Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jammy Jam

This post is not a recipe or an instructional, mostly just a tip that I've learned through a little practice. Ever noticed how tooth-bracingly sweet many jams are? Ever heard of agave nectar?

It's a sweetener extracted from the agave plant, mostly found in the southwest U.S. and Mexico. It resembles honey, though it's sweeter and with a much lower glycemic index--meaning it doesn't spike your blood sugar and trigger and insulin response the way sugar does.

Very roughly speaking, this is the principle that diets like Sugar Busters, Nutrisystem, and in some ways Weight Watchers operate on: good sugars (certain fruits, breads, lactose, etc.) versus less advantageous ones (refined sugars, processed foods, corn syrup, etc.). The "better" sugars don't invoke the insulin response, which, when it runs out of calories to process, simply stores fat. A lower glycemic index = lower sugar response = less fat storage.

PHEW, all that to say, I've been making jam with agave syrup instead of sugar lately. All you need is a low sugar pectin like Pomona's, and a really big pot. Check Pomona out. You'll thank me, and be proud of yourself for making your own jam!

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