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14 Perfect Substitutes For Agave Nectar To Try Out

As veganism continues to grow in popularity, you will likely see agave nectar listed in the ingredients list for a number of recipes. The liquid sweetener is commonly used as a vegan substitute for honey.

It can be difficult to find agave nectar, particularly in smaller towns. There is no need for concern, as this article will take you through the 10 best substitutes for agave nectar so you never need to worry again. 

The 10 Best Substitutes For Agave Nectar

The substitutes listed will all have different sugar contents and GIs to agave nectar. For most people, this is not an issue, but if you are cooking for diabetics it is vital that you make them aware to ensure they suffer no adverse effects. 

What Is Agave Nectar?

This is a liquid sweetener that is extracted from a number of species of agave plant. The plants are allowed to mature for 7 to 14 years before the leaves are cut off and the juice is drained from the core of the plant.

This juice is then filtered, heated, and concentrated to produce the final result.

These plants are typically found growing in South Africa and Mexico. It is a slightly thinner consistency than honey, although visually very similar. It is also referred to as agave syrup and maguey syrup. 

Agave nectar has a low GI (glycemic index) making it a better choice for diabetics. That being said, it is about 30% sweeter than regular sugar, so less will be required to achieve the same flavor result. 

Best Substitutes For Agave Nectar

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 gm)
Honey304
Rice Syrup500
Date Syrup300
Coconut Sugar375
Stevia1
Golden Syrup319
Maple Syrup260
Simple Syrup260
Corn Syrup286
Blackstrap Molasses290
White Sugar387
Strawberry Syrup260
Coconut Nectar324
Monk Fruit0

Honey

Honey is a go-to replacement for agave nectar in most instances. As we have mentioned, honey is not vegan and so this is not an appropriate substitute for vegan dishes.

In all other instances, honey will work well as a substitute for agave nectar. 

The consistency of honey is slightly thicker than agave nectar, so bear this in mind. You should replace agave nectar with honey in equal volumes. It is an ideal choice for baking and marinades. 

How To Substitute

Honey is an easy and delicious substitute for agave nectar. It can be used in baking or straight out of the jar on cereal. In addition, you can use honey in savory dishes to make them a bit sweeter or when baking bread.

Rice Syrup

This is also known as brown rice malt, brown rice syrup, and rice malt. It is produced from brown rice and originates from China. The brown rice undergoes an enzymic treatment and then is thickened to produce the sweet syrup. 

This is considered by many people to be healthier than other sweeteners as it has lower levels of fructose and higher levels of glucose. That being said, it has a high GI and almost double the calories found in equivalent quantities of white sugar. 

Rice syrup is not as sweet as agave nectar, and you may need to use up to double the quantity to replicate the sweetness of agave.

How To Substitute

Many people have turned to rice syrup to replace agave nectar. It is a simple and healthier alternative but with a distinctive flavor. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to worry about the flavor of your dish since it is neutral in taste, and you have to add almost double the quantity of it to reach the level of sweetness as agave nectar.

Date Syrup

Date syrup also has a number of other names, including Silan, date nectar, and date honey. It is very thick and relatively dark in color. It is less sweet than agave but will add tones of caramel and vanilla to whatever you are making. 

Date syrup can be made simply at home. All you need to do is pit and soak some dates for 30 minutes. You will then bring them to a boil in a pan of water, before reducing the heat and simmering for an hour.

The syrup is then strained and decanted, ready for use. 

How To Substitute

You may use date syrup instead of agave nectar as a healthier alternative. Date syrup is made by cooking down a quart of dates in water. This method is preferable because it is cheaper and less wasteful than agave nectar. In addition, it enhances the flavor by adding a vanilla and caramel tone to the recipe.

Coconut Sugar

This is also referred to as coconut palm sugar, after the plant that it comes from. It is made from the sap of the plant which is collected and heated until most of the water has evaporated off.

Coconut sugar is typically brown in color and the granule size can vary a lot. 

There are a number of nutrients found within coconut sugar, such as zinc, calcium, potassium, iron, and inulin. Inulin is believed to slow the absorption of glucose, giving coconut sugar a lower GI than white sugar. 

How To Substitute

Coconut sugar is a healthy alternative to agave nectar with a much lower glycemic index. To replace agave nectar with coconut sugar, one should use four teaspoons of coconut sugar for a spoon of agave nectar.

RELATED: The 10 Best Substitutes For Barley Malt Syrup

Stevia

Stevia

Stevia is a commonly used sweetener extracted from the plant Stevia rebaudiana. Extracts are taken from the leaves of the plant and then these undergo a lot of refining to produce a compound known as rebaudioside A.

These products are typically around 200 times sweeter than white sugar. 

The big benefit of using stevia is that it falls into the category of nonnutritive sweeteners. This means that it is incredibly low in calories, making it a great sugar or agave substitute for people trying to watch their weight.

In diabetics, stevia is believed to be useful for maintaining a stable and consistent blood glucose level. 

How To Substitute

Stevia is an excellent alternative to agave nectar and can be used in all your favorite recipes, desserts, and beverages. Stevia has a low glycemic index, is up to 200 times sweeter than sugar, and is a healthy alternative for people who have diabetes.

Golden Syrup

This is a type of inverted sugar syrup that has been refined a number of times. This is a common ingredient used in baking, desserts, and other sweet dishes. It is visually and texturally similar to honey, making it a common replacement. 

The flavor profiles of golden syrup and agave nectar are very similar. They are both mild and incredibly sweet products.

As agave nectar is predominantly fructose while golden syrup is a combination of fructose and glucose, you may need to use more golden syrup than the recipe calls for to replicate the same taste. 

How To Substitute

Golden syrup and agave nectar have the same flavor, making it one of the best alternatives to agave nectar. However, agave nectar is sweeter, and you might need to add a little extra quantity of golden syrup to get the exact flavor.

Maple Syrup 

A liquid sugar that we all know and love, maple syrup is a staple in the cupboards of many homes across the world. Maple syrup has a much stronger flavor profile than agave nectar, and you should bear this in mind when choosing a substitute. 

Maple syrup can replace agave nectar in equal volumes, although it is likely that the resultant product will be less sweet than if agave nectar was used. You can add extra syrup to make up for this, but still try to keep the sweetness levels in check. 

How To Substitute

You can substitute agave nectar with Maple syrup. The most important thing is to stay moderate. A single teaspoon of maple syrup equals a single tablespoon of agave nectar. Also, keep the flavor of your dish in check, as agave nectar is sweeter than Maple syrup.

RELATED: 10 Best Maple Syrup Alternatives

Simple Syrup

This is a runny, sugary liquid commonly used by bartenders when cocktails are made. This can be made at home easily by simply combining white sugar and water over a low heat.

You should use equal volumes of both ingredients and simply heat until all of the sugar granules have been dissolved. This syrup mixture can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to one month.

This is the perfect agave nectar substitute for cocktails. 

How To Substitute

Simple syrup made of sugar and water is an easy and perfect substitute if you make cocktails. Its consistency depends on the ingredients you use; however, it is advised to use both water and sugar in the same quantity.

Corn Syrup

This is a liquid sweetener made from corn (or maize) starch. It is also known by the name of glucose syrup and is commonly used in the production of confectionery as it gives a soft texture, enhances the flavor profile, and reduces crystallization.

It is not the same as high-fructose corn syrup. This is a more processed version where much of the glucose has been converted through the use of enzymes into fructose.

Corn syrup is typically used as a cheaper alternative to maple or agave syrups and is commonly colored and flavored to make the comparison closer. 

How To Substitute

Corn syrup is a cheaper alternative to agave nectar as it ensures a soft texture in your recipe. In addition, corn syrup has a lower glycemic index than agave nectar, which makes it better for people with diabetes. You can also make your agave nectar substitute by mixing equal parts of honey and corn syrup.

Blackstrap Molasses

This is produced as a byproduct of the refining process of sugar cane. The juice is extracted from sugar cane and then boiled. This produces cane syrup, and a second boiling process is undergone to produce molasses.

A third and final boil produces a thick, viscous, and dark-colored liquid – blackstrap molasses. 

This sugar substitute has the lowest sugar content of any sweetener and is packed full of nutrients too. Some of the most notable include iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and vitamin B6.

You can use this substance in equal quantities to the volume of agave nectar that the recipe calls for.

How To Substitute

One of the benefits of using blackstrap molasses is that it is a more natural sweetener than agave nectar, which has been modified in laboratories. In addition, Blackstrap molasses is less processed, which can help preserve the nutrients. In simple words, blackstrap Molasses are a great choice to substitute.

White Sugar

When it comes to sweeteners, white sugar is not the only option. Substituting it for agave nectar can be a simple swap in your recipe.

Agave nectar is sweeter than sugar. So if you use sugar, you should adjust the number of other ingredients you use accordingly.

Additionally, agave nectar has a lower melting point than sugar, so using sugar may only be suitable for some recipes.

How To Substitute

You may use white sugar to replace agave nectar in a one-to-one ratio.

Strawberry Syrup

Strawberry syrup is a great way to make vegan ice cream or milkshakes without added sugar. You may substitute agave nectar with strawberry syrup or any other fruit syrup.

It’s best to replace agave nectar with Strawberry syrup because the Strawberry syrup has a lighter taste than the agave nectar and will not have the same effect on the texture of the ice cream.

How To Substitute

Use strawberry syrup for agave nectar in a 1:1 ratio.

Coconut Nectar

Agave nectar is a type of syrup made from a specific type of agave plant sap. Agave nectar is low in calories and carbohydrates.

Coconut nectar is a sweetener made from coconut milk and can be substituted for agave nectar. However, coconut nectar is high in calories and carbohydrates; you may use it for agave nectar.

How To Substitute

You may use one teaspoon of coconut nectar for one teaspoon of agave nectar.

Monk Fruit

Monk Fruit is a low-calorie, low-glycemic sweetener that you can substitute for monk fruit. It is a monk fruit extract that is made from the extract of the monk fruit.

It has low calories and is also a low-carb option for those with diabetes. The extract also has various health benefits, such as improved blood sugar control and reduced inflammation.

How To Substitute

You may use monk fruit extract to substitute agave nectar in an equal ratio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Agave Nectar Healthier Than Honey?

While many people believe that agave nectar is healthier than honey, this is not the case. Both substances are high in sugar but remain marketed as a healthier sweetener that has been refined less than white sugar or corn syrup. 

Both honey and agave nectar are naturally occurring sweeteners, however, they are not equal. The GI (glycemic index) of agave is about ⅓ of that of honey.

In real terms, this means that eating a spoonful of agave nectar will raise your blood sugar levels much less than honey would. This can be useful for diabetics in particular. 

Honey contains about 40% fructose whereas agave nectar contains 75-90% fructose. This is believed to be linked to a number of health problems and your fructose intake should be limited. 

Honey also contains a large number of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients. These are not found in agave nectar. On balance, it is safe to say that honey takes a slight edge over agave nectar when it comes to health. 

What Does Agave Nectar Taste Like?

Agave nectar is a very mild-flavored sweetener. It is unlikely to impact the flavor profile of the dishes it is used in, making it a great multipurpose sweetener. It is very sweet and reminiscent of honey.

The color of agave nectar can range from a light gold to a deep, dark amber color. The darker the hue of the agave nectar, the more similar the flavor profile becomes to honey. 

Is Agave Nectar The Same As Agave Syrup?

Yes, these 2 terms are used interchangeably and refer to the same product. Some retailers will use the term agave nectar for products that are 100% agave nectar, and use the term agave syrup for products with additional extras added. 

The 14 Best Substitutes For Agave Nectar

5 from 5 votes
Prep time

1

minute
Cooking time

5

minutes
Total time

6

minutes

Agave nectar is a popular sweetener, but it’s not the only option. Here are 10 great substitutes for agave nectar.

Ingredients

  • Honey

  • Rice Syrup

  • Date Syrup

  • Coconut Sugar

  • Stevia

  • Golden Syrup

  • Maple Syrup 

  • Simple Syrup

  • Corn Syrup

  • Blackstrap Molasses

  • White Sugar

  • Strawberry Syrup

  • Coconut Nectar

  • Monk Fruit

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith