Thursday, February 19, 2015

Friday Finds

Good morning Cupcakes!

Today I wanted to inform you on some information I found yesterday. I wondered about Stevia, so I googled the term and found some interesting things. Here is a link to an article that I will summarize for you (STEVIA SIDE EFFECTS).

Not All Stevia Is Created Equal!
Here is what you need to know about the various brands of stevia.  There are three main categories that you need to be aware of.
1. Green Leaf Stevia – This is the least processed of all types of stevia and the leaves have basically been dried and ground into powder form.  This is the type of stevia that has been used in Japan and South America for centuries as a natural sweetener and health remedy.  This stevia is sweet, slightly bitter and isn’t quite as potent as most stevia products. This is the type of stevia that I believe is the best option, but still should be used in moderation.
2. Stevia Extracts – Some brands of stevia today extract the sweeter and less bitter part of the stevia leaf (rebaudioside) which doesn’t have the health benefits found in stevioside.  This type of stevia may be a better option than other regular sweeteners but there aren’t many studies available yet showing it’s effects.
3. Altered Stevia and Truvia – This is the type of stevia that you want to stay away from and in reality isn’t stevia at all.  The problem with these stevia products is the processing and added ingredients.
According to the United States patent for the Coca-Cola Company, Truvia goes through a 42 step process to make this processed sweetener.  First, the rebaudioside is extracted from the stevia leaf then, chemical solvents are added including acetonitrile which is toxic to the liver and is a carcinogen.  They then add in a GMO corn derivative in erythritol. Also, many other stevia products contain additives such as sugar and dextrose that come from genetically engineered corn.
This point cannot be stressed enough: not all stevia products are created equal. There is a HUGE difference between consuming real stevia and the chemically processed Truvia.
Best Natural Sweeteners (Ranked)
Most people do well with stevia, but listen to your body because stevia is an herb and everyone’s body may react differently to it. If you can’t get over its savory (almost tangy) flavor, however, some other natural sweeteners you may want to try are:
1. Raw local honey – In my opinion, is the healthiest, (and therefore) best natural sweetener. The healthy benefits of honey are absolutely amazing. 
2. Dates – The second healthiest sweeter. 
3. Stevia Leaf – When buying stevia, green stevia is the best option. Remember, buy stevia without additives and that has been less processed. If you are looking for a good brand of stevia that tastes great and you can find it in any health food store, try Sweet Leaf Stevia. If you want to try green stevia powder I recommend Organic Traditions. 

Check out this link to Dr. Axe's recipe page: HEALTHY RECIPES
Here is the link to today's Yoga video: DAY 12 YOGA
Here is a picture of the workout I am taking my sister through today:

If anyone is like me and they like to have a little something sweet after dinner, try some of these recipes:

#1 Coconut Cookie Dough Balls
(no added sugar!)
  • Scant 2/3 cup pitted dates (80 g) (I like Sunmaid brand, because they’re softer. See the nutritional info link, below, for substitution notes)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp coconut butter or Homemade Coconut Butter
  • Tiny pinch salt (can be omitted if desired)
  • Optional: shredded coconut, chocolate chips, etc.
Blend everything together in a food processor. This makes a small batch, so I used my Magic Bullet. If you have a bigger processor, it might be best to double or triple the recipe so everything blends more smoothly. (The recipe can be done in a blender, but the results are stickier.) Smush into one big ball, then roll into little balls or bars or cookie-cuttered shapes. These will last in the refrigerator for a few weeks or frozen for a few months, or they can be frozen.
#2 Chocolate Brownie Bites

Ingredients 1 cup raw Almonds 1-1/2 cups pitted Medjool Dates (approximately 10-11 dates) 3-1/2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (try to use the good stuff) 4 Tbsp Shredded Unsweetened Coconut ⅛ tsp salt 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (I never measure, so pour in what makes you happy) Water

Instructions Combine all ingredients (except water), in the order listed, in the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture resembles coarse gravel. While the processor is running, add a thin stream of water, about ½ tsp, maybe less depending on the moistness of your dates. Stop the processor and check the mixture inside. If it sticks together when you smush it, then you've got the right consistency. If it's still crumbly, add more water. You don't want to add too much water because the bites will be too sticky. When you've got the right consistency, roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls. Yield varies depending on how much you eat while you're rolling them :)

#3 Raw Chocolate Coconut Freezer Bite (Thanks Alyssa!)
  1. In a food processor, blend the coconut for a couple of minutes until the oils start to release and the coconut is in fine pieces.
  2. Add the coconut oil and nuts and blend until the nuts are finely chopped.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until everything comes together. The minute can still be a bit chunky.
  4. One a lined baking sheet or plate that will fit in your freezer...scoop 1 Tbsp full of the mixture into rounds onto the sheet.
  5. Freezer for 30 minutes.
  6. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the freezer.
  7. Enjoy directly from the freezer for best results.

I may try to add some vanilla plant fusion protein powder to a one of these so that they will keep me full longer. I will let you know if I make any (and I will take pictures)! 

Peace out! Have a good weekend 

Later Taters! 

1 comment:

  1. Omgsh--the freezer bites were so good! I am glad you tried them! I had two and looooooved them. :)


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