What is stevia?
Stevia is an herb that originates from South America and was discovered by the Europeans. For many years it has been used in Asia as an alternative to sugar, and now that the FDA has approved its use in food production, it’s available in the United States.
Is stevia safe for use?
The FDA approved the use of stevia, and according to wikipedia there is preliminary evidence linking stevia to a decrease in hypertension and an increase in insulin production. HOWEVER, you should seek the advice of your physician if you have health issues prior to using stevia, or any sugar substitute.
When NuNaturals sent me samples of their stevia products, I was dubious at best. Unless you have a medical reason and need to limit your consumption of sugar, I’m not a fan of the use of commercial sweeteners, other organic sugar. I am in agreement with nutritionists who say that many Americans add too much sugar to their daily diet, but I prefer the sugar they use be organic and refined as little as possible.
Keep in mind that when you buy any sweetener, artificial or natural, it has been refined to a degree - including the products sent to me from NuNaturals. I have a hard time classifying anything as “whole” or “natural” if it’s been through an extensive refining process.
All that being said, after trying the products sent to me, I was pleased with the taste. I’ve tried the packets in my coffee and was surprised that there wasn’t an aftertaste. NuNaturals sent me MoreFiber as well, and I used this sweetener with added fiber in the following recipes. You’ll find sugar equivalents identified.
The energy bars have all the healthy ingredients I would expect, and they were simple to put together. The muffins were light and tender – as good as any muffin I’ve made in the past. I’m not sure I saved all that many calories – I have several muffins recipes that are lower in calories, but they are higher in sugar. So again, it all depends on your dietary needs.
The bottom line?
From my perspective, stick with organic sugar or honey if you don’t have health issues. If you need to use a processed sweetener, talk to your doctor about the use of stevia. If your doctor gives the okay, then check out NuNaturals. They have a wide variety of products that are reasonably priced.
Vegan Energy Bars
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips, dark chocolate if possible
1/2 cup peanut butter, all natural without added sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup, 100 percent maple (or use honey)
1/4 cup NuNaturals More Fiber, or 1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
6 tablespoons water
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine flax meal and water and set aside.
3. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl, then add all wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Mixture will be very dry and require a tough hand to combine.
4. Spray am 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray and firmly press mixture evenly into the pan.
5. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into bars.
Nutrition Per Serving
Calories: 169, Weight Watchers PointsPlus 5
Total Fat: 7.54g
Total Carbs: 21.87g
Dietary Fiber: 2.96g
Stevia Banana Muffins
Servings: 8 Large Muffins
- 4 bananas, smashed
- ⅛ cup NuNaturals Stevia, or 1/4 cup sugar
- ¼ cup NuNaturals More Fiber, or 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup butter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup oatmeal
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Line muffin tins with muffin liners and spray them with cooking spray.
3. Beat bananas, sweeteners, egg and butter until smooth.
4. Add remaining ingredients and combine. Don’t over-mix.
5. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 207, Weigh Watchers PointsPlus 6
Total Fat: 8.38g
Total Carbs: 30.21g
Dietary Fiber: 4.02g
Please see disclaimer for further details. Nutrition information is compiled with MacGourmet. If you find discrepancies, please let me know. It’s important to me that I provide you with accurate information.
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