Maguey Honey..Another Mexican super food from the past.
Thanks to our friends that provide Organic Select with heirloom wheat in the high plains of Tlaxcala, we learn firsthand the traditional benefits and processing of the pre-hispanic wonder plant called Maguey..not to be confused with agave, from which tequila is made. The tale goes that this was a gift to one of the kings by a swarthy Goddess about a 1000 years ago. We love those Goddess gifts.
Some of the uses of the Maguey, which is much larger cactus like plant similar to agave, is used along fence lines, to demonstrate land boundaries, and along agricultural terraces to protect the land from eroding with its intense root system and natural protection of long dense spiny needles. The needles where used in Aztec ritual piercings of the tongue, ears and genitals. The skin of the maguey is used to make Mixotes, which is like a tamale. The fibers of the maguey are twisted together to produce rope.
The maguey is used in all its parts. The inner thick leaves are cut out and the inner core scraped to produce a bowl. This is covered during the night, and the next morning the bowl has filled with AGUAMIEL (honey water) or liquid drawn from deep roots. This naturally clear and sweet liquid is highly nutritious filled with vitamins, minerals and live enzymes. This is fermented into Pulgue, a legionary historical beverage, or boiled down into a dark and sweet syrup..which is our subject for today.
Cultivated since pre-Columbine and Aztec people, Maguey honey originates from the plateau of Calpulalpan and Apan in the state of Hidalgo, Estado de Mexico and Tlaxcala. This 100% natural sweetener derives from the Atrovirens species, also referred to as the tame Maguey, an ideal honey-producing cactus.
The fructose is extracted from the base of the plant without any chemical processing or chemical ingredients. Compared to other sugars, its high content of fructooligosaccharides does not prompt the secretion of insulin for digestion. With a glycemic index of 11, compared to a GI rating of 65 for regular sugar, the honey water from the cactus is can be an ideal alternative to other sugars and honeys. It can even be consumed by some type 2 diabetics.
There are numerous additional health benefits to eating Maguey honey which include its high content of niacin, its function as a bacteria inhibitor, and it’s ability to improve physical performance. Maguey honey can be found all over Latin and North America and is sold under names that include Honey Water (aguameil de Maguey), and Metz, which is its Aztec name.
If you are one of the millions of Americans with an addition to sugar ( including my mom, kids and grandkids) switching from sugar to Maguey honey could be a healthy alternative. Sugar is one of the most consumed foods in the world. It is found, in its varying forms, in more than 74% of the products Americans eat, explains Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California at San Francisco. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the average American consumes approximately 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, adding about 350 empty calories to our daily diet.
We like to use it in our yogurt, teas, baking goods and even in coffee., it has a mild flavor much like brown sugar flavor.
But, those of you who are fortunate enough to be in Mexico..Organic Select has it, and maybe some of the Mexican markets.