9 Amazing Agave Nectar Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Using an agave nectar substitute may be necessary for the kitchen, but there are some good options out there to choose from.

Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that is derived from various species in the Agave genus and is often used as an alternative to traditional white sugar. Although it is relatively high in fructose, the glycemic index of agave nectar is significantly lower, making it an appealing substitute for diabetics. While this nectar may be more expensive and slightly difficult to find, it is a wise choice for many health-conscious people.

Agave Nectar Substitutes

The best agave nectar substitutes include brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, fruit syrups, dates, maple syrup, coconut nectar, blackstrap molasses, stevia, and dates, among others.

Honey

This natural, nutrient-dense sweetener is often recommended as an agave nectar substitute, particularly in desserts and baked goods.

Corn Syrup

For an accurate substitution, use twice as much corn syrup as the recipe calls for of agave.

Brown Sugar

This is most likely in your kitchen already and provides a toasted, earthy sweetness that can easily replace agave in a recipe.

A jar of granulated brown sugar, a spoon and bowl of brown sugar powder, and brown sugar cubes on a cloth

Brown sugar is used very similarly to granulated white sugar, but it provides a touch of extra flavor. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Stevia

Stevia is far more concentrated than agave nectar, so don’t use too much. 1 cup of nectar is equivalent to about 2 teaspoons of stevia.

Fruit Syrups

By blending raisins or dates with water, you will gradually form a fruit syrup that can mimic the natural sweetness of agave nectar.

Dates

These sweet fruits can be mashed into many recipes to provide a subtle sweetness that resembles agave nectar.

Blackstrap Molasses

This thick, unsulphured variety of sweetener is not only considered healthier than most other carbohydrate-containing sugars but also provides a number of minerals that can boost overall health.

Close-up image of molasses in a bowl

Molasses in a bowl Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Brown Rice Syrup

To replace agave with brown rice syrup, you need to use a whole cup of brown rice for 1/2 a cup of agave.

Coconut Nectar

Similar to how you extract maple syrup, coconut nectar can also be taken out of the coconut tree, and its delicate sweetness is a great agave nectar substitute, although not as potent.

Maple Syrup

A very common replacement for agave nectar is maple syrup, as it comes in many different intensities and is easily accessible. Depending on the type you choose, the flavor may be more or less potent than agave nectar.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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