Thursday, April 19, 2012

Natural Sugar - Part 6

This is the final segment of Regina's article. She shares some miscellaneous information and also some places that she has purchased natural sweeteners.

Natural Sugar and Spice - CAN Really be Nice! Part6
Guest Post By Regina
First read part one and part two and part three and part four and part five

I use only stevia for canning my peaches, pears, and other fruit. I stir 1 ½ tsp of powdered stevia in my 3qt. pitcher of water; it dissolves easily. In my canned fruit, I have never detected an aftertaste. I've asked friends what they think after serving the fruit to them, and they are surprised to learn it was canned with stevia. The best part: my children can drink all the peach juice they want and get no added sugar!

I also use stevia to sweeten my pizza sauce and applesauce. Don't forget how potent stevia is. I almost ruined a batch of pizza sauce by adding too much stevia, (and we are talking about a ½ tsp!). You can always add more, but you can not take out!

Try mixing half stevia with another natural sweetener in garden tea and other drinks if the aftertaste bothers you. Liquid stevia by NuNaturals leaves virtually no aftertaste.
Xylitol dissolves easily so it works great in cold drinks and dressings. Just always keep in mind the side effects of it and don't try it on your guests! They might not visit again.
As you can see, using these types of sweeteners is easy and just takes “doing it”. Get familiar with the different choices, the textures and tastes; you will soon have a feel for what works best in your recipe.

Yes, all these sweeteners are more expensive than white sugar. But by cutting out white sugar, you and your family may enjoy better health and less colds and sickness. The money saved from one less doctor visit will buy a large jar of stevia from Berlin Seeds. With what our dentist charges to fill a cavity, each tooth saved will buy me a 75 to 100 pound bag of Sucanat! That sounds like a good deal to me! 
Finally, as I mentioned in the first article about the dangers of sugar, keep a good balance. There is no need to refuse a slice of coconut cream pie your friend offers you only because you know it was made with white sugar. Let your child enjoy a lollipop from the bank. If you have a busy week, don't feel guilty if you buy a box of granola bars for the children's lunches. By using natural sweeteners most of the time, it will help offset the few times you do consume white sugar. 
Do not think you are a health nut for using natural sweeteners. Remember, honey, Sucanat, maple syrup and stevia, are so minimally processed they are close to the original form God made them. Centuries ago, these were the only sweeteners available for use. Man is the one who has refined sugar to the point our bodies have become dependent on it. The American habit of being excessive has seeped into our way of eating and has turned sugar, which seems so harmless, into an epidemic of health problems. 
So why not teach our children better ways of cooking and eating habits? In turn, they can pass on grandmother's cooking legacy, only changed for the better!

Where to purchase:

Berlin Seeds:

Pure Organic Stevia - 1 lb. $64.00 + shipping
Xylitol – 4 lb. $18.00 + $7.50 shipping
- 20 lb. $80.00 + $11.50 shipping
Phone: 951-616-3600
  • Fax: 951-616-3601
NuNaturals liquid stevia- 2fl.oz bottle $8.49 + shipping
Kal powdered stevia - 3.5 oz. $20.43 + shipping
( This size lasts me at least two years with canning several bushes of fruit)
Sucanat organic- 2lb. $6.20 + shipping
Dutch Valley Food Distributors: (located in Myerstown, Pa. They will be able to tell you of any bulk food store in your area)
toll free phone: 800-733-4191
toll free fax: 866-933-5466
Sucanat – 50lb. $85.33 + shipping
Xylitol - 10lb. $48.29 + shipping

Thanks Regina, for sharing all your research with us.


  1. I've enjoyed this series. I've recently been trying to use less white sugar and more of the alternative sweeteners. Stevia is my sweetener of choice (no calorie) and I use it exclusively for my hot drinks (tea and coffee). However, I have discovered that not all liquid stevias are created equal. :( I HIGHLY recommend what Regina uses; the NuNaturals brand. Mine says alcohol free... I'm inspired to use stevia for canning my fruit this year. I was holding back because of the cost but when I saw how long a small container lasts, it seems much less expensive. Thanks for sharing this info.

  2. Really thorough and very helpful!
    I loved reading all of these articles about sugar substitutes. It's clued me up and I feel more confident going out to try them.
    I already use Sucanat (rapadura where I'm from) and love it. Honey... I have about 5 year's worth of that in my food storage!


  3. I thoroughly enjoyed Regina's posts on sweeteners and appreciated her baking advice. We'll be trying the cookie recipe soon!
    FYI: sells 16 oz. of NOW Stevia extract for around $50. (the price changes occasionally) We like it, and it will be a LONG time till we need to buy more!

  4. I have been using stevia from the local grocery store. not pay attention to the additional additives. I attendant a diabetic class with my mother and learned about the difference. Only because I asked if it was a good alternative to other alternative sweeteners. I was a huge diet soda consumer until about 6 years ago, when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. My whole life changed at the age of 32, when I had to take an early retirement from a government well paying job. Someone sent me an email linking MS to aspartame at that very moment I stopped drinking diet sodas. I have since come so far from were I was then. But I believe the damage that was done cognitively, may be irreversible. Now I have learned my husband is pre-diabetic. So more than ever is it important to my family that we stay away from not only white sugars but the sugar alternatives. This may not be the case for everyone, but a good choice for our family. I love to can and came across this series searching for an alternative to canning pears. I am so excited to start my canning tomorrow. Bought my 100% Stevia today....Thanks for taking the time to educate us.


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