Anyone who has read a few of my blog posts will know I try to steer clear of using sugar in anything I cook. Over the years I have tried a few substitutes, including….. *gasp* artificial sweeteners! These usually ended in a sub-par item and me wrenching in pain from stomach discomfort because of the artificial stuff.
Enter stevia; an all natural, zero calorie herb-based sweetener. There are several brands out there, and as someone who’s tried a few, take it from me that not all are equal in taste. After seeing the NuNaturals brand stevia in recipes on the blog Chocolate Covered Katie, I decided to reach out to the company for more information and to see if I would be able to review their products on my blog.
Ron (a.k.a. The “Sugar-Free Poppa), VP of Sales and Marketing at NuNaturals, promptly responded with detailed information on their different products and offered to happily send me several items to sample and review. I jumped at this chance as I was eager to try what they have to offer after see the treats made at Chocolate Covered Katie. A business with great personality and service directed to the consumer is a great business, and the response I received from Ron makes NuNaturals one of the best to me.
I was pleasantly surprised at the weight of the package when it arrived because I only expected one or two small samples. Instead, I received the following high quality products along with their full list of recipes to use:
Wow! Any health nut foodie like me knows the overwhelming feeling of joy when you get a package like this! With these products and a vast amount of recipes to use for motivation, I created a few of my own delicious recipes. If you like what you see, please help spread the message along to others who might be interested; I’m always happy to have more blogger friends and viewers!
Pumpkin Protein Crepes
2 egg whites
2 packets NuNaturals Stevia
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup whole grain spelt flour
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract Dash of nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash of sea salt 1/2 cup skim milk
Add all ingredients to blender or food processor (I used a Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth. Heat pan over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup batter to middle of pan and swirl around to create a thin circle. Flip over once bubbles appear; it will cook fast, so keep a close watch. It should take just less than a minute per side. Remove from pan add sweet or savory filling or just enjoy plain. These are great alone, but I enjoyed them with honey, Greek yogurt, and peanut butter. Kelley enjoyed hers with goat cheese and enjoyed the sweet and savory combo. This batter makes great pancakes too; just don’t spread as thin.
Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Bread or Brownies
4 egg whites
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk of choice; I used unsweetened almond milk
4 droppers full of NuNaturals Liquid Cocoa Bean Extract
1/2 cup unflavored whey protein (chocolate or vanilla flavor will work too)
3/4 cup peanut flour
3/4 cup NuNaturals More Fiber Baking Blend
1/4 cup + 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup whole grain spelt flour
Serving Suggestion: Peanut Butter and Chia Seed Jam Sandwich...YUM!
Mix all wet ingredients (first 5 ingredients) in a medium bowl and sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix with a large spoon or spatula to incorporate everything together. Pour into loaf pan or brownie pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes for a loaf pan or 35 – 40 minutes for the brownie pan in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Cover the top with foil for the last 20 minutes to avoid burning. The bread or brownies are ready when a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center.
Peanut Butter Thumbprint Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients 1 ¾ Cups Overnight Oats made with peanut flour (Recipe below) 1/2 Cup whole grain spelt flour; other whole grain or ground nut flour will work 3/4 Cups peanut flour 10 drops NuNaturals Liquid Vanilla Stevia 1/4 cup NuNaturals MoreFiber Stevia baking blend 2 t baking powder 1/4 t baking soda Dash of sea salt 1/2 cup milk of choice 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites; for egg-free version, use 1 ½ tablespoons chia seeds with 1/4 cup water 1 medium ripe banana; mashed – 1/4 cup pumpkin puree works well too Favorite flavor chia seed jelly or jam; or regular jam if you don’t have chia jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well to combine. Mix wet ingredients in small bowl; make a well in the center of dry ingredients and slowly pour while stirring everything together. Using a large spoon (or smaller for smaller cookies), scoop batter onto cookie sheet leaving space between each cookie. Plop a small teaspoon of jam in the middle of each cookie batter scoop and bake for about 20 minutes; they will turn a nice golden brown. The peanut butter smell will have you anxiously counting the seconds, so go ahead a sneak a bite! Careful, they’ll be hot; remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. These are also great without jam, so make them either way.
Peanut butter, banana, and Greek yogurt cookie sandwich. I can't get enough of these; I even froze some for quick grab-n-go snack.
I enjoyed using all of the NuNaturals products sent to me, and will use this brand from now on. After have a few bad experiences from bitter aftertastes to diluted flavors with other brands, I’m happy to have found NuNaturals. My only grumble is with the Cocoa Bean Extract as I have yet to figure out the proper amount to add in beverages or for cooking. But after Kelley tried and actually liked my NuNaturals stevia baked goodies (that's a big deal!), it confirmed this stuff is top notch. Let me remind you that, although the products were sent to me free of charge, this is not a paid review and everything I say about NuNaturals is genuine and in my own words.
For anyone not into cooking, NuNaturals Stevia (as powder and liquid) and Quick Dissolve Tabs work wonderfully when added to any beverage as well as other applications. Instead of sugar laden flavored yogurts, buy the plain, non-fat kind and mix in a few drops of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia, Cocoa Bean Extract, Clear Stevia, or a single White Stevia packet. It only takes seconds to create a healthy and tasty guilt-free yogurt treat that’s good anytime of day!
If this review left you ready to get your hands on some NuNaturals product, you’re in luck! Ron was more than happy to allow me to host a giveaway to 4 lucky viewers as a way to show my gratitude for reading my blog.
Four (4) winners will each receive one (1) box of NuStevia Packets (50 ct. Box) AND one (1) 2oz. bottle of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia Liquid.
There are four ways to enter; just leave a separate comment for each entry to increase your chances to win. Each entry will be used to choose the 4 winners at random.
1. Comment telling me your favorite NuNaturals recipe or products.
2. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet the following – “I’m entering to win @NuNaturals Stevia from @I_Love_Cayenne! Enter for your chance to win - http://bit.ly/zOLJ6l"
3. Visit NuNaturals on Facebook and “LIKE” their page. If you already “Like” NuNaturals, leave a comment letting me know.
4. Help support Just Add Cayenne and subscribe to my blog. Just post a comment if you are already subscribed.
Sorry, this giveaway has ended. Don't miss out on the next healthy product giveway, subscribe to my blog and get notified of each post by e-mail!!
Thank you to all who participated and congratulations to the 4 lucky winners!
But wait! If you were not a winner for this giveaway but really want to try NuNaturals Stevia (I suggest you do!), you can get your hands on their products in the following ways:
1) Continental U.S. readers can receive FREE SAMPLES of the NuStevia Packets by sending a SELF-ADDRESSED, STAMPED, # 10 envelope to the following address:
NuNaturals, INC 2220 West 2nd Ave. # 1 Eugene, OR 97402
2) In addition, you can receive SPECIAL DISCOUNTS on all future orders only available through their website (http://www.nunaturals.com/). Enter the code BLG0612 to receive 15% off your total order. You will also receive FREE SHIPPING to the Continental US on all orders $35.00 or more, after the discount. This offer is effective immediately and will expire on June 30, 2012.
Don’t pass up the chance to get a discount on some of the best stevia products on the market. If other brands have let you down in the past, give NuNaturals a try and kick sugar to the curb. I wish everyone good luck and will leave you with a quote from Ron….
“Think healthy, eat healthy, stay well, & HAVE FUN!!”