Are you looking for agave nectar substitutes because you don’t have any agave nectar on hand? Or maybe you can not eat it? Do not worry! You will have some ideas for agave nectar replacements after reading this article.
Since people usually widely use agave nectar in food and beverages to enhance the flavor, they may run out of it without notice. However, many products work well in place of it.
Stay tuned to explore some suitable replacements and opt for the one you like! But first, let’s look at agave nectar to better understand it.
General Knowledge About Agave Nectar
Agave nectar is a liquid sweetener made from the juice of the agave plant and is widely used in Mexico. Agave nectar mainly consists of fructose, glucose, water, and small amounts of other elements.(1)
Since there is a high level of fructose loaded in agave nectar, it is sweeter than sugar and usually considered resembling honey’s flavor. Agave nectar is often sold in light, amber, dark, and raw varieties.
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Light agave nectar is light and neutral. Amber agave nectar has a hint of caramel, and the caramel flavor tends to be more intense in the dark variety.
While the light and amber agave is usually added to light dishes and drinks, dark agave nectar brings a distinct flavor to some savory dishes, including meat, seafood, and poultry. It is also used in baking desserts or eaten with French toasts, waffles, and pancakes.
10+ Top-Notch Agave Nectar Substitutes Will Amaze You!
If you don’t like the flavor of agave nectar and want to try something new or run out of it, opt for one of the excellent replacements. Let’s take a look at the agave nectar substitutes and the substitute ratios listed in the table below!
|Agave Nectar Substitutes||Amount Needed (For 1 tsp of agave nectar)|
|Corn Syrup||1 tsp of corn syrup|
|Brown Rice Syrup||2 tsp of brown rice syrup |
¾ cup of agave nectar = 1 ¼ cup of brown rice syrup
|Stevia||1 tsp of stevia |
1 cup of agave nectar = 2 teaspoons of stevia powder
|Granulated Sugar||⅓ tsp of granulated sugar + ½ tsp of water, milk, or oil if baking|
|Maple Syrup||1 tsp of maple syrup|
|Honey||1 tsp of honey|
|Simple Syrup||1 or 1 ½ tsp of simple syrup|
|Coconut Nectar||1 ¼ tsp of coconut nectar|
|Artificial Sweeteners||Use in moderation|
|Molasses||¾ cup of agave nectar = ½ cup of molasses|
1. Corn Syrup
Corn syrup is made from corn starch, and it is the main ingredient to make candy and retain baked goods’ moisture. Also, it usually appears in icings, ice creams, and cakes. Moreover, corn syrup doesn’t develop unwanted crystal solids.
There are 2 types of corn syrup: light and dark. And you should opt for the light one since it shares a similar neutral flavor with agave syrup. It is necessary to read the label carefully to choose the 100% glucose corn syrup, which is healthier than the high-fructose variety.
If you use light corn syrup in place of agave nectar, the substitute ratio is 1:1, meaning that 1 teaspoon of corn syrup can replace every agave nectar.
Pay attention to the heating temperature to make perfect lollipops with corn syrup!
2. Brown Rice Syrup
Brown rice syrup is a liquid sweetener derived from brown rice starch. Compared to agave nectar, it tastes less sweet. However, it brings to the recipes a thick and syrupy consistency like how agave nectar does.
Although brown rice syrup has a higher Glycemic Index (GI) than agave nectar, its GI level is still lower than regular sugar. You shouldn’t miss this suitable agave nectar substitute since it works well in any recipe that calls for agave nectar.
You can sweeten your beverages or desserts with brown rice syrup instead of agave nectar. To have the best result, use 2 teaspoons of brown rice syrup instead of 1 teaspoon of agave nectar.
Also, you can add 1 ¼ cup of brown rice syrup to replace ¾ cup of agave nectar needed in your recipe. Remember to add a small amount slowly until the flavor satisfies your taste buds.
Stevia is a sweetener that comes from the stevia plant, which comes from Paraguay. It can work well as an agave nectar substitute. Stevia tastes significantly sweeter than sugar, and it has a licorice-like post-taste. Therefore it is usually used to replace sugar for diabetics.
You can use the 1:1 ratio to swap stevia with agave nectar. However, you should choose liquid stevia because the powder stevia may cause inconsistency in your recipe. But if your recipe does not require a large amount of liquid, the stevia powder still works well.
You can also replace 1 cup of agave nectar with 2 teaspoons of stevia for lighter dishes because stevia powder is more concentrated than agave. The stevia powder can be used in baking and cooking. And the liquid variety should be added to drinks, especially cocktails.
Another reason that makes stevia a go-to option is its potential health benefits. Since stevia is calorie-free, it is beneficial for diabetics as it helps control the amount of sugar in the blood. (2)
Do not miss out on this ultimate baking recipe with stevia powder!
4. Granulated Sugar
Granulated sugar can mimic perfectly the effect of agave nectar in your recipe. However, you need to know an essential thing: granulated sugar is not suitable for people who are sticking to a balanced diet or fighting diabetes since it is loaded with a high level of GI.
If the GI, calories, and other dietary terms of sugar are not a significant problem, it will be the most cost-effective and convenient substitute for agave nectar. Since it is a vital ingredient in various savory and sweet dishes, you will always have it on hand.
You can use granulated sugar as an alternative for agave nectar in sauces, salad dressings, baking, and various mouth-watering drinks. To replace 1 teaspoon of agave nectar, you should use ⅓ teaspoon of granulated sugar.
Note: If you use sugar instead of agave nectar in baking recipes, you have to add more liquid to avoid inconsistency. You can add ½ teaspoon of water, milk, or oil to compensate.
5. Maple Syrup
Here is another healthy option for your consideration. Maple syrup is low in GI, and it contains various essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.
There are 4 types of maple syrup, and you should choose the Grade A Light Amber to achieve the closest flavor to agave nectar. Maple syrup is best for drizzling. You can drizzle it on top of pancakes, waffles or use it as a sweetener in baking.
Also, maple syrup helps round the flavor of many salty-sweet dishes, especially bacon. You can use the 1:1 ratio to swap agave nectar and maple syrup to have the best substitute result. You can add more maple syrup to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Honey tends to appear in various family kitchen cupboards or pantries because of its versatile uses. Honey has an intensely sweet flavor and a dense texture. It is a decent choice when you need to substitute agave nectar.
You can opt for raw honey instead of regular honey since raw honey is lightly processed. People just strain raw honey before bottling it to retain its essential nutrients and antioxidants. As a result, it will offer you many health benefits.
You can add honey to a ton of recipes, ranging from sweet to savory dishes. For instance, people prefer using honey while baking desserts and making meat marinades. You can also drizzle it on top of pancakes, waffles, or any favorite drink.
The texture of honey is relatively thicker than agave nectar, so you should adjust other ingredients. You can substitute agave nectar with honey in equal amounts. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of agave, you can use 1 teaspoon of honey instead.
Have you ever tried this delicious honey garlic grilled chicken? You can see this video to know more:
7. Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is a suitable alternative for agave nectar that you can make at home. Making simple syrup is extremely easy. You just need to add ½ cup of granulated sugar and ½ cup of water to a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves.
Remember to let the simple syrup you have just made cool down before using it to substitute agave nectar. Simple syrup can work effectively in any cocktail that calls for agave nectar, such as cocktails like mojitos and margaritas.
A teaspoon of simple syrup can substitute for every teaspoon of agave nectar that the recipe requires. Moreover, you can add more simple syrup to sweeten your favorite cocktails, such as using 1 ½ teaspoon of simple syrup when substituting (50% more).
Another convenience of using simple syrup as an agave nectar replacement is making it in advance for later uses. The simple syrup stays at its best quality in the refrigerator for a month.
8. Coconut Nectar
Coconut nectar gains its popularity these days and is usually compared with agave nectar and maple syrup. There is no doubt that coconut nectar can substitute for agave nectar very well because of the same liquid consistency and sweet flavor.
Coconut nectar is a natural liquid sweetener made from the sap of the coconut palm’s flower. Since it is a natural product, it is less processed than agave nectar and maple syrup. It is also lower in GI than sugar, making it a healthy option that deserves to be used.
However, since it is derived from coconut, it does not taste like agave nectar, and its flavor varies from brand to brand. Some brands produce coconut nectar with a floral flavor, while others add a bitter after-taste to it.
You can use coconut nectar in baking goods, desserts, and drinks. For example, it tastes good on muffins, pancakes, or you can use it to sweeten your tea. If you decide to use coconut nectar instead of agave nectar, you can use a 1 ¼:1 ratio.
9. Fruit Syrup
Fruit syrup is a natural sweetener that can mimic the sweet flavor of agave nectar in tons of recipes. However, fruit syrup and agave nectar taste significantly different. You can use fruit syrup in place of agave nectar in pancakes, oatmeals, cocktails, or other baking goods.
Many store-bought fruit syrups are not added with any additive and sugar. But if you want to make sure your fruit syrup is 100% sugar-free, you can make it at home. To make a perfect fruit syrup, grab any fruit you like and pulse it in the processor with water, and you’ve done.
You can use either fresh or frozen fruits to make fruit syrup. Some fruits people tend to use are apples, berries, and grapes. When substituting for agave nectar, the amount of fruit syrup you should use depends on your taste buds and recipes.
Let’s give this raspberry syrup a try when you don’t have agave on hand!
10. Artificial Sweeteners
Besides stevia powder, you can use various artificial sweeteners when you run out of agave nectar. You can easily find them in any grocery store, and they are also a trendy sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners are widely used in sugar-free soda as they are low in calories. And you can substitute for agave nectar in any dish or drink you desire. Artificial sweeteners bring a uniquely sweet flavor to your food, but not everyone likes their unnatural after-taste.
Although artificial sweeteners are non-nutritive, they help maintain blood sugar and weight. Also, they can reduce the energy intake of your body. However, when substituting them for agave nectar, you should use them in moderation.
Molasses is a thick syrup and a by-product of the sugar refining process. Depending on how many times it is boiled, people divide it into 3 types: light molasses (cane syrup), dark molasses, and blackstrap molasses.
Although molasses and agave nectar have a sweet flavor, molasses also carry a uniquely warm and smoky taste that may cause a slight difference in flavor. But you can find it works amazingly in place of agave nectar without overwhelming your food.
Molasses is also a nutrient-rich substitute since it is packed with various vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. You can substitute ¾ cup of agave nectar with ½ cup of molasses.
How about making delicious molasses cookies for a snack? You can see this video to know more:
In case you are still confused about agave nectar and its substitutes, you can take a look at the frequently asked questions below. You may find your answer through this section.
Extra Tips You Need To Know When Substitute Agave Nectar
In this article, I have introduced many excellent agave nectar replacements for your consideration when you cannot find any agave nectar. However, some of them do not share the same consistency as agave nectar.
As a result, you have to adjust other ingredients or add more liquid to avoid inconsistency. Moreover, you should choose the one which suits your recipe the best. Also, use these sweeteners in moderation to protect your health.
I hope the information and agave nectar substitutes provided in all of the sections above have satisfied you. Suppose you have any further questions, comment in the box below. And I will be very grateful if you like and share my post.
- En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Agave syrup – Wikipedia.
- Medicalnewstoday.com. 2021. Stevia: Health benefits, facts, and safety.