If you read yesterday’s blog, I deemed Truvia #1 to my taste-buds. Someone helpfully pointed out that they’re made from the same plant — the stevia plant. Stevia is native to Paraguay and Peru (depending on which source you reference). It is approximately 30 times sweeter than natural sugar, and is calorie free! Stevia-based sweeteners were approved for use by the FDA in December of 2008. Though they are 2-3x more expensive than saccharin (Sweet’n Low), aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda), they are gaining popularity quickly. “Truvia” is Coke’s version of the stevia-based sweetener, while “PureVia” is Pepsi’s version .
Both Truvia and PureVia are calorie-free, kosher products. One packet of commercially sold Truvia equates to the sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar. On the Truvia website there is a Q&A section and one of the questions is: What makes Truvia natural sweetener better than other stevia-based sweeteners? So, the research goes on .
The stevia plant has over 200 varieties. The quality of the “sweetness” depends on the extracted sweet compound that the leaves yield . To me this reads “some parts of the plant are sweeter than others.” We move on to PureVia’s site where they give away the answer.
The sweeteners are made from Reb A (or Rebiana) — the SWEETEST part of the plant. PureVia is ethanol-purified and the Reb A is blended with other “natural ingredients” for flavor. The bulking agents in PureVia include erythritol and isomaltulose . Truvia does not purify with ethanol, according to what I’ve found thus far. Truvia also mentions no use of isomaltulose as a bulking agent . Erythritol sounds bad, but it is a natural sweetener. It’s found in fruits such as grapes and pears and is extracted naturally .
So in a nut shell, the stevia plant’s sweetness varies a lot. Though both products are derived from the Reb A portion of the plant, the bulking agents and proportions of stevia vary…creating a different taste. There ya have it. Is there ANYTHING more anyone could ever want to know about stevia? : )
2 cups of old fashioned oats
6 cups water
3 Tbsp cinnamon (I like a lot!)
2 Tbsp turbinado
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1/3 cup dates, diced
Cook on low 8-9 hours and enjoy! It was creamy and delicious! It needed no more sugar and has leftovers ready for 3 breakfasts this week! If you think I’m crock pot obsessed, you are correct!
On a completely unrelated note…no more football-less Saturdays! It should be a good year for the Fighting Illini (#25) and Oklahoma Sooners (#2). The two teams play back-to-back next weekend on ESPN and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m saving my first hoodie reveal for Saturday. Crock pot vegetarian chili will be involved, as well. What college football team are you a #1 fan of?
Lily and I are off to the dog park…have a wonderful day!
. McCay, Betsy.