It’s a chilly, windy, and wet morning here in Wisconsin. Luckily we just missed the cooler band of air that left northern areas of the state with morning snow. Snow? No thank you. Let’s keep it away until December. Then, it can melt January 15th. 🙂
The radio has started their countdown until Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. I am SUCH a crazy Christmas freak but it’s still hard knowing we’re on the crux of another long winter. I keep telling Ben we need work from home jobs so we can move south Jan-Mar and be back in WI the rest of the year. That would be amazing.
Speaking of amazing things (and Christmas) it feels like Christmas when I get home and find surprise boxes filled with goodies waiting for me. My fairy godfather from NuNaturals sent me another package filled with stevia products!!! Hurray!
While I’m terrible at adopting most long-term healthy living ways of life, using stevia was an easy and permanent change for me. I never have sugar in my coffee or tea anymore. Ever. Plus, it’s crept into other areas as well once NuNaturals began offering their new syrup line.
I get questions all the time about stevia – how to use it, what it tastes like, etc… Most stevia products you buy will be highly concentrated – meaning you don’t use it 1:1 as a replacement for sugar. Newbies should start with a few drops at a time and adjust until you reach the level of sweetness you prefer. It doesn’t taste exactly like sugar but I doubt anyone expects it to. I’ve been a loyal NuNaturals fan because it’s not a bitter stevia like other brands I’ve encountered.
It’s easy to put a few drops or a stevia packet into a glass of iced tea or a mug of coffee, and I’ve shared some recipes using stevia as a replacement to sugar (Key lime cheesecake, anyone??) but these syrups are a new phenomenon that open up the realm of food possibilities even further. My mind has been blown.
Ben has completely taken over the Simple Syrup. He now uses that in his mixed drinks in the place of sugar water or soda. He likes it so well that he’s already on bottle #2!
Me, I’m enjoying the new Cocoa Mint syrup. I’ve made a couple batches of hot cocoa using the syrup – and it’s awesome! Most standard homemade cocoa recipes use anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar and replacing the sugar with some cocoa syrup is a no brainer for me.
Homemade Hot Cocoa
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- Dash salt
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 4 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2t NuNaturals Cocoa or Cocoa Mint Syrup (more or less, depending on taste)
1. Stir together the cocoa syrup, water, cocoa and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. Do not boil after the milk has been added!
2. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy. Serve topped with marshmallows, candy canes, cinnamon, chocolate curls, and/or whipped cream, if desired. Four servings.
Whole Foods has a coconut milk ice cream recipe (and countless blogs have offered their own take too) so for those of you interested in something a bit cooler than cocoa, consider swapping out sugar and replacing it with stevia and then drizzling the top with the cocoa syrup! The possibilities are endless. 🙂
Of course, I’m not cruel enough to not share the stevia love with my wonderful readers! If the syrups intrigue you, simply leave a comment below on what you would swap out sugar for in place of stevia – and you’ll be entered to win!
NuNaturals will graciously ship out a goodie box of NuNaturals products for four lucky blog readers. Winners will get one bottle of the Cherry Vanilla Stevia Liquid, a 50 pkt box of the NuStevia White Stevia Powder packets, PLUS a bottle of the cocoa AND simple syrups! There may even be another surprised tucked in too. It’s definitely Christmas in November! 🙂
This contest is opened worldwide but cannot ship to PO Boxes.
If you need to stock up on NuNaturals products (which make great Christmas gifts!), go to NuNaturals.com and enter discount code BLG1214 to receive a 15% DISCOUNT on your entire order. This discount remains effective until December 31st!
Good luck & happy baking!
Winners will be posted on Wednesday so make sure you check back to see if your name is listed!
** I was not compensated for this post. I received free products from NuNaturals to sample but all comments and opinions are my own.