My mother-in-law came home yesterday after being gone for several months. Now that Ali and his sister are older she divides her time between Los Angeles, London, and Pakistan. We definitely missed her a lot. Especially Maya. My daughter would happily move in with my in-laws and spend her days in bed watching cartoons and polishing off the numerous boxes of Godiva my father-in-law showers her with, while my mother-in-law spoon-feeds her toast and scrambled eggs.
Enjoy it Maya because when I pick you up tomorrow? You’ll be lucky if I can muster enough energy to make you toast and scrambled eggs, never mind feed it to you.
As I’ve mentioned before, Ali’s mom is amazingly generous and sweet. Naturally, she came bearing gifts for me from her travels:
And a few other things I didn’t photograph.
I am always trying to think of ways to thank Ali’s mom for everything she gives/does for us. Honestly, there isn’t too much we can do except make her things we think she’d like. So yesterday morning Maya and I woke up bright and early to bake up a batch of muffins.
Since Ali’s mom is a fan of Stevia (and I am doing everything I can to stop her from eating Splenda), Maya and I decided to try using the NuNaturals Baking Blend that NuNaturals, Inc. was so kind to send me. We’ve literally made Date Muffins 100 times before and have received SO many compliments and requests for the recipe. So I was very interested to see if our muffin fans would notice a difference in taste with the Stevia substitute.
1 3/4 cups of flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and 3/4 cup white)
2 tablespoons of NuNaturals Baking Blend or sugar
2.5 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup of dates, chopped
3/4 cup of milk (I used Almond Milk)
1/3 cup of canola oil
1. In a big bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together and add the dates. Stir, making sure the dates don’t stick together.
2. In a separate bowl combine the egg, milk, and oil. Add to the dry mixture.
3. Stir until just mixed (the more you stir, the less fluffy the muffins become).
4. Grease a muffin tin and divide the mixture among 9 muffin cups (or more if you want smaller muffins. My family likes BIG muffins!)
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
While we waited for Ali’s mom’s flight to arrive, we shopped my muffins around my parent’s house to see what my family thought about them:
- My brother is a picky eater. About as picky as me. He chowed down 2 muffins with no problems and no comments about them tasting different.
- My mom has been making these muffins for as long as I can remember. She doesn’t approve of my using whole wheat flour to health-ify her recipe but she didn’t notice I used Stevia in lieu of sugar. You win some, you lose some.
- Maya and Ali shared a muffin…they both said they it was good. Maya said it would have been better with chocolate chips instead of dates. I ignored her.
- My mother-in-law had half of one as I begged her to toss all her Splenda away and to use the Stevia I put in her kitchen instead. I think she was exhausted after her flight and probably didn’t want to listen to a lecture from her ungrateful daughter-in-law so she said she would. I really hope she does.
- My dad is on his second week of The Fat Flush Plan (yay for him!) so he couldn’t eat these, but as a diabetic he uses Stevia and Agave and is pleased with both sugar substitutes. I promised to make him these when he can eat wheat again.
I obviously couldn’t try the muffins but I did put Stevia on my oatmeal and it tasted pretty good. Ali and I agreed that it had a bit of an aftertaste though, and unfortunately I got a slight stomach ache the three times I tried Stevia. Since nobody else complained about this I will just chalk it up to my numerous stomach issues and learn to live without sugar or sugar substitutes. That aside, I think Stevia is a fabulous sugar substitute when baking, especially for diabetics and those watching their sugar intake, and I will be using it again in the future.
What are your opinions on sugar substitutes? Have you had any adverse reactions to them?