If you're new to Stevia, it's a natural (calorie-free) sweetener made from the leaves of a plant, and it's much sweeter than sugar. I've been using their packets and liquid drops in my oatmeal, tea, my protein shakes, and other drinks ever since. Recently, NuNaturals asked me if I'd like to try some new products they've come out with, so of course I wanted to!
Along with the regular packets, tablets, and drops, they now have flavored drops--orange, lemon, peppermint, and chocolate. Apparently, the chocolate is not new--but it was new to me, so I was excited to try it, along with the others.
|Peppermint, Chocolate, Orange, Lemon, Vanilla, and plain drops|
(seven drops is about as sweet as 1 tsp. sugar)
First, I tasted one drop of each straight out of the bottle, and was shocked at how good they were. Like most Stevia products, the drops are very potent, so a tiny little bit will go a long way.
I used the drops to perfect a chocolate-mint protein shake. I made it very similar to the Peppermint Patty shake that I posted recently, but I added 7 drops of chocolate Stevia, and 10 drops of peppermint Stevia (in place of the peppermint extract of the previous recipe). I liked using the peppermint Stevia MUCH more than using the peppermint extract--the flavor wasn't so harsh.
1/2 cup milk (I usually use more, but I wanted it to be thicker this time)
1 serving vanilla protein powder
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
7 drops chocolate Stevia drops (you could skip this, since there is enough chocolate, but I made it extra chocolatey with the drops)
7 drops peppermint Stevia drops
1/4 tsp. each xanthan gum and guar gum (optional, as always--I just like the texture that they give)
8 ice cubes
Blend until smooth.
I made another protein shake using the lemon and orange Stevia drops. Remember how I was starving after my long run last week? I threw 1 cup almond milk, 1 serving vanilla protein powder, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, handful of frozen spinach, 10 drops lemon Stevia, 7 drops orange Stevia, and 1/4 tsp. each guar and xanthan gum into the blender. This was heavenly!! The lemon + orange combo with the frozen berries was fanstastic. And it was only 3 PointsPlus for the whole shake.
For those of you that like yogurt (blech!) I bet the flavored Stevia drops would be a good addition. Since most flavored yogurts use artificial sweeteners, the Stevia would at least be a natural alternative. But since I hate yogurt, there is no amount of Stevia that would make me enjoy it, I'm sure ;)
When it comes to using Stevia in drinks and my oatmeal, I think it's fantastic--but I'm not a huge fan of baking with it. Baked goods definitely don't taste like they do when you bake them with sugar.
I like the packets of NuNaturals Stevia to use in my tea. I use 1/2 a packet for a cup of tea (like I said, it's potent), or 4 drops of the liquid. If I'm having tea that would go well with the flavored drops, I'll use those instead. The lemon drops in chamomile tea are really good, and the orange drops in plain old black tea are yummy. Since you use so little, it takes forever to go through a bottle of drops or a box of packets.
Anyways, I'm going to keep experimenting with the products, but NuNaturals has very generously offered a giveaway to not one, but FOUR Runs for Cookies readers! I was so excited when I read that :) Each of the four winners will receive three bottles of the drops--one lemon, one orange, and one peppermint. Out of all the NuNaturals products, these drops are my favorite, so I hope you like them as much as I do!
To enter the random drawing, please "like" NuNaturals on Facebook, and leave ONE comment on this post. I'm sorry, international readers, but this one is just for readers in the U.S.; they also cannot ship to P.O. boxes. I will pick four winners on Monday, December 24 at 8:00 a.m. EST. Winners will have until Thursday, December 27th to e-mail me before I choose a new winner.
NuNaturals is also offering a discount code--if you use BLG1212 when checking out, you will receive 15% off your entire order (good until 12-31-12). You can check out their products on their website.
(In full disclosure, I was sent the NuNaturals products for free to review, but was not required to give a favorable review--options, as always, are my own).