I’ve been using Stevia for a little while now (Thanks to the food blog world for the introduction). I’m no addict but I do use a sprinkle or a packet here and there.
My main Stevia uses:
– Iced coffee – I can do hot coffee black but iced coffee needs sweetener.
– Cooked oatmeal – if cooked without almond milk or banana. Otherwise I find they usually add enough sweetness on their own.
– Smoothies – depending on the fruit used. Frozen raspberries, for example, don’t add nearly the sweetness that bananas, mango or strawberries do.
– Baking – I’ve only tried small, basic baking recipes that might require a packet or two of stevia (like Carrie’s Inside-Out Peanut Butter Cup Cake, for example). These have generally been quite successful.
However, I recently received a very generous package from NuNaturals, complete with every form of Stevia you could imagine: White Stevia Powder Packets, NoCarb Blend Packets, Stevia Baking Blend, Pure Extract Powder, Quick Dissolve Tablets, Pure Liquid Stevia, Vanilla Stevia, and Cocoa Bean Extract.
Where do I even begin?
Adding packets and drops to smoothies and oats is a no brainer. Though having never tried Stevia in liquid form before, there is something strangely satisfying about squeezing that little dropper one, two, or three times in order to meet that perfect amount of sweet.
One thing that I was a little more nervous about tackling: bigger baking projects – replacing full on cups of sugar with a Stevia alternative.
Would it work, or would I be ending up with piles of crumbled, inedible treats overflowing the little compost box beneath the sink? (This is a legitimate fear considering how passionately I avoid throwing out food. If it’s expired, mushy, or only grazed with a slight touch of mould… I’ve probably eaten it)
Luckily NuNaturals are smart folk, and they also sent along an envelope FULL of baking recipes that use Stevia. Great place to start.
I dug through and finally decided on my first victim er… choice: Peas and Thank You Vegan Energy Bars. A pretty safe bet, considering these only use 1/4 cup of the baking blend balanced alongside a real sugar (maple syrup). And, well, they’re homemade energy bars. Can you ever really go wrong there?
Success! Stevia Baking Blend +2 Pts.
I was satisfied with these results so I figured venturing out and playing around with Stevia ratios by trial and error would be a piece of…muffin.
Pumpkin muffin anyone?
I recommend answering that with a simple “I’ll pass.”
I added what I thought was a bit of baking blend plus a touch of the pure Stevia powder. Bad call. These were disgustingly sweet. I froze them, hoping by some miracle they’d return in a de-thawed state of normal edibility. No such luck. With a slight weep, into the compost box they went. (I did eat half the batch first (not all in one sitting!), hoping that each overly sweet shock to the taste buds was just a “bad bite”. That was a lot of bad bites)
But I was not deterred!
Forget venturing over to the safe side. I went from (semi) scratch. I looked over a couple coffee cake recipes and from them made my own mini batch of pumpkin-topped coffee cake muffins, using only the baking blend as the sugar replacement.
Now I’m not sharing this recipe either because, well, they weren’t exactly spectacular. But they were edible and were not too sweet. So that’s a win in my books.
Stevia Baking Blend +1 pt.
Sheepishly, I finally ventured back to tried-and-true territory and followed a recipe verbatim (except for halving it and using a muffin tin): Elise’s Pumpkin Banana
I’ve tried this recipe in the past, before I ever had Stevia Baking Blend. It was darn good.
This time with baking blend was no exception.
Stevia Baking Blend +2pts
I’m giving the Stevia Baking Blend a total of 5 pts, opting not to eliminate any for my failed first pumpkin muffin attempt because, frankly, that was my own faulty ratio fault and not the fault of the Blend.
I definitely see more Stevia baking adventures in my near future, though I think I’ll be sticking to the successful recipes of others rather than trying to do something silly like replace the pounds of real white sugar that fill out my favourite childhood cookie recipe with any Stevia ratios. Otherwise I may never want to eat my favourite cookies again and that would be a trauma much greater than the cookie dough sugar coma that they inevitably create every time I make them.
Carbonated lemon water + extra lemon juice + Vanilla Stevia drops = best homemade fizzy drink you ever did taste.
I’m going to stock up on my carbonated water supply stat.
Do you use Stevia? Have you tried baking with it?
Any great recipe recommendations I should try out next? I know there are a ton out there!