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The Queen's Approved Sweeteners

I personally do not eat sugar, empty calories with no nutritional value, on a regualr basis.  In fact, I maybe eat something with sugar in it once a month, if that.  Here is a list of the items that I use.

1.   Stevia/ Truvia: My favorite zero calorie all natural sweetener. This comes from the Stevia plant. It is also called rebiana, which is the best tasting part of the stevia leaf. I like the brand, Truvia. I make my tea unsweetened and keep it in the fridge. I add two packs to my glass of tea after I pour it. If you add to the pitcher in the fridge, it makes your tea all cloudy and ugly. I also keep a baggy in my purse. It take 4 packs to make Pal's and Chick-fila large teas taste really good. I like the truvia brand because it looks like sugar and is granules and not a powder. It is great for baking!!

This is the liquid in a dissolves great in drinks!! Just 2 or 3 drops will go a long way!! I have some chocolate flavored to put in milk and make hot chocolate!!

2.  Honey: Bees make it's as natural..and it's healthy and good
I try to buy local honey for allergy reasons. I get it and Ingles in a jar and then pour it in to my little honey bear. You can also get local honey at the natural food store and Earth Fare in Johnson City. It is sugar so honey needs to be limited.
4  .Coconut Sugar..has a low glycemic index and works great in cooking! They have locally at Earthfare.  It is made from the pressing of coconut blooms on the palm tree.  They have blonde and a darker brown that can be uses a subsitute for a 1:1 ratio for white or brown sugar.  It does have calories so this also needs to be limited.
4. Sucanat is a pure evaporated cane juice powder that can be used as a 1:1 replacement for refined or brown sugar. It has nothing added and only water removed so it retains all of the vitamins,minerals, and trace elements found in the natural sugar cane plant. So if you are going to eat least eat the real thing. It can not be found (well at least by me) in any of the areas local grocery stores. In Kingsport, you can find it at Mac's Medicine Mart on Center Street. In Johnson City, of course you can find it at Earth Fare. And you can order it online anywhere..
If you are going to use sugar, use the real thing..sugar is brown, yes brown


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  2. is Sucanat sweeter than white sugar? i mean, does it taste the same?
    and just curious how it cooks.
    i love to make divinity, which calls for a lot of sugar, so i just was curious if this product would work as a substitute for that.

    thanks for the tips Brandy. As Leslie said, very educational!

  3. i forgot - why do you use truvia instead of sucanat in your tea? if it's a 1:1 substitute, couldn't you just sweeten your pitcher of tea with it?

  4. Leslie: I get a 2lb bag for about $5 at Mac's. It's just a tad bit sweeter to me than refined sugar..but it's supposed to be a 1:1 ratio. I use it mostly in baking. Just due to the fact I try to save calories but eating them and not drinking them.
    You are right, "agave" sounds the same is agape :)They have some stevia drops out there..some are even chocolate, vanilla, and toffee. I have seen a lot of people say it's good in coffee. I ordered some chocolate ones online and made hot chocolate in the winter. I don't drink coffee, but I have heard they taste better in there than just plain stevia.

  5. Sandy: You can use it in's supposed to be a 1:1 ratio substitution for refined sugar. It's the same thing, only it's not been stripped of the nutrients. To me it tastes a little sweeter. I use it mostly for baking because I like to eat my calories and not waste them on drinks ;) So I use truvia in my tea. It bakes just like normal's brown..the kids flipped out when they saw tan vanilla ice cream, but other than the's the same.

  6. Brandy, I was searching for homemade clean graham crackers and found your blog and really enjoyed it. I am from Gate City, so I know all of the places you mention - so fun! I live in Orlando now. Glad I found you though!

  7. Hi Brandy: I have just started doing kefir and was looking for some recipes since I don't like it plain and neither do my grandchildren. In looking for help, I came upon your website and was ecstatic to find a recipe for graham crackers (serendipity). The price of a box in any grocery store is almost $3 and I am too cheap to spend that. Yours is one of the best blogs I've seen, so anxious to try a lot of the recipes shown here. Fran