I’m always looking for ways to incorporate healthier food and eating habits into my family’s routine. Switching from processed and packaged goods to making things from scratch, such as baked goods, is certainly a good start but now it seem the items we use in our baking and meal preparations aren’t as clean for us as we thought.
Sugar is one such item and although I should probably drop it from my family’s diet, I’m not ready to make that huge jump just yet. Reducing the amount of sugar consumed is probably a little more achievable. Baby steps. Enter Truvia® a naturally sourced, calorie-free sweetener made from the stevia leaf plant.
I’ll admit the calorie-free aspect of Truvia isn’t a selling feature for me – I know, crazy – but the benefits of maintaining sweetness without all the negative aspects of sugar is intriguing. But how would a substitute sugar actually taste? Making a change that isn’t easily accepted by my family does make it more of a challenge so I had a sample sent to me to try.
The perfect opportunity was to try it in an afterschool smoothie, like this Tripleberry Soymilk Smoothie.
2 cups (500 mL) low-fat vanilla soymilk
1 cup (250 mL) blackberries
1 cup (250 mL) strawberries
1 cup (250 mL) blueberries
8 tsp (.625 mL) cinnamon
2 Tbsp (30 mL) + 1 tsp (5 mL) Truvía® sweetener spoonable*
*or 8 packets Truvía® sweetener
1. Add all ingredients to blender.
2. Blend on high until smooth.
4 servings / 100 Calories
Nutrition Per Serving
Total Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 10mg, Total Carbohydrate 22g, Dietary Fibre 4g, Sugars 10g, Erythritol 8g, Protein 5g, Vitamin A 2% DV, Vitamin C 45% DV, Calcium 2% DV
Instead of the three types of berries I used a mix of mangos, peaches, and pineapple I had in the freezer. Using frozen fruit meant I didn’t need to add ice, which I find waters down a smoothie. I served it to the kids while they were doing their homework and they loved it. There was no weird ‘substitute’ sugar taste either. I actually thought it was a little too sweet and would cut back on the sugar next time.
The smoothie was a success but what about every day baking? Truvia is sold in little packets for individual use, such as in your coffee or iced tea but you can buy it loose like regular sugar. Using the converstion chart on Truvia’s website I swapped out regular sugar in my banana bread recipe for Truvia. This is a recipe I’ve used many times so the kids know the flavour. I was relieved to see, or rather taste, that the banana bread wasn’t any different. The fact that my kids and husband made no comment, indicating they didn’t taste a change, spoke volumes. Not noticing a substitute when it is being used is the best recommendation you can ask for.
I also like the fact that Truvia is available at mainstream stores, like Loblaws. It can be hard for moms to make healthy food changes when the ingredients aren’t easily accessible.
The recipe and main image courtesy of Truvia.