I have only baked with it a couple times, and that was when I worked at the bakery and we had a few requests for it. Naturally, I wanted to exercise my freedom and try something new. You know what? It was not that bad. For years I hated artificial sweeteners and that horrific taste it leaves in your mouth. When stevia became big on the scene I didn’t want to try it because I assumed it would leave that nasty aspartame, saccharin taste in my mouth like all the others. Now I know that Stevia is not technically an artificial sweetener, but an alternative sweetener. It is derived from the stevia plant, stevia leaf extract, also called rebiana, and it is deemed the natural alternative to artificial sweeteners. But heck, It still manages to have that artificial taste to me…just a little bit. Although I’ll admit, it’s growing on me – I keep a little tin of Truvia next to my coffee pot with the rest of the coffee fixins’ if that tells you anything…
I decided I wanted to try baking some healthy and hearty muffins with Stevia in the raw. I have a gigantic bag just sitting in the pantry taking up space, so why not experiment! In the original recipe for these muffins it calls for honey or maple syrup as the sweetener, I replaced that with the stevia, cup for cup and honestly the outcome was way better than I expected, eventually. I tweaked a few things here and there to add a bit more moisture and flavor, but I do believe these muffins are a success!
Once I had pulled the muffins out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes I sliced into one, took a bite and DANGIT! I was dissapointed – I could taste the stevia. I mean, it was still good. Some people don’t mind that taste, some love it, but the taste was still a bit strong for me. After they were cooled, I wrapped them up and figured I would have one for breakfast in the morning.
The next day I poured myself a cup of coffee and grabbed a muffin, gently broke the top off (obviously the best part of a muffin) and took a big bite. “Whoa, WHAT!?” That icky taste was gone! I guess once the muffins had cooled completely the taste mellowed out, like a lot. I believe the addition of chocolate chips helped as well, but hey – turns out the muffins were delicious and pleasant surprise. ((flashes big grin))
These easy, one-bowl, healthy muffins are obviously sweetened by stevia in the raw, but are also made with whole wheat flour, oats, coconut oil, pumpkin and a touch of chocolate with lots of spices. They are pretty dense and don’t quite rise the same as regular bakery style muffins, so you can fill the muffin tins to the top, and they will rise up perfectly.