Treats made with stevia – good or just good for you?
I’ve always been a big believer in eating real treats. I don’t want “weight watchers” cookies, no interest in 100-calorie snack packs, no nutrasweet for me. I’d rather just have a small portion of something with real sugar, real fat, real flavor. Ice cream, cookies - something quality and worth the calories please.
However, when I read that sugar is a “wrinkle fertilizer” – I decided it might be a good idea to cut out some of the sugar and replace it with another sweetener. High fructose corn syrup is the absolute worst wrinkle fertilizer. It really makes a good effort of breaking down the cells and collagen and doesn’t help the cell regeneration. Sugar is a close second it seems. Aspartame (nutrasweet) and Splenda have been shown to cause all sorts of health problems from fatigue, headaches, dizziness, aches and pains to blindness and cancers after long term cumulative use so those are out. That leaves us with a few natural choices. If you can combine real ingredients in a way that is delicious and sweet and happens to be low calorie or healthier - I will give that a try. I found that this Stevia cookie recipe for stevia chocolate chip cookies did that - it is healthier without feeling like health food and isn't trying to be a "regular" chocolate chip oatmeal cookie -these are hearty, sweet and especially good fresh out of the oven, like most chocolate chip cookie recipes.
I have tried “Just Like Sugar”, Erythritol in the form of “Zsweet”, Xylitol, “Sweet and Slender” which uses a highly concentrated super sweet Chinese fruit mixed with fructose, honey, agave nectar and stevia.
Some of these have calories, some change blood sugar levels while others do not. Some work well in baking – others are iffy. Other posts will go into the benefits and negatives of each but for now, let’s discuss Stevia. For more info on Stevia, see my post Stevia vs other sweeteners"
In effort to NOT fertilize my wrinkles, I have recently attempted treats with Stevia. For those watching carb intake for dieting purposes, for those who are diabetic, or those who simply want to avoid the extra calories or other negative side effects of sugar, stevia can seem to be an excellent but baffling substitute.
It is easy to add to drinks like coffee and tea and to sprinkle on oatmeal or fruit for sweetness. A little bit goes a long way as its sweetness is much more concentrated than sugar or most substitute sweeteners.
However, when it comes to baking with Stevia – because it has a different texture and because of its concentration – baking seems to be a bit of a challenge. You can’t get the right bulk and texture but there are successful treats that can be made with stevia.
First buy some stevia. Something on this page would be nice – remember a little goes a long way and you can use it almost anywhere you’d normally use sugar and definitely anywhere you have in the past used the toxic artificial sweeteners like aspartame or splenda (basically just poison to your body – read the reports online – shocking!)
Next, try this easy recipe. I found the basic recipe on Sara's Herb Website but I made several small modifications that for me made it better so I’m including my version here – but feel free to try both and choose what you like best. If you have any great recipe ideas for baking with stevia – feel free to let us know in the comments. I also include a link to a fantastic pumpkin pie pudding made with stevia in my post Stevia vs Other Sweeteners
Now the recipe:
Stevia Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Preheat to 375
½ real butter (I recommend Kerrygold) softened to room temp
¼+1/8 tsp stevia 25 grams Pure Leaf Stevia
1 Tbsp agave nectar
½ Tbsp organic honey
½ tsp vanilla
½ c all purpose flour
½ c whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 c oats
¼ c nuts – I used crumbs from the bottom of mixed nuts cans that I save – it contains cashews, brazil nuts, almonds and a few others
½ c chocolate or carob chips – (remember: chocolate chips have sugar !)
Mix the first 6 ingredients on high speed until well mixed and a bit fluffy. Add everything else except the chocolate chips and blend well. Last, add the chips and scoop onto a baking sheet.
Bake for about 10 mins at 375
These are definitely best warm and fresh – they aren’t super sweet – play with the amounts of honey, stevia and agave to your taste. They tend to stay puffed up like a scone rather than a flat cookie texture when I make them so consider adding cranberries or raisins for a good breakfast treat.
Let me know if you try the stevia cookie recipe and what you do with stevia too! Buy Stevia online Navitas Naturals Organic Natural Herbal Stevia Powder ~ Large Resealable 8 oz Bag for baking and for smoothies and more.
What are your favorite stevia cookie recipes?
What are your favorite stevia cookie recipes?