Monday, November 16, 2009

PRODUCT REVIEW: NU NATURALS STEVIA

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Recently, I was contacted by NuNaturals about trying their products. Since I’ve used Nu Naturals White Stevia Powder for several years in my baking, I consented. In addition to receiving the same stevia I’ve been using, two new products came my way: NuStevia Sweetener Stevia Baking Blend and liquid Vanilla Stevia, along with product information and recipes.

I decided to try my hand with the baking blend first, but unfortunately had less-than-stellar results. The baking blend, which measures like sugar, contains fiber along with Acacia, Guar and Xantham gums; and the banana-oatmeal muffins I made had a gummy texture, though they tasted great. They went into the trash, because they were so bad I wouldn’t even give them away. I am going to try again with a simpler recipe and use less of the baking blend to see if I can get a better result.

Next, I tried making a smoothie with the liquid Vanilla Stevia: a mix of toasted slivered almonds, vanilla yogurt, crushed ice, banana, mango, pineapple, cinnamon and chai spice blend. I sweetened it with the Vanilla Stevia, and it was delicious! I made another, switching the almonds out for peanut butter, and it was equally as good. I definitely like the liquid Vanilla Stevia!

Lastly, I tried an apple cobbler, sweetened only with stevia powder. My usual method is to use half stevia, half sugar; but I tried using the stevia on its own to see if I’d like it. Not only did I, but so did hubby. (I didn’t tell him there was no sugar in the apples, and he didn’t detect anything off-tasting. That’s because the Nu Naturals company has a technique for eliminating the bitter aftertaste that you get with most stevia products -- which is why I’ve been using NuNaturals myself. )

I heartily recommend NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia pure liquid and NuNaturals White Stevia Powder, in packets or loose. You can purchase these items at the NuNaturals website; they offer free shipping for orders of $35 or more, and their prices are comparable to what you will pay in stores. Their website also has more information about stevia, about their company and their products. You’ll also find recipes there.

Next post will have the recipe for the apple cobbler, and I welcome your questions and/or comments concerning this product.

QUESTION: How do you feel about sugar alternatives? Do you use them? If so, which ones?

14 comments:

Linda said...

Sounds good... I usually don't use a sugar substitute in baking... I have tried using Equal with mixed success...

So I will have give it another try and I'll try this...

Thanks... great post

Barbara Bakes said...

I haven't tried Stevia yet, but have tried several baking replacement and still prefer agave, especially with fruit. The vanilla Stevia appeals to me!

Sophie said...

Thanks for explainingbthese products to us but Stevia is forbidden in Europe!

Judy said...

Sophie, Here is some info from
http://www.webefit.com/articles_100_199/article_112_artsweet01.html: "The European Commission banned stevia when a study showed that steviol, a breakdown product from stevioside and rebaudiaside, may cause mutations in the presence of a liver extract of pre-treated rats. Unfortunately the researchers in the study appear to have mishandled data so badly that even water might appear mutagenic.

"Too bad. Once stevia was banned in Europe, it would only be allowed back in after extensive (and expensive) tests that most companies wouldn't be interested in performing, because as we mentioned, stevia isn't patentable. The European Commission, in a 1999 review of stevia said, 'No appropriate data were presented to enable the safety of the commercial plant product to be evaluated.' Until the European Commission gets more data, stevia may not be used in food in the European Union. It has also been banned in Singapore and Hong Kong.

"As of August, 2006, there have been no conclusive studies showing stevia has any harmful effects on humans. It has been used by millions of Japanese people for over 30 years and generations of people in South America with no reported or known harmful effects."

Debbie said...

Interesting Judy..I have never found a sugar substitute that I cared for. Never tried this product but maybe I would like it since there is no bitter aftertaste!

Janice said...

I've never heard of stevia. I would rather eat sugar and butter occasionally rather than substitutes.

I've left you an award on my blog - hope you like it!

yodasmith said...

I use SweetLeaf Sweetener stevia and I love it I do not detect a weird afertaste either! Most stevia have aftertases because they extract from the stevia leaf using ethanol, methanol, solvents, enzymes, or a combination of them, which can result in a weird aftertaste, whereas SweetLeaf uses only pure water during the entire extraction process. Other brands also have alchol sugars, Dextrose, Malto-Dextrin or a combo ofthem, but SweetLeaf does not.

Anyway, I use both the packets and their liquid--I love experimenting with their flavors:English toffee, chocolate, lemon drop, vanilla creme,--I think there's 14 in all! I like the English toffe flavor with cinnamon on unsweetened applesauce, and on cooking apple chunks, chocolate flavor in my skim milk (it tastes like choclate milk), either the powder or vanilla creme in smoothies and in chocolate chip cookies! ( I still have more baking to do!) I also recommend the English toffe, orange valencia, lemon drop, and vanilla creme flavors on plain yogurt!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

I bought a box of Stevia (not this brand) and it is so gross I can't even use it in my tea. I do use Splenda.

Fresh Local and Best said...

I purchased a container of stevia from Trader Joe's and have not made a dent in it. There is this aftertaste that I haven't gotten accustomed to. I'm afraid I'm in the camp that favors sugar and agave nectar.

Sophie said...

Thanks so much for clearing that up, Judy!! i use agave nectar & raw cane sugar & sometimes Tagatose.
Thanks for mensioning this!

Grace and Tiffany said...

Howdy!

Thanks for posting a thorough, honest and entertaining review! We linked to your excellent post on our blog, *Product Review Round-Up* under the category of Food & Beverages. The link is embedded in this listing:

NEW 11/19-Judy’s Kitchen had mixed results with Nu Naturals Stevia

Again, many thanks!

Happy Trails to you,
Grace and Tiffany
The Uncommon Cowgirls of Product Review Round-Up
http://productreviewroundup.com

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