How to Convert Sugar to Agave

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Baking with natural ingredients entails the exclusion of refined white sugar in favor of less processed substitutes. Agave nectar, also called syrup, comes from the sap squeezed out of the central core of the blue agave plant, according to "How Baking Works". This natural liquid sweetener can be used as a sugar substitute, but not as a direct replacement, since agave is sweeter than sugar. You must convert the sugar amount to the proper amount of agave nectar. Moist baked goods succeed best with agave, and you should avoid using it in candies or crispy baked goods.

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  • Multiply the amount of sugar in your recipe by ¾ or 75 percent. For instance if your recipe requires 1 cup of sugar, use 1 x ¾ = ¾ cup agave nectar.

  • Multiply the total amount of liquids used in your recipe by 1/3 to find out how much to decrease them by to compensate for the added liquid from the agave. For instance, if your recipe calls for ½ cup of milk multiply this by 1/3. ½ cup x 1/3 = 1/6 cup. You will subtract this amount from the total amount of liquid (not counting the agave) in the recipe.

  • Use the agave nectar in your recipe when instructed to add the sugar.

  • Lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit if your recipe is baked to prevent burning and use the same baking time in the recipe.

References

  • "How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science"; Paula Figoni; 2007
  • "Baking with Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature's Ultimate Sweetener"; Ania Catalano, Lara Hata; 2008
  • "Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor"; Peter Reinhart, Ron Manville; 2007
  • Photo Credit PM Images/Photodisc/Getty Images
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