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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want a sweetner for my ds oatmeal that is good tasting but not as detrimental as real sugar. I have only been using organic sugar cane, but I still feel that it is not the best for him.

I am interested in trying stevia or agave. Anyone have any info or opinions?
 

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Agave will mimic the taste of sugar more closely than stevia. It still has a glycemic impact, whereas stevia does not, however.

Have you thought of, perhaps, real maple syrup? Organic grade B maple syrup. It's what we use in our oatmeal, as well as many other recipes. Sometimes I will also add a few drops of stevia, to add extra sweetness, without flavor, which the maple syrup definitely has. Or perhaps raw honey would work well, too? One of our favorites for oatmeal is a touch of honey and some coconut oil.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is the glycemic content of maple syrup lower than sugar? I love maple syrup, and can probably get some organic at my local Whole Foods. I have some raw honey, but I think the impact is the same as sugar, isn't it? I am so confused.
:
 

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Honestly, I have no idea what the glycemic or calory content is for various sugars.I just know that maple syrup is in a pure and natural form, while sugar is not. I would like to learn more about various sweeteners.

One question, is there really organic maple syrup? Isnt it all pretty much pesticide free?
 

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Stevia is so yummy! I just find it takes a week or two to get used to as it can seem "weird" tasting at first. But once you're past the threshhold, it's sugar that becomes "weird" tasting!
 

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The trick, I think, is to be moderate in whatever you use. Large puddles of maple, agave, or raw honey, or big clumps of brown sugar are not going to be healthy. I use maybe a teaspoon of maple in my steel cut oats.

As mentioned, stevia has no glycemic impact - it doesn't affect blood sugar levels at all, and is calorie free. However, I find that it has a funny after taste. If you can get used to the taste, more power to you. Agave has less of a glycemic impact per sweetness (not sure how they measure that, but someone did some study...)

Honey's glycemic index can be anywhere from 32 to 87, depending on the type, averaging 55. Maple is 54. Agave is 10 - 19. Table sugar is 58 - 64.

Sugar has no redeeming qualities. Raw honey can help with allergies. Rapadura has some iron. Don't know if there's anything good about maple or agave.

To answer the original question, stevia is great if you like the taste. Otherwise, agave is fine.

Aven
 

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Agave is one of my favorite sweeteners. It is super sweet and takes so little to sweeten. Though in oatmeal I prefer a touch of grade B maple syrup myself.
 

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We love agave, grade B maple, and raw honey around here, depending on the food. Oatmeal usually gets raw honey (with raw butter and raw milk), or grade B maple. Sourdough toast usually gets a little agave with cinnamon sprinkled on top. We have stevia, but I use it very rarely.
 

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I know this isn't exactly what you asked but I had the same dilemma. Ds loves oatmeal but was starting to not want it as much so I thought if I sweetened it he would like it more. Anyway I was able to just throw in some frozen blueberries and not worry about any other sweetner. He loves it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vermontgirl View Post
One question, is there really organic maple syrup? Isnt it all pretty much pesticide free?
The main difference between organic maple syrup and conventional maple syrup is the way it is processed. Conventional maple syrup is processed through formaldehyde. Organic maple syrup is not. Which would you rather eat?


You can read more here about the other differences in conventional maple syrup and organic maple syrup.

One of the reasons that maple syrup is a good sweetener is that it is high in many trace minerals. So, it is more than just sweet. This is one of the reasons you want grade B, or even grade C, maple syrup, as it has not been filitered to the extent that grade A syrup has, and therefore contains more of the nutrients.

One thing I wanted to mention about Agave syrup is that there is some question as to the purity of most of the syrups sold in this country. Agave is mainly produced in South America, where labelling standards are not as they are in the U.S., and often pure agave syrup is cut with things like corn syrup and other additives, and then sold to U.S. distributors as "pure" agave. Personally, I try to avoid corn syrup, so that's a problem for me. Just thought I'd throw that out there for anyone else who might have an issue with it, too.

I'm trying to find an article or list that compares the GI for sweeteners, but I can't find one. Perhaps I'll have to make one myself ...
 

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Isn't agave a highly processed, "modern" sweetener? Maple syrup has been consumed for centuries.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kdmama33 View Post
One thing I wanted to mention about Agave syrup is that there is some question as to the purity of most of the syrups sold in this country. Agave is mainly produced in South America, where labelling standards are not as they are in the U.S., and often pure agave syrup is cut with things like corn syrup and other additives, and then sold to U.S. distributors as "pure" agave. Personally, I try to avoid corn syrup, so that's a problem for me. Just thought I'd throw that out there for anyone else who might have an issue with it, too.
I had heard this mentioned on another thread and it freaked me out because I use Agave a lot. (Use it in my tea mostly.) So, I e-mailed the company I get my Agave from, Madhava. Here's what he had to say:

Quote:
Thanks for the opportunity to respond to persistant rumors concerning agave nectar adulteration with corn syrup.

I can assure you that Madhava Agave Nectar is 100% Pure, no additives of any kind. Every production batch is analyzed and a Quality Certificate issued.

As for rumors which have circulated, I am sure that they stem from events a number of years ago. There are currently only two producers of agave nectar in Mexico. While our producer of agave was the second to go into production
and has been in operation for four years, there were events after agave's original introduction to the US market in the late 90's that raised suspicions. In 2000, there was a severe shortage of blue agave. This occured just after agave nectar from blue agave was introduced. There were suspicions at that time that the agave being sold was adulterated with corn
syrup, as a result of the blue agave shortage. So, this was the origin of the adulteration suspicions. I was not in the market at the time and have no direct information as to the truth here.

But, I have been selling agave since 2002 and it is a wonderful product.
While that same original producer of blue agave nectar is still selling to the US market, our producer is independent of them and in fact even our source of agave nectar is different, as agave salmiana is the variety our agave nectar comes from. I feel salmiana as a source has several advantages
over that from blue agave.

So, I hope that gives you an idea about why there have been rumors about agave nectar and I also hope it puts your mind at ease concerning our product.

I would be glad to discuss agave nectar with any interested parties and I can be contacted by email or phone at 800-530-2900.

Thanks and best regards,
Craig Gerbore

 

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To answer the original question, I'll second what Eather said: Go for fruit! If I have a sliced up banana in mine, I have no need for extra sweetener. Same goes with blueberries, as Eather said. Sometimes I'll add in some dried cranberries, although they're sweetened with fruit juice.

Aven
 

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we chop up a banana in our oatmeal, and i add raisins to mine and ds's. (dd doesn't like raisins.) some cinnamon and a bit of coconut oil, some rice milk or raw cows milk...yum!

i probably wouldn't suggest stevia for a kid, simply because it does have that funky aftertaste that they probalby wouldn't like.
 

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Stevia does have an aftertaste, but since my DS has been eating it since he was old enough to have anything like that, he doesn't seem to mind at all.

Another thing that I take into consideration: stevia isn't sticky and agave is. That might not matter for oatmeal, but for things like tea or lemonade that could get spilled, I always opt for stevia. Then it's just like wiping up water. With agave, it's just like honey, so can make a really big, sticky puddle of a mess.
 

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Not all stevia is created equally, might I add. Some lesser quality stevia powders and liquids are really, really bitter. Sweetleaf stevia is a good brand. My favorite is The Body Ecology stevia concentrate.
 

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I use Madhava Raw Agave Nectar in all my teas now, as the glycemic index is less than half (47%) of a glucose product. The raw has only been gently heated and it's organic and kosher. It supposedly has more mineral content than the 'light' flavor also. LOVE the stuff! The Agave cacti have been used for centuries for making 'tequila' so I'd say it's not really a 'modern' invention, just 'modern' availability to our market...as the harvesting must be done by hand, like maple syrup.

Unless I can get my maple syrup organic (formaldehyde free) and grade B, I don't use it anymore. After having done a few Master Cleanse Lemonade fasts, I really don't care for maple syrup in much of anything anymore..hehe


I still love my Rapadura for baking and Kefir brewing!


I have stevia packets that are nice for traveling, and a small bottle of the liquid, but when I'm pregnant and or heavily nursing, I don't use it..as the taste just does NOT agree with me, plus I'm not watching my calories as much during those times...

I like a variety of sweeteners, actually. I have honey, but since most of it is 'raw/unfiltered' it crystalizes and is more of a PITA to deal with having to liquidfy again for using!

RE the oatmeal question, I usually sprinkle a little (1/2 tsp) Rapadura on top and or a squeeze of Agave for the kids. They love it! Mmm, it's cold here today, oatmeal sounds so good!
 
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