This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of NECTRESSE™Sweetener. All opinions are 100% mine.
In our increasingly health-conscious world, many people are constantly on the lookout for alternatives to sugar for their favorite recipes or just to sweeten their coffee. The makers of Splenda have recently come out with a brand new, all natural product - NECTRESSE™Sweetener
Nectresse is the only 100% natural sweetener made from monk fruit extract (which I learned is a type of melon), and it seems to be a pretty simple sugar substitute. The primary ingredient is erythritol, a sugar alcohol that has been approved as a food additive and is a natural sugar substitute. Now, before you start thinking that science is messing with you, erythritol occurs naturally in some fruits and was discovered in 1848 - so it's not particularly new. It's just being used in a new way, I guess you could say.
If you want some quick facts about monk fruit, you can read some tidbits on the individual packets.
LIsa Ling has endorsed Nectresse as a suitable substitute for sugar for people with diabetes. I imagine it would also be good for people who are otherwise trying to watch their calorie and sugar intake for general healthiness, but are seeking something all-natural.
I had the opportunity to give this sweetener a try. It's 150 times sweeter than sugar, so you use much less of it. One packet of Nectresse is equal to two teaspoons of regular sugar. They look surprisingly similar, except I found the Nectresse had a bit of a green tint to it.
Nectresse comes in individual packets, perfect to take with you when you're on the go, as well as in canisters for shaking, pouring, and scooping.
Nectresse can be substituted for sugar in cooking and baking. You can find lots of yummy sounding recipes at the Nectresse website. But I decided to give one of my recent recipes a bit of a Nectresse reboot, to see if it's really as sweet and versatile a sugar substitute as it claims.
A couple weeks ago, I posted my first foray into making Southern sweet tea, a beverage that by trade requires a lot of sugar.
A lot of sugar.
So, armed with a calculator and the internet (so I could figure out how many teaspoons of sugar are in a cup of sugar and then figure out how much Nectresse I needed), I developed a Nectresse version of Southern sweet tea. I didn't go "full strength" on the sweetness because I didn't know for sure how the Nectresse would "behave" once I mixed it in. But here's how I made it.
Nectresse Southern Sweet Tea
- 1 quart boiling water
- 2 Luzianne tea bags (the large size specially made for iced tea)
- 12 packets NECTRESSE™Sweetener (it works out to be a little more than 1/8 of a cup - double the amount for "full test" sweet tea)
- 1 quart cold water
- Pour boiling water over tea bags in a 2-quart pitcher. Let steep for 3-5 minutes, longer if you want stronger tea.
- Stir in NECTRESSE™Sweetener until dissolved
- Pour in cold water and stir to combine.
- Chill completely before serving
And the verdict? Well, even though I had only done half-strength sweetness, it was still pretty dang sweet. My husband said he thought there was a slight after taste - he could tell the tea wasn't made with real sugar. But that didn't keep him from drinking most of the 2-quart pitcher. I personally couldn't tell much of a difference between Nectresse and sugar in the sweet tea.
The best news? Diabetics can now enjoy real Southern sweet tea! (Not that I think there are hordes of people with diabetes necessarily lamenting the lack of sweet tea in their lives, but now they have the option.)
If you think you might like to try it, you can get a FREE sample of NECTRESSE™Sweetener through their website. It's also available in stores.