In my search for natural sweetners to replace sugar and artifical sweetners, I came across Nekutli Agave Nectar. This sweet nectar comes from the agave place which is grown in Mexico (and used in Tequila).
Nekutli Nectar comes in clear, amber, and raw. There are also numerous flavoured Agave Nectars available. The sweetness is intense. It's about twice as sweet as sugar and comes in a liquid form.
I found the light nectar to be the most neutral. It was the easiest to replace for sugar in recipes. However, I found the darker nectars often added a very pleasant note to the recipes and I would recommend them as well.
As far as bulk, I used about 1/2 cup Nekutli for every cup of sugar and I found this worked well but often, I needed to adjust other quantities to make sure the sweetness, amount, and moisture were taken into account.
Nekutli also has flavoured agave nectar - vanilla, raspberry, and amaretto, just to name a few. These became flavour enhancers for coffee on a regular basis for me. I also found they work well in smoothies and I even used the raspberry one for raspberry lemonade - what a treat!
The biggest challenge with Nekutli is the fact that I'm so used to powdered sugar and sweetners, it was difficult to get used to.
One other big bonus to Nekutli Agave Nectar is that it has a very low GI (Glycemic Index). Because of this, it can be a useful alternative for diabetics or anyone wanted to consume low GI foods. I recommend Nukutli as a sweetener - just remember it is a liquid so plan accordingly.