Agave nectar is a popular natural sweetener that is used a lot in vegan recipes and raw desserts. Learn what are the best substitutes for agave nectar if you don’t have it on hand or you want to use a different sweetener.

Agave nectar pouring into clear bowl on napkin and cutting board.

Overview of Agave Nectar

What it tastes like

Agave nectar is a type of sweetener that comes from the agave plant. It has a light, subtle flavor that is similar to honey.

Nutrition info

It has a number of health benefits. It is less processed and has a lower glycemic index. This makes it a good choice for people who are watching their sugar intake.

How it’s used

While it can be used in place of sugar in many recipes, it is also commonly used as a natural sweetener for beverages such as coffee, tea and smoothies.

Best Substitutes for Agave Nectar

Maple syrup pouring into funnel filling a jar.
Maple syrup.

1. Maple syrup

Maple syrup is a delicious and versatile sweetener that has been used for centuries. This sweetener has a unique flavor that is perfect for pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast foods.

It can also be used in baking or as a topping for desserts.

To substitute one tablespoon of agave nectar, use one tablespoon of maple syrup.

Brown rice syrup pouring into clear bowl on white background.
Brown rice syrup.

2. Brown rice syrup

Brown rice syrup is a sweetener made from brown rice. It has a caramel-like flavor and is often used as a substitute for molasses or honey.

Brown rice syrup is made by cooking brown rice with enzymes to break down the starch. The resulting syrup is then filtered and evaporated to remove excess water.

Brown rice syrup can be used in a variety of recipes, including baked goods, sauces, and dressings. It is also a popular ingredient in energy bars and gluten-free products.

While brown rice syrup is not as sweet as refined sugar, it is a good alternative for those seeking a natural sweetener. It’s also less sweet than agave, so you’ll need to use more.

To substitute one tablespoon of agave nectar, use two tablespoons of brown rice syrup.

Honey pouring into clear bowl on white background.
Honey.

3. Honey

Honey is a delicious, natural sweetener that has been used for centuries. Made by bees from the nectar of flowers, honey is a source of carbohydrates and nutrients. It also contains enzymes and antioxidants that can have several health benefits.

If you follow a strict vegan diet, you’ll want to avoid using honey as a substitute for agave.

To substitute one tablespoon of agave nectar, use one tablespoon of honey.

Jar of simple syrup on dark surface.
Simple syrup.

4. Simple syrup

Simple syrup is a sweetener made from sugar and water and it’s often used in cocktails, as it sweetens the drink without affecting the flavor. It can also be used in baking or as a topping for pancakes and waffles.

Simple syrup can be made with either white or brown sugar, and the choice of sugar will affect the flavor of the syrup. The ratio of sugar to water can also be varied, depending on how sweet you want the syrup to be.

To substitute one tablespoon of agave nectar, use 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of simple syrup.

Clear glass container with coconut nectar on wooden surface.
Coconut nectar.

5. Coconut nectar

Coconut nectar is a sweet, caramel-like syrup that is made from the sap of coconut trees. It has a similar flavor to brown sugar, but it is less processed and has a lower glycemic index.

Coconut nectar is often used as a natural sweetener in recipes for desserts, drinks, and sauces. It can also be used to make candy, chocolate, and other sweet treats.

In addition to its sweetness, coconut nectar also has several health benefits. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, and magnesium.

To substitute one tablespoon of agave nectar, use one tablespoon of coconut nectar.

Molasses pouring into clear bowl on patterned kitchen towel.

6. Molasses

Molasses is a thick, dark syrup that is produced during the sugar refining process. It is full of nutrients and has a distinct, sweet flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in many recipes.

While molasses can be used on its own as a sweetener, it is often combined with other ingredients such as flour or baking soda to create a variety of sweets and baked goods.

If molasses is used instead of agave, you’ll likely notice that the flavor of the finished product will be different.

To substitute one tablespoon of agave nectar, use one tablespoon of molasses.

Light corn syrup pouring into clear bowl on light background.
Light corn syrup.

7. Light corn syrup

Light corn syrup is a liquid sweetener made from corn starch. It is typically used in foods such as candy, cookies, and frosting.

Compared to other types of corn syrup, light corn syrup has a lighter color and flavor. It is also less viscous, or thick.

Light corn syrup is made by processing corn starch with enzymes. This breaks down the starches into smaller molecules called glucose. The glucose is then purified and combined with water to create the final product.

To substitute one tablespoon of agave nectar, use one tablespoon of light corn syrup.

Conclusions

There are many substitutes for agave nectar and each of these sweeteners has its own unique flavor that can be used to enhance a variety of recipes. When choosing a substitute for agave nectar, it is important to consider the desired flavor and sweetness of the final product. Whichever substitute you choose, be sure to experiment and have fun in the kitchen!

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