How to Make Naturally Sweetened Strawberry Delight

agavestraw_1This recipe is so simple and yet, it has evaded me for decades. It took a trip to Hawaii to visit friends to discover one of its key ingredients–and it’s not even Hawaiian. They made this dessert for my fiancé and I, and we’ve been smitten since.

Ingredients:
Fresh strawberries, quartered
Agave nectar/syrup

And onto the quickest Preparation:
Combine the ingredients together in a bowl or container, adding the syrup in teaspoon-increments (or less) until you’ve reached your desired sweetness. Consume as is or let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Yes, that’s it!

agavestraw1

The good news is that this alone will satisfy your sweet tooth quota without making you feel like repenting at the gym later, but you can top this with whipped cream if you like.

If you let the mixture ‘marinate’ the whole night (which I highly suggest if you manage not to consume the batch you just made), you will be greeted with perfectly softened strawberries and slightly sweet strawberry syrup in the morning. You can use it for your breakfast cereal; to top your pancakes, waffles, or yogurt, layer it into parfait; or to dress up some homemade crepes for a romantic breakfast.

This is definitely something you can make with your kids to get them involved in the kitchen without too much work or mess. It’s also a great way to introduce more fruit to their breakfast staples. And did I mention that it’s absolutely delicious?! I never would have thought that something as simple as agave nectar could make a difference. I’ve tried using it with pineapples, bananas, peaches, and oranges and it works like a charm. It’s perfect for lemonade as well!

Now you might be saying that you can sprinkle white sugar to sweeten strawberries and other fruits just the same. That is true. However, I find that agave nectar is not as overpoweringly/sharply sweet as white sugar. When compared to other sweeteners, it does not have as much of a distinct taste as maple syrup or honey. It really is up to personal preference, but try this syrup first! You just might love it as much as we do in our household. As a substitute for sugar, you can use ¾ cup agave nectar for a cup of sugar; for honey, in most instances you can use agave nectar in equal parts.

According to my friends who introduced me to this natural vegan alternative, it is healthier than using table sugar. I looked into this and found several sources that verified my friends’ praises. For example, in a Better Nutrition article in 2002 on natural sugar alternatives, they mentioned that agave nectar (it’s from the same plant that is processed into tequila) is 42% sweeter than white sugar but with the same caloric value, and has a low glycemic index of 11. It is also metabolized more slowly and is “less likely to cause dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar”.  Just a few more reasons to try agave nectar!

Happy, healthy eating!

Note: If you cannot find agave nectar at your local grocery store, try going to health food stores (Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc.) or even Amazon.com.

Joy is a web professional who is passionate about food and cooking. She and her fiance call Gourmeted.com their ‘online kitchen’ where they share their experiments with recipes, kitchen tools and gadgets, dining out, or discovering new ingredients and healthy food alternatives.

Comments

  1. What a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day! Are you taking notes, daddies? 😉

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  2. Delicious yet easy to make. My kind of recipe. Sure looks yummy!! Good tip on the comparison between white sugar and the nectar, I wouldn’t have known,

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  3. Ria — Indeed! I usually make this Friday night for Saturday morning waffles. :)

    Ching Ya — Absolutely very easy. I try to be more knowledgeable about the food I eat these days. :)

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