Ok, I am officially ready to start crazy holiday baking. I just ordered 10lbs of steviva, I've got tons of applesauce that we canned last year....I'm ready.
For those of you who have no clue what steviva is, I'll fill you in. It's a blend of stevia and erythritol and has the same consistency as sugar. Maybe you've heard of or seen Truvia in the stores? It looks like this:
While this is a different brand than the steviva blend I'm talking about, it's basically the same thing. The difference for me is I can buy Truvia in the stores (but only in little packet form) and I have to order steviva in bulk if I want to bake with it. This is what I order:
My two 5lb bags.
I've been using stevia sugar substitutes for years. Stevia is a natural calorie-free herbal sweetener, 200 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia is a plant (specifically, a member of the chrysanthemum family) native to portions of northeastern Paraguay. It has been used to sweeten foods and beverages for more than 200 years. Steviva (spelled almost the same) is a blend of the stevia plant and erythritol. And if you are wondering about erythritol, it occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, and is a gluten free fermented grain extract. So there is nothing chemical about this stuff.
Unlike many of the popular artificial sweeteners out there, such as:
which are chemically modified substances.
I highly recommend reading this if you have any questions about what is so nasty about these sweeteners and why stevia is the best alternative to sugar. The author is Mike Geary, and I've read his stuff for years also. He has this book called The Truth About Abs, which you can purchase online. It is full of very valuable information on anyone looking to transform their body with a healthy lifestyle. www.thetruthaboutabs.com (just in case you were interested)
There is definitely a debate about whether or not artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Some people believe there isn't enough evidence to link these sweeteners to health problems (including some fitness experts, like Joel Marion, whose newsletters I read from time to time). And then there are some (like Mike Geary) who are big believers that they are just nasty and you should stay away from them. I happen to be in the latter category. I try very hard not to eat anything that has been artificially sweetened. I am desperately trying to get my mother to break her addiction to diet pop :(
Anyway, I order my steviva from here. It's great for baking. It's PERFECT for those of you with a sweet tooth, who want to break your sugar habit. You can bake your sugar-free cookies and eat them too! An even better bonus, you can use natural unsweetened applesauce in place of the butter in your recipes and you have a sugar-free, fat-free "naughty" treat! Indulge without the guilt! That is why I mentioned the applesauce in my first sentence.
Try it! You might be pleasantly surprised!