Category Archives: Splenda

Sore, stiff, sniffly, and stuffed up…

…that’s me.

Aren’t summer colds the worst? Don’t get me wrong, colds in the fall, winter, and spring stink, too…but summer colds are by far the worst. Needless to say, I saw a quick 6 patients yesterday morning before heading home for the afternoon. Again. I am hoping I make it through today and start to get some relief. Poor Mr. Prevention dealing with my NyQuil zombie-induced state Monday night. Apparently I snored like a banshee through the night. What a trooper…for a night. I graciously offered to sleep in the guest bed room last night to allow everyone sound sleep. Now who’s the trooper?

Lunch was sheer comfort food:

And after catching up on bad TV (Kasey, you are a MORON for tattooing that on your wrist for The Bachelorette), I decided to make more comfort food. But really, I was just bored…not hungry 😉

Chocolate Oat Jumbles slightly adapted from Weekly Bite

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 tablespoons flax meal (i.e. ground flax)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup chocolate syrup made with Splenda
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup soy milk fat-free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275º F.

Combine flour, oats, flax meal, baking soda, sugar, and cocoa powder. Whisk together until combined. Add chocolate syrup, soy milk, vanilla, oil, and chocolate chips. Stir until all ingredients are mixed well.

Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray, or use a silpat. Drop cookie dough onto pan using either a melon ball scooper or a teaspoon. Slightly flatten each cookie with you fingers.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for a couple minutes. Remove cookies from pan onto cooling rack. Once cooled, store in airtight container. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen (30 cookies)

Nutrition Information (per cookie): 57 calories; 2.1 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 3.4 mg. sodium; 8.7 g. carbohydrate; 0.9 g. fiber; 0.6 g. protein

Result: Very good! Not the best cookies ever, but I’m a fan…especially for the calories and carbs. I substituted in the sugar-free chocolate syrup made with Splenda because 1) it’s all I had…never use the stuff, and 2) it’s lower carb for my carb-controlled diet. If you use regular chocolate syrup the cookies are 72 calories and 12.6 g. carbohydrate.

Question: What’s your soup of choice when you’re sick? Any other comforting foods or drinks you gravitate towards when you’re under the weather?

Sniffle sniffle,

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32 Comments

Filed under carb-controlled, carbohydrates, dessert, flax, recipe, reduced-calorie, sleep, Splenda, work

Friday Fun Day!

No work on Fridays, wooo! 😀

Yesterday a fun new kitchen gadget arrived: a Soda Stream! I don’t think I’ve seen Mr. Prevention so excited over something blog-related…ever. I’ve seen the Soda Stream in the blogosphere and I’m excited to have one of my own :-D. Tonight we tried the Diet Grapefruit flavor and it was delicious!

Mr. Prevention also tried the cola and really enjoyed it. We put together a video to demonstrate how EASY making the soda is…(sorry about Lily barking…she’s not a fan of new noises!)

You can make 50 8-ounce servings for $4.99! Score! Added bonus: the diet flavors are aspartame-free and the regular soda contains no high fructose corn syrup and are a mere 35 calories for 8 ounces! This will certainly help off-set the cost of my Zevia addiction 😉

I also had an itch to bake last night…so I did! There’s soooooo many new recipes I want to try this week!! My co-workers are going to be getting a lot of cookies and muffins next week at this rate!

WARNING: ADDICTIVE COOKIES AHEAD!!

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies adapted from Cooking Light

6.75 ounces all-purpose flour whole wheat pastry flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter 50/50 Smart Balance Butter Blend, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg 1/4 cup Egg Beaters
3/4 cup finely chopped dried fresh apple
3/4 cup caramel bits or 16 small soft caramel candies, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl; stir well.

Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture; beat at low speed until just combined. Fold in apple and caramel bits.

Drop dough by 2 teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten balls slightly with hand. Bake at 350° for 9 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks. Yield: 3 dozen

Nutritional Information (per cookie): 94 calories; 2.5 g. fat; 63 mg. sodium; 17 g. carbohydrate; 0.9 g. fiber; 0.8 g. protein

Result: These. Are. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! These truly may be the best cookies I’ve ever had!!!

Apricot-Coconut Bran Muffins from Lily’s Health Pad

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 1/4 cups non-fat buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup natural turbinado sugar (could use refined cane sugar)
2 eggs
1 cup chopped, dried apricots
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Combine the wheat bran and buttermilk.  (Simply wet bran with milk.  Don’t over mix.)  Set aside for 10 minutes.

Combine and stir flour, baking soda, and sugar.  Add bran mixture and eggs.  Stir just until ingredients are moistened.  Fold in apricots and coconut.

Grease or line cupcake tins with liners.  Equally distribute batter into 12 moulds.  Bake at 350º F for 16 to 18 minutes.

Remove muffin tin from the oven.  Let muffins sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information (per muffin): 150 calories; 2.8 g. fat; 37 mg. cholesterol; 35 mg. sodium; 28.8 g. carbohydrate; 4.4 g. fiber; 2.6 g. protein

Result: Yum! These are reeeally good!!! Love muffins for breakfast 🙂

I’m taking a break from NNM topics today. I’m pooped after all that baking 🙂

Mr. Prevention and I are off to Dallas this weekend to visit friends. Not sure what the weekend brings, but I’ll try to check in!

Question: What’s the last thing you baked? Is there a baking modification you always make (i.e. canola oil for vegetable oil)?

Any fun weekend plans? 🙂

TGIF..have a wonderful, healthy, happy weekend!

41 Comments

Filed under artificial sweeteners, aspartame, blog, breakfast, budget shopping, Cooking Light, dessert, dog, friends, high-fructose corn syrup, pets, recipe, soda, Splenda, sugar substitutes, travel

Q&A

I think it’s been MONTHS since I posted 2x in one day! Whew! So much going on and so little time in which to share and catch up with you all! Forgive me for not being as “active” in the Blogosphere — work is busy and I am continuously striving for a healthy life-work-happiness-blog balance 🙂 Just like my garden should come with a warning, so should blogging — it quickly becomes very time-consuming!! 😉

If you haven’t already checked out my finished garden bed, be sure you do! I am very proud!

On to the Q&A…

Ambre: I’m a new-vegetarian…as of the end of November/beginning of December…Well, technically pescetarian. I’m doing the Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure in November (my 2nd time), which is a 60 mile walk over the course of three days. I found this information on their website, and I was wondering if there was anything else you recommend for me?

In order for vegetarian diets to support optimal athletic performance, it is important to incorporate an adequate amount of protein into your daily diet. Many people believe that following a vegetarian diet means they automatically will lose weight. This is not necessarily the case as many vegetarians inadvertently have a high fat intake based on whole-fat dairy products, butter, eggs, cheeses, nuts and seeds. Below are some tips for following a healthy vegetarian diet to help lose weight, maintain an optimal protein intake and support your training walks: 1. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products or low-fat fortified soy products. 2. Build your protein around legumes, tofu and tempeh. 3. Watch serving sizes on nuts and seeds; they are full of healthy fat but are very concentrated in calories. 4. Avoid fried foods and choose those that are baked, broiled, or steamed. 5. Add protein powder to shakes or cereal if you are not getting enough. 6. Increase your bean intake; they are high in protein and fiber. 7. Add soy products to your diet. 8. Limit snacks that are high in sugar and fat. 9. Flavor foods with salsa, lemon juice and vinegars instead of high-fat condiments like butter, mayonnaise and high-fat dressings. Certain vitamins and minerals such as iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12, calcium and zinc must be consumed in adequate amounts. These typically are found in animal based foods. Fortified soymilks are great for boosting calcium and vitamin B12. Eggs also are a great source of B12. Outstanding iron sources include fortified breakfast cereals, bread, textured vegetable protein, legumes, dried beans, nuts, dried fruit and green leafy vegetables. Eating rich sources of vitamin C with meats will help enhance iron absorption.

Prevention RD: Great question, Ambre! The suggestions the website made are really helpful. I don’t agree that soy should be added to the diet, however. I think that there are some benefits of soy in moderation, but some research suggests soy intake is related to increased risk of breast cancer. I particularly like that the information fully discloses that a vegetarian diet does not necessarily produce weight loss. When you cut out major foods groups in the diet, intake of other food groups naturally increases. When meat is taken out of the diet, protein intake tends to drop and fat and carbohydrate intake goes up. Thus it is important to get adequate protein (0.8-1 gram per kilogram of body weight) and to ensure fat sources are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fat versus saturated and trans fat and carbohydrate sources are complex and high in fiber. I hope this helps! Feel free to email me any further questions on this and I can help calculate some nutrient goals for you! And thanks for walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day! You are inspirational!

Also, please consider giving to Ambre’s fund-raising! A little bit will truly make a difference! I always feel so empowered after giving to a great cause!

John of Challenges 2010: When I get my blood checked can you give me an idea of what things to make sure they check. I mean they check for the good/bad cholesterol and blood sugar and really can’t remember what else. Reason I ask is I’m up here in Canada and it sounds like they don’t check out as many things or I just don’t know what other info I should be trying to get off them.

Prevention RD: This is a really great question and my answer may be biased from a nutrition perspective, but I’ll give it a go! I ALWAYS check: total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol (the “bad”), HDL-cholesterol (the “good”), triglycerides, GFR (kidney function), plasma glucose, HbA1c (on my diabetics and pre-diabetics), TSH (metabolism), hemoglobin, hematocrit, TIBC (total iron binding capacity), AST and ALT (liver enzymes). For what it’s worth our clinic runs a CMP (complete metabolic panel), lipids (cholesterol), TSH, and CBC (complete metabolic panel) on patients annually. This is going to include everything I look at as a dietitian and then some. Good for you for being an active advocate for your health! We cannot always leave our well-being in the hands of professionals.

John of Challenges 2010: According to SparkPeople I don’t eat enough carbs. I do not try to avoid carbs. I do try and get my macronutrients in a 40:30:30 ratio for carbs, fats and proteins. Is there a minimum number you recommend and can you give me some ideas besides arborio rice 🙂 that are higher in carbs but still not bad in calories?

Prevention RD: Risotto everyday! Just kidding…that’s a joke for John since he got me hooked on Arborio rice 🙂 I think knowing your body weight would give me a better idea of how many grams you need, but with all of your exercise I would think 50% calories from carbohydrates may be a better fit for your needs. I’m a fan of 40:30:30 for those who are inactive, but that’s not you. Exercise requires a lot of glycogen (carbohydrate stores) and replenishment of the glycogen stores after long workouts. For a 2,000 calorie diet, this would be 250 grams of carbohydrates. I never recommend much below 150-160 grams, and that’s for my diabetics or petite patients. As for sources of carbohydrate: fruits, vegetables, legumes, milk, yogurt, and whole grains (bread, rice, pasta, quinoa, millet, barley, oats, etc.). Of course juice, sugar, candy, pastries, and sweets will contain plentiful amounts of simple carbohydrates, as well. But aim to have at LEAST half your grains as whole each day!

John of Challenges 2010: Green Tea…what are the health benefits and is there a difference between the stuff you brew at home or pick-up bottled?

Prevention RD: Green tea — thumbs up! Green tea with aspartame or loads of sugar — thumbs down! Like many things health-related we can observe the practices of the East where tea (green and otherwise) are staple beverages. There is no denying that green tea offers a zero-calorie, antioxidant-rich, tasty thirst quencher with a MUCH lower caffeine content than most other caffeinated beverages, but what is added TO the green tea is the deciding factor in it’s benefit. Most of the green teas on the market which are bottled and sweetened contain excessive amounts of sugar (64 grams in some!) or aspartame. Additionally, many bottled teas are made from tea powder which lacks the antioxidants of brewed tea. The bottled green teas may also contain preservatives to extend shelf-life which many times add sodium to the tea, as well as making it less “pure” (I will NOT use the word “CLEAN”!). I hope this helps some…another really great question!

Rebecca from France: I’m curious to know your opinion on artificial sweetners/sugar substitutes.  My mother uses Splenda a lot and these types of sweeters are just starting to grow in popularity in France.  But how healthy are they really?  I ask because most people would agree that “processed meat,” for example, isn’t as healthy as a cut of meat.  So why, then, would processed/artificial sweetners be a good choice to put in our bodies (as opposed to “real” sugar)?

Prevention RD: I want to quote Cara from Cara’s Cravings. Last week’s Q&A had a question about sweeteners, and she left a great comment that read:

I don’t think there’s a definitive answer on what the healthiest alternative to sugar is. There are so many ways to be healthy! For some people, it’s really important to limit those extra calories, and I happen to think that some artificial sweetener here and there is not going to kill you, and can certainly help with a weight-loss diet. For some people, keeping it all-natural is a top priority. Personally? I’m somewhere in the middle so I use a variety of sweeteners – Truvia, agave in moderation, a little splenda here and there, and real sugar.

I agree with Cara’s words 100%. Working with a large diabetic population, I know the importance of artificial sweeteners. And for those watching their weight, artificial sweeteners allow a lot more flexibility in their diet. As someone who not only “knows” nutrition, but also struggles with their weight, I too see the value in non-nutritive sweeteners (calorie-free). However, I do believe artificial sweeteners are WAY over-used in our society. I aim to use a variety of sweeteners and ALL of them in moderation — I drink 1 can of Zevia a day (Stevia-sweetened carbonated beverage) and use Splenda, brown sugar, suncant, cane sugar, granular sugar, powdered sugar, agave, honey, molasses, maple syrup, and so on in cooking and baking. As far as artificial sweeteners, I strictly use Splenda and Stevia products and steer clear of aspartame and Sweet ‘n’ Low, Equal, Twin, etc. Bottom line is that there’s no single way to reach “good health” and that one person’s goals and needs are very different from the next person’s. I hope this helps — excellent question! 🙂

Thanks everyone for submitting wonderful questions! Feel free to send any nutrition questions my way and I will be happy to answer them on the next Q&A!

And an Oklahoma joke for the day…

You know you work in Oklahoma when the doctor on staff leaves at 1 pm to go deliver a calf. But, he’ll be back just as soon as he can!


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Filed under antioxidants, artificial sweeteners, blog topic request, blood glucose, caffeine, carbohydrates, cholesterol, diabetes, diet, dietitians, doctors, garden, hormones, low-carb, MUFAs and PUFAs, physicians, protein, reduced-calorie, saturated fat, sodium, Splenda, stevia, sugar substitutes, supplements, trans fat, vitamins, weight loss, weight maintentance

[A Belated] Mardi Gras…and more!

Happy Monday! Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know 🙂 But I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 😀

A quick “Hello!” from Lily! If that wrinkly face doesn’t brighten your Monday morning…you need more coffee! 😉

Tina over at Carrots ‘N’ Cake posted this picture yesterday…how cool is this! I want to borrow this idea and put this in my house! 🙂

Sums me up perfectly! I’ll run it past Mr. Prevention…

And a weekend isn’t a weekend without some serious sweat and tears in the kitchen. Those blasted decadent leftover truffles are going to WORK today! That is the only way to PREVENT me from inhaling them all!

And in addition to those truffles, I tried out 2 other new recipes! Both are deeeelic-e-oh-so! I also made MY Coconut-Almond (Kind) bars for the weeks…mmm!

PB & J Banana Bread from Healthy Food for Living and slightly adapted from Lucky Taste Buds
Yield: 12 slices

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend (or other sweetener of your choice — I used Splenda Granular)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal mixed with 4 Tbsp water or 2 eggs, lightly whisked (I used eggs)
1 cup all-natural smooth or chunky peanut butter (I used Krema smooth and chunky)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 medium banana, mashed
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup jam of your choice (I used pomegranate – yum!)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan with canola oil cooking spray. Line the prepared pan with parchment paper.
Stir together dry ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a large bowl.

Combine wet ingredients (milk through canola oil) in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine until just moistened. Pour one half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread a layer of jam over the top of the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top of the jam.

Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of bread comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove the loaf with the parchment paper (this allows for easier cutting). Let cool another 10 minutes or so before slicing and devouring.

Nutrition Information (per slice): 260 calories*; 14 g. fat; 36 mg. cholesterol; 121 mg. sodium; 26.6 g. carbohydrate; 3.8 g. fiber; 9.8 g. protein

*While this bread is higher in calories it is high in healthy mono and polyunsaturated fat, low in sodium, and contains a generous 9.8 grams of protein per slice. This bread is much more filling than most breads (thanks to the fat, protein, and fiber!) and will make a great breakfast along side a piece of fruit.

And yes, we’re celebrating Mardi Gras a little late with this meal. But, better late than never! And besides, I am always a sucker for spiccccy jambalaya!

Forgotten Jambalaya adapted from Taste of Home

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef or chicken broth
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried basil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon 1 Tbsp hot pepper sauce
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound 14 ounces turkey smoked sausage, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups dry brown rice, prepared

Directions:

In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, broth and tomato paste. Stir in the green peppers, onion, celery, garlic and seasonings. Stir in chicken and sausage.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken is tender. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook 15-30 minutes longer or until shrimp turn pink. Serve with rice.

Yield: 11 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 349 calories; 6.2 g. fat; 56 mg. cholesterol; 519 mg. sodium; 33.4 g. carbohydrate; 4.3 g. fiber; 23.8 g. protein

Question: Do you like something in your water to jazz it up?

Pretty clearly, I am on a citrus kick…and I think it’s helping me fight whatever my body’s trying to fight off! 😀

Have a wonderful & healthy week!

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Filed under breakfast, caffeine, coffee, dog, fiber, fruits and vegetables, MUFAs and PUFAs, pets, protein, recipe, reduced-calorie, self-control, sodium, Splenda, Uncategorized, water

Granola ‘n Margaritas

“I got my toes in the water, a$$ in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today. Life is good today.”
~Toes, Zac Brown Band

Random, yes. Great song, heck yes! While I frequently enjoy an evening brew, I have to tell readers about Baja Bobs. While I am not likely to change my opinions of margaritas

(hello, sugar!), Baja Bob’s offers consumers a much more health-conscious margarita option, using Splenda. While I’ve only tried the Original Margarita mix thus far, I also ordered the daquiri and pina colada mixes. I’ll have to share my thoughts on those once I try them…but the margarita mix gets a HUGE thumbs up! The calorie-free mix offers a low-calorie drink option with your calories coming from tequila mixed in only. Go light on the pour, and us ladies can shamelessly enjoy 2 a day!

And one more food find: Bear Naked All Natural Granola. I found this product at Wal Mart (ugh, I know), but I’m sure it’s available many places if it’s here in Oklahoma. Unlike most granola, this particular granola is lower in calories — 140 calories for 1/4 cup. The ingredients (listed in order as they appear on the label): whole grain oats, honey, canola oil, almonds, raisins, coconut, sweetened dried cranberries, pecans, walnuts, maple syrup, oat bran, ground flax seeds, and toasted sesame seeds. How cool! And, it is delicious! My morning snack today was 4 ounces of non-fat yogurt with 1/4 cup granola — simple, sweet, and completely satisfying!

And just like “Toes” says — life is good today! I found out at work today I have the go ahead to wear scrubs to work. I always said my dream job would be working in a comprehensive care team completing one-on-one nutrition consult with diabetics and weight loss patients…while wearing scrubs. What can I say? Life is good today : )

“Got my PJs on, tush on the couch
Not a worry in the world, sugar-free margarita served up
Life is good today. Life is good today.”
~Happy RD

4 Comments

Filed under alcohol, artificial sweeteners, breakfast, snack, Splenda, work

Southaven Farms!

Yum!

Internet carbs are fabulous! Seriously, what did nutrition gurus (like myself) and diabetics DO before the internet?! My new carb craze: Southaven Farms mixes. Their products are all-natural, 100% whole grain, cholesterol-free, low-fat and unsweetened. Their website offers countless recipes for each of their mixes which include varieties such as: chocolate, whole grain, and ginger spice — the 3 I opted to try first. Order several at a time, however…shipping can be steep as with anything over the internet.

Tonight I made

banana nut muffins using the ginger spice mix. The recipe was as follows:
3 eggs
1 3/4 c. Splenda granular
1 1/4 c. skim milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Ginger Spice Southaven Farms mix
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 c. walnuts (I used pecans)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly spray cupcake tin. Fill 3/4ths full. Bake 13-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy! Yummm!

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Filed under artificial sweeteners, breakfast, dessert, diabetes, diet, healthy cooking, recipe, reduced-calorie, Splenda, weight loss

PureVia vs. Truvia

Good morning! Husband is sick in bed — I think I might’ve brought something home from work on Friday. Though, I am currently asymptomatic. Good thing with back-to-back hockey games this evening. On an unrelated note, let me re-visit stevia-based sweeteners: Truvia and PureVia.

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 [1].

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 [1].

The stevia plant has over 200 varieties. The quality of the “sweetness” depends on the extracted sweet compound that the leaves yield [2]. 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 [3]. 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 [4]. Erythritol sounds bad, but it is a natural sweetener. It’s found in fruits such as grapes and pears and is extracted naturally [4].

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? : )

Last night I used some of my new calorie-containing sweeteners and made crock pot oatmeal. It was delicious. I threw into my crock pot:

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!

[1]. McCay, Betsy.

FDA Clears Use of Herb as Sweetener. The Wall Street Journal. December 18, 2008.
[2]. Stevia-based Sweetener Truvia Gets FDA Nod. Stevia Cafe.
[3]. PureVia website.
[4]. Truvia website.

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Filed under artificial sweeteners, aspartame, breakfast, diabetes, dog, exercise, healthy cooking, recipe, reduced-calorie, Splenda, sugar substitutes, weight loss