Life’s a Little Sweeter with Stevia

As promised, I’ve gotten around to writing a post on Stevia. For those of you who haven’t jumped the bandwagon yet, Stevia is an all natural zero-calorie sweetener.

Stevia in the Raw

Stevia in the Raw

Now I know what you’re thinking…and of course I was skeptical too when I first heard about it. I had tried Splenda in the past and every time I had any I would get a migrane afterwards, which was very unusual for me because I rarely get headaches. I decided to go ahead and give Stevia a try despite my hesitations and I couldn’t be more glad that I did! Although Stevia doesn’t taste the same as sugar (and you shouldn’t expect it to) it is what it claims to be: a zero calorie sweetener. If you’re watching calories this is such a great option. Although I’m not counting calories I figure why waste calories when Stevia is such a good substitute? I bought Stevia in the raw because I prefer raw sugar to normal sugar so I figure the case would be the same with Stevia.

Although Stevia is (of course) more expensive than sugar, it’s actually lasted me quite a while. Plus I used a coupon! (gotta love the thrill of saving money) I’ve probably had this same bag for at least nine months. The reason is most likely because when baking or making a recipe, you only need half as much stevia as is called for in sugar. Unfortunately I still haven’t baked with Stevia yet but I have used it lots in beverages. I find that it’s great as a coffee sweetener – I genuinely don’t taste the difference between it and sugar. I also use it in tea and I’ve started making cocktails with stevia instead of sugar in the simple syrup -there is only a very minimal difference in taste.

I also like Stevia in smoothies – if you’re blending up a random assortment of stuff and it just isn’t sweet enough, add a little Stevia! Another one of my favorite Stevia beverages are the Zevia Sodas.

Zevia

Zevia via Flickr user Just Add Cayenne

This stuff is so great that even the turtle wants it. Zevia is an all-natural, calorie-free soda sweetened with Stevia. Now, you have to come into it with the right mindset – if you drink a Coke-flavored Zevia and expect it to taste like Coke you will be disappointed. However, if you just try it without expectations you will probably like it. I really like the Dr. Pepper flavor which once again, doesn’t taste like Dr. Pepper, but it does taste way better than you would expect a zero-calorie soda to. Once again, this is an awesome thing to use in cocktails, you can save hundreds on calories on your Cuba Libres, Jack & Cokes, & Long Island Ice Teas.

If you’re curious for a little more information – check out this Stevia article here

Anyone else tried Stevia and have any favorite recipes? If so post in the comments below!

Advertisements

Spinach, Blackberry & Goat Cheese Salad

This recipe is perfect for summertime – light, fruity and containing goat cheese (I’m obsessed with the stuff). It’s really simple to make and is just great for the occasional day where you might be feeling a salad for lunch.

Image

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1/2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 3-5 pieces of tangelo, sliced into 1/2 in. pieces
  • 1 slice of red onion
  • 3 oz. blackberries
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 3 oz. spinach

This yields about 2 servings or 1 extremely hungry person serving

First you can make the dressing by mixing the first 4 ingredients.

Image

Whisk until evenly mixed.

Image

Next place the onion slices, tangelo pieces, blackberries and goat cheese in a bowl.

Image

Pour over the dressing and voilá! Eat up and enjoy

SkinnyGirl

P.S. Check out the stats on this recipe: only 164 calories for eating half of this recipe (2 smaller salads)

blackberry goat cheese salad nutrition facts