I was fortunate enough to receive a large package of NuNaturals baking products to try. To know me is to not only know that I love freebies, but to also know that I love to experiment in the kitchen. And it's a double whammy when I get to experiment with freebies because if the recipe turns out to be a flop, I'm not out a lot of dough. And that's cash baby, not dough in the culinary sense.
NuNaturals makes NuStevia, a complete line of natural sweeteners based on the herb Stevia, a plant widely grown for its sweet leaves. I'll admit to trying Stevia when it first hit my local grocery store years ago and found it difficult to work with because it is so concentrated and I also thought it had a bitter aftertaste. I think if I dug deep into my lazy susan I would probably find the remainder of the bottle that I bought.
I guess this would be a good time to explain why I'm constantly on the lookout for artificial sweeteners and why I typically only use regular sugar for sweets that I give away. You see, it's because I care about my own health, but not yours. (HEE!) Of course, I'm kidding. Hubby and I are both borderline pre-diabetics, which is the driving force behind my development of recipes that contain whole grains and as little sugar as possible. That's why you find so many Splenda recipes on my blog. At least up until today. These muffins that I made with NuStevia Baking Blend were out of this world! No bitter aftertaste and they were incredibly moist without the addition of a lot of fat. Upon reading the literature that accompanied my box of goodies, I discovered that the NuStevia actually binds with the fat in a recipe to create a product with better texture and taste. NuStevia Sweetener also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which keeps life moving in a pleasant direction, as well as helping stabilize blood sugar. It's all good!
I'm excited to experiment with the rest of the products I was sent and to fill you in on my successes. The failures I always keep to myself though, remember. Success #1: Whole grain banana chocolate chip muffins.
Whole Grain Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
1 cup plain yogurt
2 TBSP canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups mashed very ripe bananas (this was three medium sized bananas for me)
1 cup NuStevia Baking Blend (sugar, or Splenda would work here also)
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl whisk together the egg, egg white, yogurt, oil, vanilla, bananas and sweetener.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until all is incorporated. Do not over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Distribute batter between muffins cups. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing from pan to cool completely on cooling rack.
*Disclaimer* Other than receiving the free products to try, I was not compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own.
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