Agave Nectar by Madhava
I was introduced to agave nectar when reading The Millennium Cookbook. One of the recipes called for agave nectar and it was something I never heard of before. So I put it on my shopping list and found Madhava Agave Nectar at Whole Foods.
Madhava Agave Nectar is a natural liquid sweetener made from the wild agave plant... it looks like a desert cactus plant. The valued nectar is harvested by slicing off the top of the plant and hollowing out its core. The plant is then capped with a stone. The agave plant then secretes its nectar into the center of the plant. It collects in the hollow center for several days, after which the milky white "juice" is removed by ladle, one plant at a time. This process is similar to tapping trees for maple syrup collection.
Qualities of Agave Nectar
1.4 times the sweetening power of white sugar
mild flavor (light colored version is neutral in taste)
flavor is consistent
easier to pour than honey
does not crystallize
moisture retainer... increases water retention properties of foods
1 tablespoon contains 60 calories
low glycemic index of 32-34, (honey 58)
Agave nectar is thinner than honey, sweeter than sugar, and a hint of melted butter flavor makes this a rare delight to the taste buds.
On fruit salad
Add dash to vinegar + oil salad dressing
Sweeten coffee or tea
Add to BBQ sauce
Suitable for any sweetening use
Use in any recipe
To substitute... use 3/4 cup agave nectar per 1 cup of another sweetener
Vegan Desserts Vegan Dessert Spring Rolls
Spring Roll Wrappers stuffed with fresh raspberries and fine chocolate morsels... oooh, la, la!
Vegan Dessert Spring Rolls finish off "Spring Rolls for Spring Dinner" with an elegant ending. With a combination of almost any fresh fruit and some Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels rolled up inside a spring roll wrapper and you've got an INSTANT DESSERT!
Ingredients for 12 Dessert Spring Rolls
1 package 8 inch spring roll wrappers
2 pints fresh raspberries
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
non-stick oil spray
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1/8 cup Ghirardelli Cocoa Powder
Banana slices with unsulphured coconut and chopped cashew nuts with Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
Fresh strawberries with Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
Fresh peach slices with agave nectar and melted Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels drizzled over the top
Just let your imagination run wild and create your own special dessert spring rolls.
12 inch cast iron skillet
small sieve for dusting with cocoa
Preparation Raspberry Presentation Berries Empty one pint of raspberries in a bowl and toss with a teaspoon of agave nectar... this will sweeten them and give a high gloss to the berries.
Dessert Spring Rolls Lay out two or three spring roll wrappers and put 10 fresh raspberries and 15-20 Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.
Madhava Agave Nectar Take the agave nectar and squeeze a line of it over the raspberries and chocolate morsels to add just a bit of sweetness.
Tuck the end of the spring roll wrapper over the filling and tuck the ends over to keep all the filling inside.
Spray the finished dessert spring rolls with a non-stick oil spray and pan fry until golden brown.
Don't put more than 8 dessert rolls into the skillet so that they brown evenly.
Presentation Dessert Spring Rolls are a delight to serve guests after guests haven eaten "Spring Rolls for Spring"... they are always surprised by the sweet treats.
I dust a white plate with Ghirardelli Cocoa Powder and crisscross two of the Dessert Spring Rolls. Add a scoop of fresh raspberries that have been toss in agave nectar and tuck a spring of fresh mint under the rolls.