Thursday, September 28, 2006

stevia = swiss cheese muffins




I finally made some muffins last night using Stevia. Hildegard brought over a bottle of bulk NuNaturals Stevia diluted with Maltodextrin. I didn’t have a handle on how much to use because of the Maltodextrin, so I tried it out first sprinkled over a bowl of puffed Millet. It does taste sweet, but not so sweet that I will need to be afraid of using too much. It also has some licorice-like aftertaste. Looking at the structure, I don’t think this comes from the steviosides, so another source of purified steviosides may be aftertaste-free, but this is pure speculation on my part.

I used my standard muffin recipe with 1 cup chopped frozen apricots. After mixing it with 2 tsp Stevia powder, it looked a little wet. I added 2 Tbsp flour mix to compensate for the missing volume of sugar.

They rose quite a lot, and browned nicely. Cutting one open revealed a texture similar to swiss cheese -- Big bubble holes unevenly distributed, and a hard crust. Actually, they are more bread-like in texture than some bread I have made. This bears more investigation later, I think.

It turns out that they aren’t sweet enough for my taste, but Hildegard might like them. She says that she likes things not so sweet. For me, I can still taste the baking soda, so I say make them sweeter. The licorice aftertaste is faintly noticable. I like licorice though…


1 ½ c (9:2 Sorghum flour/Potato Starch)
¼ c Soy flour
2 tsp NuNaturals Stevia powder + 2 Tbsp flour mix
2 ½ tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp Xanthan gum
2 eggs
1 c milk or soy milk
1/3 c vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c chopped apricots

I think that flour isn’t the right volume subsitute to use. Karina suggested chopped coconut, but sugar dissolves, so I was thinking something less solid. I think that next time I will try some tapioca starch. I think that this will help them be more chewy and less crusty. Hopefully, the longer chain starch in the tapioca will also contribute to holding the developing gases from collecting in large pockets as they rise in the oven. I’ll let you know when I get time for a re-trial.

2 comments:

  1. Hi how are you! I have been baking with stevia for a while, I really like adding homemade apple puree or applesauce for a bulking ingredient to make up for the consistency the sugar would have given...I like to use coconut milk, fruit juice, applesauce, figs, dates, fruit puree (mashed bananas work wonders as bulk in banana breads or muffins) Stevia doesn't activate yeast like sugar does so usually when baking with stevia things turn out hard and flat so adding bulk keeps them moist and fluffy, I wonder if the recipe just needs some appleauce to keep it more muffin like than bread. I hope this helps, the recipe looks great I love the idea of adding frozen apricots sounds delicious:)

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  2. Anonymous2:21 PM

    I was very skeptical about using Stevia. I refuse to use artificial sweeteners and was searching for a healthier, natural alternative to sugar. I have researched Stevia and apparently Stevia-based sweeteners have been used in Japan since the 1970s – ever since that country banned artificial sweeteners. To this date, after being used by tens of millions of people for more than 40 years, there has not been a single consumer complaint about Stevia.

    I have been using the Sweetleaf brand for several months now and absolutely love it! You can now purchase it at any Whole Foods store.

    SweetLeaf can be used in hot drinks, cold drinks, is great on cereal, brings out the delicious flavors in fruits, can be used in cooking and baking, makes great-tasting desserts and is incredible in smoothies and blended drinks.

    This is my favorite Stevia recipe. Enjoy!

    Apple Crisp
    8 servings

    Ingredients
    - 7 to 8 cups chopped apples (peeling is optional)
    - 3 tbsp lemon juice
    - 1 tsp vanilla
    - 1/2 tsp SweetLeaf Stevia Extract Powder
    - 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
    - 3 tbsp natural peanut butter (optional)
    - 1 tsp cinnamon
    - 1/4 tsp salt
    - 2/3 cup apple juice or blend

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13" baking dish. Place the apples in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon juice. Mix the vanilla, Stevia extract, flour, peanut butter (if using), cinnamon, and salt into the apples. Pour the fruit juice into the bottom of the dish. Spoon in the apple mixture. Spread the topping (recipe below) over the apples so it is evenly distributed. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. If the topping gets done before the apples, cover pan with foil the last 15 minutes of baking.

    Topping


    Ingredients
    - 1 cup rolled oats
    - 2/3 cup chopped nuts and seeds
    - 1/4 tsp SweetLeaf Stevia Extract Powder
    - 3/4 tsp SweetLeaf Stevia Concentrate
    - 2 tablespoons oil

    Mix the oats, chopped nuts and seeds, Stevia extract, and Stevia concentrate together in a bowl. Sprinkle and stir in the oil.

    (Excerpted with permission from "Stevia: naturally sweet recipes for desserts, drinks and more!" by Rita DePuydt - Book Publishing Co.)

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