Written by Lis of The Daring Kitchen.
I know! This isn’t really an article – but a product review instead. This is the first of many product reviews that will be featured on the Daring Kitchen in the near future (although they will have their very own home by then).
This is a review on NuNaturals NuStevia products. But first, I must give this disclaimer – which might not give me much credibility after you’ve read my review:
I only use sugar substitutes in my drinks. Specifically coffee. Once in a great while, I’ll feel like sugar & citrus in my iced tea and I’ll use it then as well. But I don’t use it in my baking. A- I don’t bake that often to really warrant using it. B- I’ve experimented with Splenda before and didn’t like the results.
But, I am a middle aged (when the fakk did that happen?), overweight woman with Type II diabetes. I would LOVE to find a product that I could substitute for real sugar in EVERYTHING sweet I might consume.. so this is why I agreed to try their product.
Okay so here’s what I did with a little help from a friend. We went over the many recipes that the NuNaturals people sent along with their extremely generous amount of different products. We chose a couple recipes a piece and we then measured out the NuNaturals ingredients that we’d need. We agreed to meet back in a month for a taste test.
I chose to make chocolate chip cookies using NuNaturals NuStevia Baking Blend and NuNaturals NuStevia Pure Stevia products. I also chose to make a frozen dessert using NuNaturals NuStevia Pure Stevia product. My friend, Mindy, went with an interesting recipe for guacamole using dried, unsweetened cherries, and NuNaturals NuStevia Pure Stevia product as well as a recipe for peanut butter cookies using the NuNaturals NuStevia Baking Blend.
Aside from the products to use in baking, I gave Mindy a box of NuNaturals NuStevia packets and a container of NuNaturals crystals so she and her mom could try using them. Both gals enjoyed the two products in everything they used them in, included their iced tea, coffee, sprinkled over fresh berries and sprinkled on cereal.
I used the packets in my coffee and did not like it at all. It gave a minty and chemically after taste that was truly awful. But here’s the thing, I used the Stevia like I would the aspartame that I’m used to. Wrong. So very wrong! Where I use 2 packets of aspartame in my giant mug of coffee, I should only have used like 1/4th of ONE packet of the NuStevia. I let Mindy know that before giving the products to her. Because she and her mom liked the sweetness the ¼ of a packet of NuStevia gave their drinks/food, obviously when used in the right quantity, the NuStevia works well with no aftertaste and just the right amount of sweetness in beverages or sprinkled over some foods.
Here’s what Mindy’s mom, Lanaya, had to say about the product:
I used NuNatural’s “NuStevia” for several weeks. I used it as sweetener for teas, beverages, and cereals. I used both the 80 mg. packets, as well as the 60 mg. quick dissolve tablets.
I have used several types of stevia based sweeteners over the years, and found NuStevia’s taste to be superior to all others. It is sweet, without being overpowering, and has no aftertaste. I am pleased with the sweet taste, over all. I would suggest that you should make it clearer on the packaging of powder, that it is the equivalent of 2 tsp. of sugar, to avoid over sweetening. The powder dissolves thoroughly, but the tablets tend to leave granules that need a good amount of stirring to dissolve well. I do recommend this product.
Lanaya R. Schepley DNM, RN
Okay the baking… unfortunately the report findings aren’t that good. We’ll go with the worst first, to get it out of the way.
Mindy’s peanut butter cookies. Inedible. Not one person (8 of us tried them) could eat the whole cookie. I spit my bite out. The aftertaste was phenomenal. Wait, can you even call it an aftertaste if you don’t swallow? I didn’t swallow because the chemical/cool/minty sensation started the moment I put the cookie in my mouth. I couldn’t get rid of the taste, regardless of what I drank or ate afterwards, and this lasted for well over 2 hours. I had it worse than anyone else, but all agreed the aftertaste was so unappetizing and just WRONG that the rest of the batch of peanut butter cookies went into the trash. I double checked with Mindy to make sure she used the exact amount of the Stevia that was listed in the recipe and she assured me she measured correctly.
The chocolate chip cookies I made. These were edible, but the aftertaste turned me off again. Although I could eat the bite of cookie I took, the pleasure of hitting a couple chocolate chips wasn’t worth the displeasure of that minty/cool and chemically taste/feeling that came next. I also double checked the amount that I used and had measured correctly. Mindy enjoyed them and said she’d take the rest home with her to eat with her coffee the next morning. Once she got home she had several people try the cookies and they all agreed that they could live with the aftertaste and if were forced to obliterate sugar from their diets, that they could definitely eat these cookies.
The Guacamole. Mindy enjoyed it, said it was different but tasted good. I didn’t try it. At this point I was absolutely terrified to try one more recipe. Mindy is more adventurous than I am.
The frozen dessert. Never made it to the table.
So this sounds like a downer, eh? Yes and no. I, obviously, am not a fan. But that’s just me. I’m also one of the few who still prefer aspartame over whatever the heck Splenda is. So maybe my opinion isn’t worth much anyway. I know I feel badly because nothing went right for me. But like I said, Mindy enjoyed everything except the peanut butter cookies – and that could be the recipe, not the product.
My honest opinion would be – try Stevia. It’s all natural, no chemicals and is made from the Stevia plant. But try it in small quantities if at all possible. What I mean is, buy the smallest amount you can before investing big money into the economy sized containers. It’s pretty expensive stuff. But don’t expect a miracle – nothing you bake will taste like the recipe using sugar. There are going to be people like me that would rather cut sugar out completely than use Stevia. There are going to be people like Mindy and her Lanaya, that enjoyed the product and find the benefits of using NuStevia to far outweigh any aftertaste. This is a hard product to give an absolute YES or NO review on because everyone’s tastes are different and everyone’s motivations are different.
If anyone has used this product and would like to leave comments on what they think about it, I’d love to hear it in comments. Maybe ya’ll know some good recipes that uses the product and can vouch for it tasting good without too much of the aftertaste?