I am always looking for ways to make what I cook, healthier. But I will NOT compromise on taste, it is just not worth it. My mother and several friends use stevia. I have tried it and found it left a bitter taste and my mouth feeling numb, uck!!! I sort of pretty much had written off stevia. But Angie (Of course, my go-to foodie friend) told me about a new stevia by NuNatrual. I tried in my tea and loved it. The same day I found out I had won a give-away on VeganFamilyStyle (Thank you Debra) from NuNatural. Well I guess it was meant to be. I expected to just get a small sample, but was surprise when I got a large box.
I was lucky to receive a bottle of vanilla stevia, a box of packets of powder stevia and baking blend. I have been playing with the products. What I love and use the most is the liquid stevia and the vanilla stevia, which taste just like vanilla but sweet. The baking blend worked well but I personally would not use it a lot. It would not be cost effective. But if my baking and sweetener choices were limited, baking blend would be a good choice.
If you have been wanting to try stevia or are like me and hated other stevia's, I encourage you to try NuNaturals. Thank you again NuNaturals again for my generous give-away box. One of my favorite things I have made is a lavender panna cotta. Panna Cotta's are easy to make and any way I can use lavender makes me happy.
By the way if you are looking into raw/vegan cooking Debra's site is great. She has a wonderful testimony and has written her own e-book and DVD. I do raw cooking for lunches and always find inspiration on Debra's site xoxox
Lavender Panna Cotta w/ Stevia
1 cup half and half
4 fresh lavender blossoms, or 1 generous TBL, dried lavender, make sure you do not use lavender that has been sprayed with any chemicals
1 cup heavy cream
pink of salt
1 1/2 tsp. powder gelatin
2 TBL cold water
1/2 tsp. liquid stevia, taste and see if you need more or 1/3 cup honey
If you are using fresh lavender, gently rinse blossoms under cold water and pat lavender dry with a towel. Do not worry about getting the flower completely dry. Roughly cut or I just used scissors, blossoms into big pieces. It is fine if you use some of the stem, you are going to trwo all this away. Add half/half and lavender to a small saucepan. Bring milk to a simmer. Keep an eye in it, milk can go from simmering to boiling over the pan very quickly. Do not let boil, as soon as you see bubble forming, pull pan off stove and let sit 20 minutes.
Making Panna Cotta
Grease with cooking spray 4 small ramekins.
In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over water and let sit to soften for 5 minutes. Strain lavender out of milk and discard flowers. Add cream and a pinch of salt to milk and reheat, until hot but not boiling. Add stevia (If using honey, add it when you heat cream above). Whisk gelatin into cream for a lest a minute to make sure you evenly distributed the gelatin. Pour into ramekins and set in fridge at lest 4 hours.
To un mold run a knife around edge and invert panna cotta onto a plate. I served it with strawberry sauce and fresh blueberries.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar or stevia to taste, start with 1 tsp.
1 cup berries (I used frozen berries from berries I picked last summer)
Pul everything in a sauce pan and simmer 10 minutes until berries are collapsed and the sauce is a deep red. Cool, strain out berries and enjoy.