Tag Archives: NuNaturals

NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway!

Welcome to the NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway! I am really excited about this giveaway because stevia is the only non-caloric sweetener I am down with. Aspartame, acesulfame K, sucralose, and all that other junk is bad. Half of them are banned in Europe, and yet America doesn’t seem to care about the studies that link them to cancer. Not to mention they make you bloat like a mother no other. Certain sugar alcohols do appear to be relatively harmless, but as far as low calorie sweeteners go, stevia is currently the best bet. It is a natural plant extract from the rebiana plant. In fact, one of my friends grows stevia and puts the leaves in her tea! Extracting the compounds from the leaves makes stevia extract far more potent and sweet, which is why it is so useful for cooking.

In my last post, I said there is no one thing that I say no to, and that is true. However, the number one thing in my diet that I do try to minimize as much as possible is

refined sugar.

Sugar is not your friend. It raises insulin levels which will increase fat storage, cause a spike and drop in energy, and mess with your other hormones, which can lead to far more serious conditions than an energy slump. On top of that, your body does not need refined sugar. All carbohydrates are composed of glucose (sugar) molecules, and your body is completely competent at breaking down the carbohydrates down into those units. Also, our bodies can convert dietary protein into carbohydrates when we need them, so carbohydrates themselves are necessary, but we do not need that much.

In this giveaway, 4 readers will win:

1 bottle of Lemon liquid stevia, 1 bottle of Orange liquid stevia, 1 bottle of Vanilla liquid stevia, and 1 box of stevia powder packets

Also, if anyone wants to order NuNaturals prodcuts online, you can use this code to get 15% off! Code: BLG0612. The code expires June 30th and there is free shipping on orders over 35$!

How to enter:

leave a comment for each of the following…

1 entry for a recipe or informational post you would like me to blog

1 entry for tweeting this giveaway link with an @NuNaturals and @wholewheatrbust

2 entries for re-blogging this giveaway

2 entries for Facebooking this giveaway

1 entry for a link to your favorite recipe

The winners will be announced on Wednesday, June 13th!

I use the vanilla stevia in my plain greek yogurt to make it delicious and in most of my baked goods. As for the lemon and orange flavored stevia bottles, I mainly use them for drinks, but there are several muffin recipes on this blog that utilize lemon and orange flavors. Here is some inspiration:

Refreshing, Sugar Free Lemonade

  • 2 handfuls ice
  • grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 dropper lemon stevia
  • 2-3 cups water, to taste
  • optional: handful frozen blueberries

Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a tall glass or pitcher and stir! Enjoy.

Orange Coriander Oat Bran Muffins

Adapted from Cake Batter and Bowl

Recipe: Makes 8-12 muffins

Dry ingredients -

  • 1 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • handful raisins

Wet ingredients -

  • 2 droppers NuNaturals Orange liquid stevia (or 1/4 cup more sugar)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • the zest of one small orange
  • the juice of two oranges (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 egg

Toppings -

  • sprinkle rolled oats
  • sprinkle of sunflower seeds
  • shake of cinnamon

Directions – Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet in a separate bowl. Mix. Pour the wet over the dry and mix with a spatula until just combined. Pour into a baking muffin tin. Sprinkle rolled oats, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

Light and quick… whole grain pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Twice now I have asked readers to divulge what recipes they would like me to post. While I have fulfilled many of the requests, there has been one that has been haunting me. More than any other baked good, dessert, entree, drink, or snack, you people have been wanting… cinnamon rolls.

you would never, ever in a billion years think these were healthy

At first, I didn’t know what to do with that request. How can I make a juicy, sugar-laden cinnamon roll fit into my healthy living blog?

Well. Apparently, one can make a cinnamon roll whole grain, sneak in some flax, shove in some veggies, decrease the sugar and butter (although there ain’t nothin wrong with butter), and still have it taste a m a z i n g . Furthermore, to indulge in my laziness, I used zero yeast and didn’t have to wait around for the dough to rise. Or whatever?

These were so good that I brought a couple over to my neighbors (who were born during the Mesolithic era) as an apology for Nina barking at night a couple weeks ago.

So good that my room mates swarmed them as soon as they came out of the oven.

So good that I shamelessly sequestered two from the pan and am hoarding them in my freezer for… later…

Whole grain pumpkin cinnamon rolls

very low sugar and fat and all whole grain!

Recipe: Makes ~16 cinnamon rolls

Dough

  • 1  + 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 2 tablespoons NuNaturals stevia baking blend (or sugar)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk (mine had gone bad so I used 1/4 cup half and half and 1/2 cup almond milk)

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup NuNaturals baking blend stevia (or sugar)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or more baking blend)
  • 1/4 tsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • dash salt
Directions - 
For the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix to form a pasty mixture. Using your hands is helpful. Set aside.
For the dough, combine all of the ingredients except the milk  in a large bowl and mix well. Add the milk and mix until a soft dough forms.
Lay down a sheet of wax paper and cover with a decent layer of flour. Scoop half of the dough onto the paper and roll out so that it is about 1/4 inch thick and in the shape of a piece of paper. Spread half of the filling over the dough. For mini buns, roll the dough hot dog style. For full sized cinnamon rolls, roll it the other direction (so that the roll is thicker, not longer). Slice the roll as thick as you want the cinnamon rolls to be. 
Repeat with the other half of the dough. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. ENJOY!!!!!!!

Benefits:

Flax seeds * are loaded with omega 3′s (specifically alpha linolenic acid) which can reduce inflammation! Omega 3s are also used to prevent blood clots and increase cell plasticity (which can help diabetics). Daily flax consumption can lower cholesterol levels and also provides a healthy dose of fiber in every tablespoon!

Whole wheat flour * The outer bran layer in whole grains is where the fiber, vitamins, and minerals are, which is why you should ditch the white.

Pumpkin * An impressive source of vitamins A and C and iron, manganese, and riboflavin! Also is high in fiber ;)

Cinnamon * The coolest thing about cinnamon is its ability to control blood sugar. Meaning, within reason, that if you use a fair amount of cinnamon in a dish that has sugar or another fast digesting carbohydrate, it will help prevent the blood glucose spike that you would normally get. Why does blood sugar matter? Spikes in blood sugar are bad for your health because they cause your body to increase insulin production. Insulin, among many other things, tells your body to store fat. Therefore, eating a sugary/high-in-simple-carbohydrate meal = blood sugar spike = insulin spike = store fat.

perfect.

I baked my first cake (and I accidently made it gluten free).

Life has this weird ability to speed up slow down simultaneously. I finished summer school on Friday after taking my Genetics final, but I don’t really have a break before school starts (in just a week and a half!) because sorority pre-recruitment has begun. It still creeps me out that I joined a sorority, but as false and cliche as it sounds – it really is different here. Essentially all of the girls are intelligent, hilarious, down to earth, and each bring something unique to the table. I mean, just look at these quality texts!:

get yer geek on at a frat party – why not?

obsessive use of emojis <3

There isn’t much drama (at least not that I’m aware of – which I guess isn’t saying much) and there aren’t any condescending rules or mandatory obligations. I see it as a nice little social safety net. After my experience at UCSB, I definitely can use a little backup support… I missed the first week of pre-recruitment due to summer school and my internship, so today was my first full day. Full day meaning 10am to 5pm.  The goings-on are all under wraps, but I can tell you that the days most hilarious task was bleaching rocks. Apparently the rocks that line our gardens have to be a pristine and sparkly white to wow the potential new members –  bahaha! Fine with me though, seeing as the alternative was crafting, which I am bizarrely incapable of.

Also – I started a new paying job a few weeks ago! I am the sample girl at Nugget and Food 4 Less, two local grocery chains owned by the same company. So far I have sampled organic, ready-made salads by Earthbound farms and a probiotic drink called Yakult! All nerded out:

would you like to try a blueberry quinoa salad with organic greens? 

or how about some probiotics?

In regards to the title of this post, last week was my friend Thibault’s birthday. He was throwing a potluck style BBQ and I had no idea what to bring. I had never baked a cake before, so it seemed meant to be that I bake a birthday cake to bring. I had been itching to use my stash of coconut flour and I have been on a peanut butter kick lately and thus..

[Gluten free] Coconut layer cake with coconut vanilla cream cheese frosting

was born! The secret ingredient is 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the icing. It adds such a light flavor of peanut that some people couldn’t discern its presence. A peanut butter scented coconut cream cheese frosting, if you will. It was a hit. People had no idea that it was gluten free and really seemed to enjoy it. Many people asked for seconds, and some even got thirds! Which is probably the most flattering thing to me – ever. The recipe is also very easy to make dairy free. I used this recipe to figure out the ratio of egg to coconut flour needed for a successful flourless cake. Also worth noting is that

this cake has 80 grams of fiber in it. and we all know I like fiber.

Recipe: Makes 1 double layer cake

Wet ingredients - 

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar (I used a mixture of white sugar, homemade vanilla bean sugar, and coconut sugar – but it doesn’t really matter)

10 eggs (at room temperature; DO NOT USE LESS EGGS)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1/3 cup milk (you can use more coconut milk, I just didn’t want to open another can)

2 droppers full of NuNaturals liquid stevia

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Dry ingredients - 

2 cups coconut flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut + plus 1 cup more for layering over the icing

Directions – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-9 1/2 inch cake layer pans with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and mix vigorously (or use an electric mixer, which I don’t have). Add in the eggs one at a time and continuously mix. After all the eggs have been added, add the vanilla extract, stevia, and coconut oil and mix for another minute or two, until well combined. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the coconut milk to the sugar/butter mixture.  Beat batter for about 5 minutes, until smooth. Divide batter into the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are light brown and they pass the toothpick test. Place pans on wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake. Let them cool completely before frosting the first layer. Add a layer of sweetened shredded coconut over the top of the icing and then lay down the next layer of cake. Ice the entire cake. Sprinkle and press coconut shreds all over the cake, into the icing.

For the icing:

16 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar (I used a mix of homemade vanilla bean sugar and white sugar – you could also use a bit less sugar and add in some stevia)

1/4 cup butter

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions – Combine everything except the sugar in a bowl and whip until creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, mixing it well. Ice the cooled cake

The pictures do not do it justice! I was in a rush to get to the BBQ and obviously I had to wait until the cake was cut to take a picture of the inside. The lighting was shameful.

so good he ate the secretly-stashed slice for breakfast and lunch the next day!

the innards, filled with coconut shreds and cream cheese frosting

BENEFITS:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

I’m out!

NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway!

I am a huge fan of stevia. I have tried almost every brand out there and I can honestly say that NuNaturals is the best. Most other brands have a bitter aftertaste or just taste a lil’ funky. NuNaturals is also the only brand I have been able to easily bake with. Their Baking Blend can be used in the same amounts as sugar, so you don’t have to do any crazy conversions or substitutions.

Why not just use sugar? Because the body doesn’t need it! Yes, it is true that our brains can only use glucose, but that is what carbohydrates (fruit, veg, rice, bread, etc) are made of. Straight up refined sugar is not nutritionally necessary and can have many negative effects on the body, like raising blood sugar, spiking insulin, causing insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes. Furthermore, your cells can convert dietary protein (and lactate, pyruvate, and the glycerol backbone of fat) to glucose, which is why you don’t die on Atkins.

Stevia can be found in my recipes for raw blueberry cheesecake, nutty bars, skinny margaritas, yogurt pops, blackberry pecan muffins, and more.

However, I know stevia is pretty expensive, especially the liquid kind, so I am super excited to announce that…

4 Whole Wheat or Bust readers will win a box of 50 stevia packets and a bottle of NuNaturals [famous] vanilla liquid stevia!

I rarely enter blog giveaways, but I always do when its stevia or protein powder. I recommend you hop on this gravy train. It’s eazay:

1. One entry for commenting with a recipe you would like to see featured or ‘healthified’ on the blog.

2. One entry for commenting with a suggestion for something you would like to see more and/or less of on Whole Wheat or Bust (like workouts, personal information, specific types of recipes, health facts, news, photos, posts in general).

3. One, two, or three entries for posting about this giveaway on your blog, facebook, and/or twitter. Just make sure you leave a separate comment for each!

4. One entry for telling me something health related that you want to learn more about. (For example, B vitamins, the female athlete triad, the insulin index, dietary cholesterol…)

Also, NuNaturals has kindly offered to send you free samples of their NuStevia Packets if you send a self-addressed, stamped, # 10 envelope to them at:

NuNaturals, INC
2220 West 2nd Ave. # 1
Eugene, OR  97402

Anddd, Whole Wheat or Bust readers get  a special  15% discount and free shipping on orders over 35$ on online orders at www.nunaturals.com ! At the checkout page, enter the code BLG930.

The giveaway ends in 10 days, on August 18th, 2011!

Woo, that was a mouthful! I hope you all enter the giveaway and have a wonderful Monday!

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from Lake Tahoe! This weekend has truly been a blessing. Carlyn and I drove to Tahoe early Friday morning to her parent’s new home on North Shore. It is the longest period of time I have been able to spend with her throughout our entire friendship. She is the busiest girl I know. She wants to be a vet and apparently getting into vet school is even harder than med and law school combined. I have to fight for a sliver of her time between her two jobs, internship, and school – so obviously spending an entire weekend with her and her fam has been extra special. We have gone hiking…

We have tanned…

We have eaten delicious food and made fresh mojitos…

And simply enjoyed the beauty around us..

In 4th of July spirit, I have a recipe that can easily be made red, white and blue! Just add a few red sprinkles or cherry chunks ;)

Vanilla Cashew Blueberry Cookies

sugar free but delish!

soo creamy

Recipe: Makes ~10 cookies

Dry ingredients - 

1/2 cup whole wheat white flour

1/2 cup NuNaturals baking blend stevia (can sub in sugar in equal quantities)

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup blueberries

optional: dash cinnamon and/or tbsp brown sugar

Wet ingredients - 

1 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp cashew butter

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (except blueberries) and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet bowl and mix with a spatula until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Take a spoonful of cookie dough, roll into a ball, and flatten onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes.

they were a hit –  literally gone in 10 seconds

Benefits:

Cashews * may help prevent gall stones and are a prime source of copper, tryptophan, magnesium, and phosphorous. Low copper intake can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, elevated LDL cholesterol (bad), and join problems. Inadequate magnesium can lead to muscle cramps (the kind that wake you up at night in agony), headaches, high blood pressure, and fatigue. While obviously high in fat, most of it is monounsaturated and may help lower triglyceride levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

Finals: Survival Mode

First of all, I just want to thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post. Y’all are truly the best.

*

You know that biochemistry lab I have been bitching about for the last 9 weeks? Well, it is finally over. Completely. No more labs. No more lab reports. No more mid-protein-assay break downs. No more quizzes. And no more final.

I had so much anxiety about the final that it caused me to stress eat. Stress eating is something that I think is very common amongst women (especially school-aged), and is even more prevalent around midterms and finals. However, I usually don’t have much of a problem with it. I’ve found that if you fill up on mostly balanced and nutritious foods during the day, you don’t really have all that much room to cram in froyo, cookies, and brownie bars. But this lab final bypassed all that logic and sensibility and had me scouring our kitchen for anything with a 6 carbon chain and a hydroxyl group on the end. (AKA sugaaaaaa.) After a day or two of that, enough was enough. I decided to make something that was sweet, but actually satisfying and healthy to boot. And thus, the personal blueberry pie was born.

Comfort food at its best

This little pie is sugar free, made from whole grains, and packs a punch of antioxidants. Sweet and delicious. Best of all, it can be made in under 5 minutes flat, if you want. The blubes burst in the microwave (or oven) and soak the granola and coconut in sweet blueberry juice. [Since it is sugar free, all you bloggers who are doing Alex's sugar free challenge can feel free to imbibe in this lil' beauty!]

5 ingredients – say whattt?!

Personal Vanilla Blueberry Pie

suga free and supa easy.

Recipe: Serves 1

3/4 cup blueberries (I am obsessed with Rhythm and Blueberries, if you’re local!)

2 tbsp plain greek yogurt

4-5 drops vanilla NuNaturals stevia (or regular stevia + a few drops vanilla extract)

2 tbsp Love Grown Granola + 2 tbsp high fiber cereal (I used Fiber One Honey Clusters)

1-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut shreds

pinch salt

Directions – In a bowl, combine the blueberries, greek yogurt, stevia, and salt. Mix well. Scrape into a small ramekin. Top with granola, cereal, and coconut. To cook, either microwave for 1 minute (or until the blueberries have burst) or bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream!

my precious… 

Benefits:

Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

Oats * A prime source of soluble fiber which has been proven to help lower total cholesterol levels. They also contain a unique antioxidant called avenanthramides which prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is good because the oxidation of LDL cholesterol is part of the atherosclerosis process. Basically, oats help prevent heart disease. They also contain selenium, potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.

[source]

I have been meaning to do a review of Love Grown Food’s granola for ages now. They kindly sent me two flavors: Raisin Almond Crunch and Sweet Cranberry Pecan. Honestly, both were so good that this was the only recipe I was able to make with them before my housemates polished it all off! I am not usually a big granola fan, but Love Grown’s texture is really different – in a great way. It is very crunchy and light. And they don’t skimp on the goods, which is both rare and awesome. There are giant coconut flakes in every bite and each flavor had plenty of cranberries, raisins, and nuts. To top it all off, they don’t add any artificial flavors, HFCS or hydrogenated fats (blech) to their products. Definitely a fabulous granola.