Travel Photo of the Day: Agave

Staff Writer
Agave grows throughout the Americas

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

The aguamiel, or "honey water" nectar, is located in the center of the agave plant.

If you want to sweeten up your food or drink nowadays, there is a long (and seemingly ever-growing) list of alternatives. One of the most popular that is "derived from naturally occurring substances" (keeping with the Mayo Clinic parlance), is agave nectar.

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Agave nectar actually comes from the agave plant, which grows throughout the southern United States, northern regions of South America, and hilly regions of Mexico. The nectar itself has been utilized for hundreds of years as a folk remedy (when mixed with salt) for skin infections and wounds. This nectar is also eventually processed for sweetening purposes. It comes from the core of the plant and has a viscosity that’s similar to maple syrup.

According to WebMD, a tablespoon of agave has about 60 calories as compared to 40 calories for a tablespoon of table sugar. However, since agave is generally sweeter than sugar, one can use less to achieve their desired amount of sweetness.

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