Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Trying out Liquid Stevia

I'm in search of a sweetener that is natural and has zero calories, but most importantly, tastes good.  I don't like the aftertaste of artificial sweeteners like Equal and Sweet n Low.  I've tried Splenda and it's just ok - still not sold.  I tried stevia a few years ago and threw out the whole box - it was so bitter!  Then I tried a stevia brand guaranteed not to be bitter - guess what… it was still bitter to me.

I used to enjoy a soda every once in a while and Mtn Dew was a fave.  Well, with a new lifestyle of no processed sugar, Dew went out the window.  Diet sodas never appealed to me either - same problem - aftertaste.  I did find that Diet Dr Pepper and Vanilla Coke Zero are tolerable and eventually likable.  Problem is both have aspartame - I don't want to include aspartame in my sugar-free lifestyle.   So apart from an occasional need for both caffeine and soda during the work day, I stay away from diet drinks.

This just makes me more determined than ever to find a suitable substitute for soda.  For a REALLY long time, my caffeine and sugar fix came from sweet tea.  I'm from the south ya'll and the only way to drink tea is sweet.  In fact, when you order it from a menu and you want UNsweet, you better say so, or else you'll get sweet.  The rest of the country is the other way around.  Here's my problem, if I can't have the tea taste the way it's tasted my ENTIRE life, I'd rather just do without.  But I know there is a solution, I just have to find it.  Until then, there's that nasty diet soda crap.

But wait!!  There's good news.  I found a recipe for a DIY soda that is supposed to taste similar to Mtn Dew.  It uses a liquid-based stevia.  Hmmmm, liquid.  Good concept.  So I ordered some online and it arrived today!  Yay!!  But it was "Vanilla Creme" and I thought I ordered the plain, non-flavored stuff. Well, I checked my order and sure enough, it was my fault.  That's ok, I found some recipes for it so it won't be thrown out.  But now I was back to not having the sweetener I needed.  I had already checked 4 grocery stores near me and none carried what I was looking for.  What I need is a natural or whole foods store.  When I lived in Colorado, I had several to choose from.  Here?  Few and far between.  The closest Whole Foods is like 45 miles away.  But I did remember seeing a small mom and pop type somewhat closer, so off I went - in search of liquid stevia.

I found the store!  It's so cool!  And it's a co-op.  Membership is $50/year and if you are a "working member," you get even more of a discount.  How cool is that?!?  A "working member" works in the store 4 hours a month - either all at once or whenever.  I'm so totally in!!  Serendipity - looking for stevia, found a co-op.

AND I found the stevia among bunches of other stuff I've been wanting to check out.  Woo-HOOOO!

I made the fake Dew recipe and it wasn't bad.  Here's what I used:

I'm callin' it "MtZ" >>> Pronounced "Empty-Zee"

2 liter bottle of carbonated water (aka "seltzer" or "soda water" etc)
4 TBS Bragg Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
4 TBS Lime Juice
12 droppers-full Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops

It doesn't look like Mt Dew at all, nor does it smell like it.  But it does indeed have that citrus-y flavor.  I can live with it for sure.  Way better than a diet soda!

Oh yeah and a quick input for what I had for food today:

B:  Oatmeal w/cinnamon, sweetener & almond milk, topped w/blended cottage cheese & blueberries
L:  Ham & Cheese wrap with mustard
S:  Handful of peanuts
D:  Egg Roll in a Bowl (<<<< you have got to check out this recipe - it was FANTASTIC!!)
S:  Pumpkin Pie in 2 minutes flat (greatly improved recipe with shorter cooking time and pecans!)

We may have added a touch of Fat Free Reddi Whip too!  This could seriously become a habit.

Alrighty then, that's it for tonight.  I'm off to dream world.

Oh and here's another movie quote - not too hard at all…

"There is no spoon."

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