People have differing options on zero-calorie sweeteners. I can completely understand the preference for natural sugars but for me, with my sweet tooth, I do use sweeteners every day. Not only because I am still trying to lose weight, but because every 6 months my dentist checks that I don’t use sugar in my tea or coffee. At my last check-up I made the mistake of saying “not usually, but I do when I have coffee at friends' houses” and his response was “some of my patients can get away with having sugar “sometimes” but you are not one of them – if you want to avoid yet more fillings then you must use sweetener instead of sugar!” ooops, that’s me told then!
A while ago I started using stevia as a more natural alternative to the artificial sweeteners, which I ordered from the US, via iHerb. However that can get quite costly, so it was great timing when – just as I was coming to the end of my last bottle of vanilla stevia drops – I was contacted to see if I’d like to try out Truvia, which is a brand name for stevia. I’d seen that stevia was now being sold in the UK but hadn’t had a chance to try it out yet.
I was sent a tub of Truvia, and also a little purse containing a couple of sachets. The sachets are perfect for keeping in my bag for coffee at friends’ houses – I’ve already been out and bought a big box of them to re-fill the purse as they are just so convenient.
Over the last few weeks I have enjoyed many coffees with Truvia in, and I’m pleased to say that there is no unpleasant after taste that you sometimes get with artificial sweeteners, in fact every coffee you have seen on the blog has contained Truvia. I’m still working on filling all my shelves with blue mugs!!
I was also asked to try out one of the recipes from the Truvia site, and chose to make the berry muffins. I used strawberries instead of blueberries as that was what I had in, and organic semi skimmed milk and a real egg, instead of skimmed milk and egg replacer respectively. I was a bit worried as the batter was a lot runnier than normal muffin batter, but they came out of the oven looking great!
As you can see in the above photos, the tops did sink a bit once the muffins started to cool, but that was solved by whipping up a bit of cream cheese frosting. I just made a small amount – 50g of (full fat) cream cheese with 5g Truvia and a splash of vanilla, which was enough to thickly top two of the muffins. The rest I am planning to freeze so I didn’t want icing on them.
Delicious. I had previously been a bit unsure about baking with Truvia, but you couldn’t taste it at all. The muffins were mildly sweet with a lovely light fluffy texture. The cream cheese frosting again tasted great. It did had a slight "crunch" from the Truvia but that was because I'd just quickly mixed it in a bowl with a spoon - I'm sure if you were making a proper batch and followed the instructions to whisk it there would be no problems!!
What do you think of sweeteners? Do you use them? I don’t use the artificial ones like Splenda, but I do like stevia/Truvia. It keeps my dentist happy and it still pleases my tastebuds! I do still use products like agave and maple syrup from time to time, plus some sugar in baking – indeed these muffins do have some sugar in them, the Truvia just helps to reduce the amount. For my coffees though, I am definitely a Truvia convert! I think I even prefer it to my beloved vanilla stevia drops as this has a completely neutral taste so I can enjoy the coffee more. When using Truvia (as with most sweeteners) it is so important to make sure you don’t use too much. The first time Liam made me a coffee (despite it saying on the tub that 1 tsp sugar = 1/3 tsp Truvia!) he used 2 full teaspoons of Truvia – not at all nice!! 1/3-2/3 tsp or just one sachet when I’m out adds the perfect sweetness to my coffee without leaving any detectable after taste.
Thanks Truvia for sending me these products to try out!