Recently, the folks at NuNaturals (aka the genius developers and makers of many unique stevia sweetener products) sent me some products to sample. Most of you guys all prolly have heard of ‘em already, so keep reading so I can share a few of my home baked creations with you all!

Stevia is an excellent alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Derived from plants, this natural sweetener used to have a reputation of having a slightly bitter aftertaste, but after trying the NuStevia products, I’ve concluded that it is ONLY bitter if you add WAY too much of it.

My Take: There are so many pro’s to these products it’s difficult to come up with any downsides apart from perhaps the price tag, which can sound steep for a sugar substitute. For example, my favorite product: the vanilla stevia extract retails at about $13. However, a few drops go a LONG LONG way. Although it may look like Splenda is cheaper at the store, you definitely end up using a larger volume of it in all your recipes than the Stevia products from NuNaturals.

My recommended Products: Liquid Stevia Drops, Vanilla Liquid Stevia, and NuStevia packets (for coffee on the run!)

***Peanut Butter Jelly Banana Bread***

Vegan!!

So moist and so peanut buttery, you won’t know what hit you!

This recipe is Being entered for the Great PB Boy Competition!!

Ingredients:

DRY

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

1tbs baking powder

WET

1 cup vanilla almond milk (or milk)

2 tbs flax seeds dissolved in 4 tbs water (or 2 eggs)

1/2 cup brown sugar (or NuNaturals Baking Blend)

1 cup all-natural smooth or chunky peanut butter

1/3 cup apple sauce

1 ripe medium banana, mashed

2 Tbs oil

1/3 cup jam of your choice (I used strawberry. Pumpkin butter will do too!)

Instructions:

1) Heat oven to 275F. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.

2) Stir together dry ingredients in large bowl.

3) Combine wet ingredients in another medium bowl.

4) Pour wet into dry and combine until moistened (don’t over mix)!

5) Pour 1/2 the batter into the loaf pan. Spread a layer of jam over the top of the batter. Then pour the remaining batter over the top of the jam.

6) Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool in pan, but eat hot if desired. :)

***Holiday Cranberry Pistachio Granola***

Vegan and non-vegan options

The first batch came out so yummy I literally stood at the oven and ate almost the whole batch straight off the baking pan. I have no shame huh? I proceeded to double the recipe and re-make everything so I could store it up to eat and give some away. Did I redeem myself?

Ingredients:

DRY

1 cup rolled oats (I went for 2 types – ½ cup spelt flakes, ½ cup oats)

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

WET

1 Tbs oil (I used Hemp seed oil)

1 Tbs maple syrup (or honey, if you’re not vegan)

4-5 drops NuNaturals vanilla liquid stevia drops

Splash vanilla almond milk/other milk substitute (add more if wet batter looks too dry)

1/3 cup pistachios

1/3 cup cranberries

My favorite variation is: to add puffed kamut flakes in addition to the oats. It bakes out SO delicious, crisp, and airy you’ll want to eat it plain.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking tray with foil.

1. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients

2. In medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until combined

3.Toss wet into dry until all oats are coated evenly. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.

4. Remove tray from oven and toss granola. Mix in almonds. Replace tray into oven to bake 10 more minutes.

5. Remove tray from oven. Toss cranberries into granola/almond mixture and let cool slightly before enjoying or you may burn your tongue…like some people.

Does this yell holidays or what? :D And just so you can share my excitement for going home…

I’ll be on a plane going back to Hong Kong in 12 days, 16 hours, and 46 minutes!!!!

What would you like to see from Hong Kong? :)

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