The sweet things in life

Consider this your unofficial guide to sweeteners. The long and the short of it is….use sugar, raw honey or stevia. Anything else is just harmful chemicals. Your body will deal better with plain old sugar than it will with things like Aspartame/Nutrasweet (causes brain cancer in rats), Splenda (chlorinated sucrose, which is sugar!) or the new rage, Agave (high fructose corn syrup). If you do go for regular sugar, you can choose cane juice/syrup or raw sugar, which at least has all the healthy minerals that have been refined out of white sugar.

I use stevia for blood sugar purposes. I am a life-long sugar-holic, so I need something sweet to make me feel like I’m not missing out on all the best things in life. I already gave my recipe for sweet whipped cream (check the recipe category) and I also use stevia a lot to make lemonade and chocolate milk. I’ve also used it in cornbread, but I haven’t baked with it a lot because I can’t eat a lot of carbs in the form of baked goods.

I carry a little dropper bottle of chocolate stevia and vanilla stevia in my purse so I can have a mocha or vanilla latte when I’m out and about doing my errands and I just have to get a coffee. Most places that carry “sugar-free” coffee flavors are mostly using Splenda as their sugar substitute. My health food store won’t carry any products made with Splenda because it is so harmful. Anyway, 10 drops of stevia in a large, plain latte will give you a satisfying mocha or flavored latte.

I also make a chocolate candy with stevia, which is never going to be the same as a Three Musketeers bar, but it satisfies the craving. For me, it’s all about managing the sugar cravings. I don’t crave chocolate like I used to and if I do have real sugar I’m not able to eat much of it before my stomach starts to protest. But using stevia has really helped me feel like I can manage the sugar cravings that I do have.

You just have to be careful how you use stevia. I little too much will give you a bitter aftertaste. It’s better to go with a little less than you think you might need. I used to never put liquid stevia in hot beverages but I’ve gotten used to the taste. I generally use 10 drops of the liquid in a pint glass of beverage. They’ve got all kinds of flavored stevia now so you can try different ones. The English toffee stevia is nice in coffee, too. Use powdered stevia for baking, with the proportion being 1 tsp of white stevia powder to one cup of sugar. You’ll have to experiment to get it just right with your recipes.



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