Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baking With Nectresse for Tasty Tuesday!

Yes, I know this series has been a long time in coming-between being on the road so much over the past 6 weeks or so, and then internet being down for almost a week, I have not been consistent with the Tasty Tuesday posts. Hopefully, that will all change, because I have several new recipes to share with you all over the next several weeks and they're all combined with reviews, so it should be exciting!

Many of you know that I love to bake; and the only thing I enjoy more than baking, is finding ways to make favorite recipes healthier. So, when I was given the opportunity to try out Nectresse, a new natural sweetener from the makers of Splenda (one of my favorite baking ingredients) I was thrilled! I received a canister and packets of Nectresse for my review. The packets, just like any other sweetener packet, are perfect for adding to a cup of coffee or hot tea. I was surprised by how little it took, and the natural flavor. There's not that diet aftertaste that turns you off of other no-cal sweeteners. However, what I am really impressed with, is the ability to use Nectresse in my baking!

I decided to take a family favorite-Chocolate Chip Cookies-and substitute Nectreese for most of the sugar. Until I get used to the way an ingredient works, I don't like subbing the entire amount. So, I took one of our mainstay cookie recipes, and got to work. It took only 1/4 cup of Nectresse to equal the amount of sugar needed, and I added 1/8 cup regular sugar. The dough turned out just like traditional chocolate chip cookie dough, so I was hopeful for good results on the actual cookies. 

After 8-9 minutes of baking, here's what we ended up with:

I took the first bite rather cautiously, but as it turned out-I had no need to be worried! The cookies were absolutely delicious! The family smelled the cookies baking, so of course everybody wanted to try one. They usually have a "Thanks but no thanks" attitude when it comes to most of my no-calorie sweetener baked goods, but to my surprise, they gobbled these up! No complaints of "These taste diet" or "Eeew, what did you put in these?!". Score for Nectresse! I will certainly be substituting Nectresse in a lot more of my baking from now on!

In case you'd like to try and make your own Nectresse-sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies, here's the recipe I used. The original recipe has 120 calories per cookie, but I'm not sure what it would be with the Nectresse-obviously much less, since you're taking away almost all the white sugar!

1/4 cup Nectresse
1/8 cup Sugar
5/8 cup Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Eggs
2-1/8 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1-1/2 cups Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Peanut Butter Chips, optional

Preheat oven to 375. Beat Nectresse, sugars and butter in large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla; stir. In a separate bowl, stir flour, baking soda, and salt. Blend in to butter mixture. Add chips, stir just until combined. Drop by tablespoon on ungreased cookie sheet; bake for 8-10 minutes.

As a side note, you can try a free sample of Nectresse and get a coupon off your next purchase from the Nectresse website. And to get you started using Nectresse, here are some tips from nutritionist Lisa Drayer, M.A., R.D.

  • Use a sprinkle of NECTRESSETM Sweetener to add the perfect amount of all-natural sweetness to your morning tea. Black tea is a great substitution for coffee as it contains a range of potential health benefits and a healthy dose of caffeine. The benefits of black tea include decreased cholesterol, including LDL cholesterol, and improved cardiovascular health, as well as a boosted immune system. Black tea is also a rich source of anti-aging antioxidants known as thearubigins and theaflavins.

  • When your afternoon sweet tooth kicks in, try a Pomegranate Iced Green Tea with a dash of NECTRESSETM Sweetener. It’s a satisfying and refreshing, low-calorie option offering a range of benefits that won’t derail your diet.

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