The new sugar-substitute, stevia, has been getting a lot of attention lately as more and more health food products have been adding it to their ingredient list. What is it exactly, and is it safe for me to use?
Well, stevia is actually an herb that’s extracts can be up to 300x sweeter than regular cane sugar. Stevia also does not raise blood sugar. So far, scientific tests that have been done with stevia has not proven that it is unsafe, but I don’t think enough has been done to prove anything yet. Since it is an herb, it has no calories or grams of sugar in it. In the laboratory, steviol can be converted into a mutagenic compound, which may promote cancer by causing mutations in the cells’ genetic material (DNA). “We don’t know if the conversion of stevioside to steviol to a mutagen happens in humans,” says Huxtable. “It’s probably a minor issue, but it clearly needs to be resolved.” This would be with high doses, however, and there is not enough scientific data to confirm this yet.
What I think: I have bought one bottle of liquid stevia to try. So far, I like the taste of it (I tried the french vanilla kind), and it is easy to use. I only need a a couple drops of stevia to make foods sweet for my taste. Also, I have not had ANY reactions to it whatsoever. No headaches, no rashes, no stomach aches…. So this made me really happy. I’ve tried it in my oatmeal and other desserts, and i has been fine. I eat just a couple drops at a time, and use it minimally. Its still an experiment to me, and I would like to see more tests done on it. The bottom line: a few drops a day won’t hurt you.
Anyway, onto a lighter subject: Breakfast! My favorite time of day. Today, I had strawberries and cream oatmeal. Mmm…Summertime gets me in the mood for this kind of stuff:
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup almond milk (or other kind of milk of choice)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon ground flax (optional)
- chopped strawberries
Boil the oats and milk together in a saucepan. Then, add vanilla, ground flax (if using), and strawberries. There we go! Perfect for a summer day.
After this lovely breakfast, I went out to play tennis for a couple hours with my sister. We got a good sweat in! Then, back home for lunch:
Morning-star Black bean burger over a bead of spinach, topped with cherry tomatoes. With a nice glass of a strawberry-mango smoothie. I love these black bean burgers because they are super fast to make, and taste good, too. I get them in bulk at Costco. To heat them up, I simply throw them on a pan and heat over medium-high for about 5 minutes.
The smoothie was super simple, too:
- Frozen strawberries
- Frozen mango pulp
- orange juice
- milk of choice (i use almond milk)
- optional: protein
Simply blend ’em up! The mango pulp I use is from Goya. I recently found this in the frozen food section at Sweetbay. It was only $1.50 for one packet, and the only ingredient is mango. The packet lasts a while, too. It could probably make about 5 good-sized smoothies.
Whew! This was a long post today! I hope you got something out of my rambling!
Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:
What do you think of stevia? Have you tried it before? Do you like the taste? If you know any more information about it, please tell me because I would really like to learn more!