Agave Lemonade Recipe

 

A tall cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day is one of life’s little pleasures that can’t be beat.  Lemonade just has a more refreshing quality to it than fizzy soda pops.  Most traditional recipes for a pitcher of lemonade, however, can have almost a whole cup of white sugar added or they use a simple syrup made from a cup of sugar heated and dissolved in a cup of water.  Tasty?  Yes!  Healthy?  Not so much.

Agave Lemonade Recipe

Lately I’ve been trying agave nectar as a substitute sweetener for white sugar.  I’ve been using it in my Homemade Iced Tea Recipe, substituting 1/4 to 1/3 cup of agave for 3/4 cup of sugar which has worked nicely.

What is Agave Nectar?
Agave nectar has been used as a sweetener for centuries and is derived from the Mexican Agave plant.  In its fermented form, agave is made into tequila.  In fact when Daughter saw my agave bottle sitting on the counter she jumped to the conclusion that I was making homemade tequila for the blog.  She was a teeny bit disappointed to learn I was not being that adventurous  (well, not yet anyway, give me time).

The reason agave is getting a new look in modern times is because it is low on the glycemic index which means your body won’t have the insulin spikes and crashes that often result from white sugar.  Because agave is sweeter than white table sugar, you should be able to cut down the amount of sweetener used in recipes by at least 1/3, sometimes almost in half.   You should be able to find agave in the baking aisle of your grocery store with the other sweeteners.  It looks somewhat like honey, but is not as thick and syrupy.

Here are the proportions I used to make a pitcher of lemonade with agave.

AGAVE LEMONADE

(click here for printable recipe )

Agave Lemonade Recipe6 cups water
1 cup lemon juice (I used bottled)
2/3 cup agave

Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart pitcher and mix well.  Serve chilled over ice.  This makes a lemonade with a very smooth, mellow taste.

Sorry, it’s not frugal
So, here’s how we can sum up a pitcher of agave lemonade:

Quick and Easy?   Indeed
Tasty?  Sure was
Healthy?  Most likely
Frugal?  Sorry, no.

A 11.75 bottle of agave cost me $5.79.  As you can see in this picture, I used up almost half my bottle for one pitcher of lemonade so this is not a recipe for penny pinching.  But if you are looking for ways to eliminate white sugar for health or diabetic reasons, or if you are wary of artificial sweeteners, this recipe is a very nice alternative.

Stay tuned though!  In the next post we’ll be looking at a beverage that is frugal – Infused Water!

 

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Comments

    Feel free to comment or share your bright idea!

  1. says

    I'm playing catch up after a couple of months.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but agave is not healthy.

    The 10 worst food ingredients 

    I'm making the move to almost all stevia for my sweetening. It is a challenge because some stevia brands just don't taste very good and all of them have a bad taste if you use too much. Sweetleaf or KAL seem to be the best brands. I've gotten used to them for lemonade.

    Of course, the problem comes that so many baked goods need sugar to brown and have the proper consistency. But i've cut out most baked goods anyway.

    I do so enjoy your blog, and i'm looking forward to getting caught up! :)

  2. says

    Looks like I am going to have to give Stevia a try next :) I liked that Agave was low glycemic but after reading the 10 worst food ingredients link you shared, I'm not so sure what to think about agave.

  3. Anonymous says

    Yes, agave syrup does have roughly the same glycemic index as fructose. However, it tastes sweeter and therefore you use half as much, which in a sense halves what you are consuming. You can't compare it tablespoon to tablespoon because it's not used in equal quantities to HFCS or sugar.

  4. says

    Global Goods has Agave that is tested to be the lowest glycemic index. They test each batch that crosses the border from Mexico to make sure no corn syrup, etc. has been added to it (since it is harvested in Mexico and they don't have the same standards as the US, many companies add stuff to the agave and don't have to report it.) Look up http://www.globalgoods.com and read about it. You can also buy in bulk which is much cheaper than the grocery store!

  5. Laura says

    As pointed out on 05/04/12, there are healthy versions of agave which can be found in the US. Organic on the label is helpful. My Winco in Washington state, has organic agave in the bulk section. I also read that 10 worst foods article, which is helpful, but there is more to the story as is common with the media. Dr. Laura W