could probably find the plant. There is too many package/meat eaters in this state.
I am going to get the seeds because no one has the plant and see if it will live. I am going to use the site Chris posted. Wish me luck.
I felt like giving an update. Since April, I have ordered the seeds, tried to grow them and they didn’t make it. I also placed orders at whole food for the plan that should have came in around May, June but was then advised a couple weeks ago that the company they order the plants from didn’t have any available to sell. So I have no stevia plant.
I’m in WA and I grow my own stevia, and believe it or not I got the plant at the local Home Depot!!! It was grown by a local company here in WA, so I don’t know if Home Depots else where would really carry it. But anyhow, I love it and I use it all the time. I was totally shocked the first time I ate one of the leaves.
I love to garden, maybe I should look into propogation, cause this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of people not being able to find or grow the plant. I’d be more than happy to send some off to people who can’t get the plant!
i am allergic to stevia myself. adding corn syrup to agave?? i sort of doubt that. where did you get this information? please post
Another alternative sweetener is Yucon, it is truly raw, unlike Agave. You can google for best price, but here is some info on it: 100% Raw Organic Yacon Syrup is a new vegan sweetener similar to molasses. Imagine a natural low-calorie sweet treat which is positively good for you and one you can indulge in even if you’re diabetic. Nature’s low calorie sweetener – Organic Yacon Syrup!
Pressed from the yacon root, this gift from nature has been enjoyed for centuries in the Andean highlands of Peru. As a prebiotic, yacon is good for digestion, safeguards against colon cancer, and helps absorption of calcium and vitamins. Though packed with sweetness, the sugar in yacon is mainly fructooligosaccharide, which cannot be absorbed by the body. This means yacon syrup is both naturally low-calorie and low in mono and disaccharides (less than 1/2 g per serving), sugars that rapidly elevate blood sugar levels. Use Raw Organic Yacon Syrup as you would honey or maple syrup on foods and in recipes or sweeten teas and beverages with a small amount.
Really good prices here for yacon, organic: http://www.sunfood.com/cgi-bin/order/index.cgi
I’ve always been extremely sensitive to sweetners and have started using agave because I heard so many good things about it. But I must admit I never feel good after having it. Unfortunately dates are way too sugary for me (such a shame, I love them so much!). I am able to tolerate stevia, though. Does anyone know if stevia in a white powder form is okay? There is green powder, drops and white powder and I don’t know which is best. I seem okay with all of them but would like to know if one is better for you. Of course the plant sounds ideal…if I could find one!
Wow Coconuttty- That is so cool you grow the herb yourself. I’m going to see if I can find some. If you put a leaf in tea is it pretty sweet? Do you dry it or use it fresh?
I’ve grown Stevia before. I can typically find young plants in the spring with other herbs at the local garden supply (I live in Dayton, OH). They grow like crazy until frost and you can dry them to use during the cold season as you would other herbs.
I actually saw one this past weekend at a grocery store that has a garden section. I didn’t buy it because it’s so late in the season. The leaves on it were huge! I’m guessing that it is a different variety than what I’ve grown before.
Anyway, if you do come across a plant, I’d recommend growing it outside in a pot or in the garden. It’s easy and prolific. I like adding it in small quantities to teas and smoothies. It provides a bit of sweetness without the glycemic punch. I also like Agave and Yucon syrup.
Question. Has anyone tried or have any information on Xylitol Sweetener. I’ve seen it but have not tried it although I know it is an ingredient in many sugarless gums. I don’t know how it’s made or if it’s raw. It caught my eye in the health food store because it claimed to be a low glycemic and all natural sweetener.
BEWARE OF XYLATOL!!! remember the olestra saga in potato chips? its very bad for you and can cause huge stomach upsets…i never tried it, however an aquantence of mine who works in the food biz said its man made heated altered and has not caught on in the food biz as more often than not it causes digestion trouble!
Omshanti, you are very right about the Xylatol and I want folks to know that some stevia products can contain mixtures and one of them is xylatol, so be careful, they always list it as an added ingredient so not to worry.
Stevia has many benefits, I have been using it for years and it keeps my acne at bay. You can read it’s other benefits here: http://www.happystomach.com/stevia.htm
Whether you get the white, clear or green depends on additives (like fruit additives) so I don’t think anyone one is better over the other, at least I haven’t found data on that – Has anyone here? I use the sweetleaf brand which has no bitterness, I have used NOW brand and it had an after taste :(
I guess if you live where it’s warm or in summer, you can grow it yourself and that would be best of course : )
I use stevia and love it, but a little definately goes a long way. I also grind my own mesquite powder, but in NM that’s not uncommon to have your own honey mesquite tree. Otherwise it’s agave or raw honey. Depends on the recipe though.