Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Stevia In The Raw Zero Calorie Granulated Sweetener

I've loved this new Stevia Granulated Sweetener in every recipe I've tried it in.

Since I'm trying to avoid sugar in my recipes, when I spotted Stevia in the Raw Zero Calorie Granulated Sweetener in the grocery store, it definitely caught my eye.  For years I've used Splenda in baked goods, sauces, or dressings, and I've always been happy with it.  I've never considered Splenda to be harmful, and still don't (despite the occasional comments I get from the "food police" lecturing me for using it.)  But I respect the right of everyone to make their own food choices (which is why I never publish those "food police" type comments).  I know some people don't want to use Splenda, and if you're one of those people, this new product might be a nice option for you.

Just like Splenda, this new Stevia product is used cup-for-cup to replace sugar in baked goods and other recipes where sweetness is needed.   I wanted to try it first in a recipe that I'd previously made with Splenda, so I used it in Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Garden Harvest Cake, and it was delicious.  Since then I have used it in Low-Sugar Mango SorbetSpicy Sichaun Style Green BeansAsian Cucumber Salad with Cilantro and Vidalia Onions, and Savory Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Green Chiles and Cheese.   After the experimenting I've done, I'd say you could substitute this product for sugar or Splenda in pretty much any recipe and get good results.

Of course the first thing people are going to ask me is "How does it taste?"  I'm someone who has tried to avoid white sugar for many years, so I may not be the best person to ask, but to me it tastes great.  It's sweet, and I like the flavor even when I just taste it plain.  I had tried hard to learn to like the Stevia packets for sweetening drinks, and never could develop a taste for it, so to me this tastes much different than other kinds of Stevia.

Which brings us to those food police types who leave comments lecturing me on what I'm eating.  I'm going to edit all my past recipes where I've used Splenda and add this product as an option, but that may take me a while (I have to edit it on the recipe and the printer-friendly recipe for each one.)  Meanwhile if you're a follower of the blog who's avoiding white sugar, I'd love you to give this product a try in one of the recipes where you've previously used Splenda and let me know how you like it.

And for goodness sakes, if anyone believes this product is harmful in any way, please don't buy it!

Blogger Disclosure:
I purchased this Stevia in the Raw Granulated Sweetener myself and the company has no idea that I'm writing about their product. All items featured as Kalyn's Kitchen Picks are things I will happily buy over and over, and because I want readers to know that my opinions are completely unbiased, I no longer accept sample products of any kind. You can see the complete list of products I've chosen under the tab Kalyn's Picks below the blog header.

46 comments:

Kirsten@My German Kitchen...in the Rockies said...

We also have been using Splenda for years now. I like it. I have been on a cleansing for two weeks, they told me to use the Stevia. I still prefer the taste of Splenda. Who cares about the food police? I don't!

Kalyn said...

Kirsten, I certainly don't either, but this is a good option for people who don't like Splenda. I'm wondering if you tried this one or a different Stevia, because I hated all the other ones I tried but loved this type.

Emmyw said...

I wonder how wideley available this is in England - we have splenda but I don't like just how sweet splenda is so have always tried finding other ways to add sweetness into my recipes. I will have to see if I can get some and give it a go!!!

The Italian Dish said...

Kalyn, this is my favorite sweetener. I use it every morning in my coffee and I put it into my oatmeal and plain yogurt! I love it. And I think this tastes better than the other Stevia sweeteners, like Truvia. Truvia is blended with erythritol and Stevia in the Raw is blended with dextrose. It just tastes better to me.

Bev said...

I checked their website. For those counting carbs or calories, this product has 98 calories per cup (2 per tsp) and that would net about 25 carbs/cup. Still that's way lower than sugar and probably on a par with Splenda cup-for cup. Both are mixed with maltodextrin.

Not a complaint, merely informational. Thanks for your great website.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

This is a product I've never tried, but on your recommendation, I'll go search for it. I don't use much sweetener, but my husband does like it in his morning coffee.

Carolyn C. said...

Thanks Kalyn for informing us about this product. I have tried Stevia that I got from the health food store and really loathed it. Gave the box of little packets away. But now you've given me a reason to try this brand. And I agree with Kristen -- the food police have no influence over me! By the way, did I mention how much I love, love, love your blog!

Chris said...

I love using Stevia. My chiropractor told me about it, and I personaly feel it it much better for me than Splenda and the other non sugar sweeteners. I tried one brand and did not like it, so I tried another and I love this one. I put it into my coffee that I take with me to work everyday.
I like to bake with it too. I am a Stevia fan!!

Kalyn said...

Emmyw, not sure if it's sold in England, but you might be able to get it online. Worth the trouble, in my opinion.

Elaine, I agree; to me this is much better than Truvia. I really like the taste.

Bev, interesting that they call it "zero calorie" when it does have a few calories, but still it's pretty low. Glad you like the blog!

Lydia, I do think you would like it.

Carolyn, I hated the little packets too. This tastes so much better.

Chris, I think I've become a fan too.

Maria said...

I haven't tried Stevia yet. Glad you like it!

Nicole said...

My husband recently decided to remove artificial sweeteners from his diet, even Splenda. He's been using sugar, but I get concerned because he is so used to the sweet taste from the artificial sweeteners that he tends to use a lot more sugar than normal. I had been thinking about using Stevia, but have also not been a fan of the packets. Thank you for posting about this Stevia product! I may be picking some up on my next grocery trip!

MCH said...

We switched over to using Stevia years ago and haven't gone back. Mostly for our coffee sweetener but also in baking items. I love it!

Brenda Chalcroft said...

I just bought some of this on Monday night and I love it already. We had been using stevia liquid and stevia packets while on another diet plan and I wanted to stay on it while we change over to the Phase 1 of South Beach. It's just super easy to use! So far I've tried it in drinks, and as the sweetener in my rhubarb sauce (we use that as a greek yoghurt topping since we aren't allowed fruit on P1, and it's great along with the Phase 1 allowed granola topping! Thanks for featuring this! Brenda C.

Helen said...

I'm glad to read your opinion on this since I too have not liked any of the other Stevia I've tried. Just yesterday I read another article that ranks this as the best sugar substitute on the market. With that double whammy I think I need to give it a try!

ms_martin said...

Do you find that Stevia has an anise taste or quality to it? My mother in law ruined my husband on all things anise (fennel, stevia, etc.) so I wonder if he maybe has a false memory or if it really tastes like that?

Glad to see it has made its way into your pantry!

Kalyn said...

I love hearing from others who have tried this and liked it.

I do want to be clear that to me this tastes completely different than any other Stevia product I've tried. I don't notice any "off" taste or anise flavors in this. I never liked Stevia before, so I was happy I liked this so much.

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

Kalyn, purely anecdotal, just me...

I had LOTS of health issues pre-blogging. I had a $300 a month drug habit to keep my asthma and blood pressure under control. Once I started blogging, I paid more attention to ingredients. I made a decision to eliminate ingredients I can not pronounce. meaning chemicals.

Under Doctor advice, I am drug free and have been for almost a year. BP on the high side of normal, but down considerably from pre-blogging. Asthma is completely gone. I weigh just about the same as before.

I use real sugar, occasionally honey or Agave. With great respect and with the understanding that this is just me, no studies, no idea if it would work, there are worst things than being heavy.

I promise to LOVE your next post

Dave

Kalyn said...

Dave no worries, and to each their own. Stevia is a natural food though so I bet if you checked with your doctor they would say it's ok.

Andrea Meyers said...

I've tried several different brands of stevia, and all the brands that are pure stevia without any kind of filler taste uber sweet to me. I don't care for them at all. I tried Trader Joe's stevia, which is mixed, and it's not nearly so sweet. Then a couple months I spotted this same bag of stevia at our neighborhood Harris Teeter and bought it. It tastes pretty much the same as the TJs stevia. I only use it to sweeten my tea, so it will last me a very long time. Good stuff!

Kalyn said...

Andrea, glad you like it too. (And how I wish we had Trader Joe's in Utah, sigh.)

Kyle and Ali said...

So glad to see this post! I get horrible migraines from Sucralose (Splenda) and get diarrhea from other artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and sugar alcohols. Stevia, although I don't enjoy the taste as much as sugar (haha), doesn't cause these side effects for me so it's a great alternative for those of us that can't tolerate the artificial ones but still want to enjoy something sweet while keeping the sugar levels in check. :) I haven't baked much with it yet so I'm glad to see that it works well! Thanks again for this awesome blog!!

Kalyn said...

So glad you're enjoying the blog. And I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how good this tastes.

Maggie said...

Kalyn,
I've used Splenda in some baking recipes. To get good results I've tweaked recipes, essentially following Splenda's recommendations like adding powdered milk, etc. Do you make any tend to alterations to your baked recipes when using this stevia? I bought this a few weeks back when you posted the sorbet recipe. Thanks for the review!

Kalyn said...

Maggie, I just used this cup-for-cup like I would sugar. Of course I'm not much of a baker, so I haven't tried anything too complicated.

I am not going to let people post comments talking about their preferred sweeteners, because this post is just about this type. Hope no one takes that personally; I just don't want to get it started.

Rachel said...

When I started phase one, I bought liquid stevia (blech) and xylitol. I'm not super thrilled with either, and I haven't yet found anything I'm comfortable baking with. I am really excited to try this. Thanks for posting.y

Kalyn said...

Rachel I don't like either of those, so maybe you will like this one. Hope so!

Kalyn said...

It's very hard for me to understand why someone would type a huge long "food police" type of comment, when I've already said I'm not going to publish that type of comment. And as I said in the post, if you don't want to use this product, then please don't buy it. But have the courtesy to realize that I'm entitled to my own food choices without turning my blog into a sounding board for everyone who doesn't agree with them.

Anonymous said...

Splenda makes makes me break out in a rash so a couple of years ago I started experimenting with Stevia products. I have tried the liquids and various packaged and bulk products. To me, Stevia in the Raw has the best flavor. I haven't tried baking with it yet, but will look into that.

Julie Anne said...

I wonder if anyone has a thought on Stevia's aftertaste vs Splenda?

I have always found that baking with Splenda produces a slightly bitter, lingering aftertaste. When I do bake, I use agave as my sweetener of choice, but it isn't always a viable option. Plus, I like to limit my overall fructose intake (keeping those triglycerides low!) so I don't always want to use agave even when I can. I have been put off by Splenda in my baking and wonder if Stevia has the same sort of issue with bitterness. Kalyn? Faithful readers? Anyone ever noticed an undesireable aftertaste with Stevia?

MrsSpock said...

I never quite liked the taste of Splenda in baking. I recently started using Truvia for my iced tea and have been very happy with it- nicely sweet with no aftertaste. Now I'll have to experiment with baking!

Sarah said...

Thank you for posting about this! My husband and son have hypoglycemia (husband has a very severe case), so we *have* to use artificial sweeteners. I always use Splenda, but am happy to hear your thoughts on this.

I'm with you. I do. not. like. it when people try to police me about using Splenda. I get really irritated because I have no choice due to my husband's diet and inability to have sugar at all.

Love your blog!

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, I like Stevia in the Raw the best too.

Julie Anne, all I know about the taste is what I said in the post and what people have said here in the comments. Would love to hear from someone who has baked the same thing with both.

Mrs. Spock, I haven't tried Truvia, but I do like this product for baking.

Sarah, isn't it annoying. I hope this product will turn out to be useful for you.

FamilySpice said...

I've been using stevia in my tea for years, since I drink it daily and I like it sweet. You tweeted about Stevia in the Raw and I ran out found me some. Great for baking! Not all stevias taste the same and I may not get my husband to like it, but I do. I made some freezer strawberry jam using pectin and stevia and I should have used less stevia. But, I still eat it! And my 5 year old likes it, too. For those who complain, you have to deprogram your tongue. It's addicted to sugar!

Suann said...

I work at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. They just added Stevia in the raw in packets. I have tried it and it isn't as sweet as Splenda. I like it and am glad to see in in a big package like this! Thank you for sharing!

Kalyn said...

SuAnn, thanks for sharing that. I haven't tried the packets but plan to.

Monica said...

My grandma has been using Stevia for a long time and I always thought it was way too sweet. Then I bought it to stop eating so much sugar. Some other brands I've tried have a bitter aftertaste, especially the liquids. I totally agree with you Stevia in the raw tastes really good. I haven't baked with it yet so I can't comment about that. I would be scared using it cup for cup would make everything too sweet though. It seems extra sweet to my taste buds. Thanks for posting about it! Since its just a natural product maybe others will jump on board with it and give up sugar or splenda!

dickens said...

I hope I am not beating to death something that's already been discussed elsewhere, but do any of these sweeteners (in any form) caramelize in a way similar to sugar? I have been trying to duplicate cream fillings and caramelized tops on baked goods and no sweetener seems to do what I want without addition of thickeners or something else complicated.

Kalyn said...

I did try using this on top of some muffins as a streusel topping and was very disappointed; it didn't melt or caramelize at all like sugar does. If you find something that works like that instead of sugar, would love to know about it!

Little Fish Girl said...

I would think that Splenda would caramelize. I haven't tried doing it, but given its chemical structure is nearly identical to sugar (with Cl replacing an OH so your metabolism doesn't recognize it as an energy source, which is what makes it "calorie-free") I suspect it. Of course, I haven't tried it, so no experimental evidence.

I will say something that disappoints me about Stevia (and this happens to be the brand I use) is that it seems to want to clump up. I used it in a crumble topping for sweet potato casserole over Thanksgiving, and the stevia formed dough-like chunks when I added margarine to the mixture. It still worked okay, but it does make the Stevia a little harder to work with than sugar or Splenda.

Kalyn said...

Little Fish Girl, I am still experimenting with it. Besides that one failure as a streusel topping, yesterday I made a recipe where I tried both Splenda and Stevia and the brownies with the Splenda tasted much sweeter. But I am still glad to have this as a more natural alternative for many things.

Helen said...

I used Stevia In The Raw today to make no bake cookies. I added protein powder to the Stevia and used Almond Milk along with the light margarine, peanut butter and oats. The stevia, milk and margarine mixture did not boil up as in traditional no bake cookies but cooked it long enough. They are a delicious high protein snack to have with my morning coffee.

Kalyn said...

Helen, sounds delicious!

KK said...

Hi Kalyn, Im Kalyn too! Not only have I run across you bc of the same name but for looking for recipes. I am trying to make candied ginger and wonder if Stevia in the Raw can replace sugar? An interesting recipe idea as non call for other than sugar sweetners. Here's somebody's recipe:

Candied Ginger
1 part Ginger
3 part Water
3 part Sugar
Directions:
Peel the ginger and slice it into rounds about 1/8 inch thick. For every cup of ginger slices, bring 3 cups water and 3 cups sugar to a boil in a large sauce pan. When the sugar is completely dissolved, add the ginger and boil for 45 minutes, until the ginger is sweet and tender. Drain the ginger, reserving the liquid. Place the ginger on a rack to dry for 30 minutes, then toss it with enough granulated sugar to coat. Let it dry on wax paper and then store in an airtight container.

Kalyn said...

Fun hearing from someone else named Kalyn! I've heard from a few people through the years.

Yes, I do think Stevia in the raw can replace sugar in most any recipe. (Not in something where the sugar will caramelize but most anything else.)

MJ @ Creative Madness Mama said...

FYI, their link is different from the one you've posted. I googled it and found it as http://www.intheraw.com/ instead. Thank you for the mention though! I've been looking for a way to do desserts, but I cannot do Truvia or Splenda, so I'm eager to try Stevia.

I'd love to know if you could direct me to anymore desserts that are not including ricotta as well! I'm printing off your Coconut Almond Macaroon recipe right now!

cherryblossommj(at)gmail

Kalyn Denny said...

MJ, thanks for the link update. Looks like they consolidated all their products under one domain. I just updated it.

There is a whole category for Low Sugar Desserts over in the left sidebar.

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