Stevia & Chocolate

While I was in Aruba I won Jennifer of Knack for Nutrition’s giveaway for NuNatuals Stevia.

I adore stevia.  But, I never used to like it.  In fact, I thought it tasted kinda awful.

I was, however, using other brands and that was one issue.  Bad stevia is really bad!

But, stevia is one of those foods or items that has really grown on me and now I can’t imagine my life without it!  I have an entire post dedicated to my Stevia Recipes

I use these drops in everything.

Especially in Vanilla Iced Coffees or just in coffee in general.

I brought down a couple bottles of my beloved Vanilla Stevia Drops to Aruba.

I buy the vanilla stevia drops from iHerb.com because they have the best prices on them.  Use coupon code AVE630 at checkout to save $5 on your order and never pay retail price again on everything from nutritional yeast to protein powder to vitamins to stevia.

I love stevia so much that I traveled down to Aruba with a suitcase full of white powderTry explaining that one to Customs. Seriously, I’ve done it many times and there’s never been an issue.  The only issue is I usually underestimate how much I will go through and wish I had brought a bit more!

The stevia was buried underneath the chocolate chips.

Speaking of chocolate chips, Enjoy Life Foods sent me some of their Double Chocolate Crunch Granola and their Semi-Sweet Mega Chocolate Chunks

I love that their products are free from so many allergens (nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, kosher) and that tastes is not compromised.  The granola I tried is chocolatey and definitely crunchy.  I tend to prefer chewier granola in general like this oneJust my own little personal preference.  But chocolate anything is music to my ears and this was tasty.

I love these!

Normally I don’t splurge on allergen-friendly chocolate because rumor has it TJ’s chocolate chips are dairy free, vegan, and gluten free (even though they are not labeled as such and are not tested like the Enjoy Life products are nor are they processed on special equipment), but it’s what I usually buy because at $1.99/bag, I can’t beat it.  Unless Enjoy Life wants to send me more ChunksLove em!

I think I will make up a batch of No Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles with the chunks to be used for melty dippage for the cake batter portion of the truffles.

Or maybe just put chunks into

No Bake Toffee & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

My last post Quickly, Grateful was a speed-blogging special.  I was on the fly but not too busy to be grateful.   Even for some silly things.

Questions:

1. Do you like stevia?

As I said in the post, I adore stevia now, but I never used to like it.  In fact, I thought it tasted kinda awful and chemically!

I was, however, using other brands and that was one issue.  Of all the brands I’ve tried, NuNaturals is my favorite however there are others like flavored SweetLeaf brand stevia drops that are quite good, too.

Stevia is one of those foods or items that has really grown on me and now I can’t imagine my life without it!

I also like real sugar (brown and white), agave, honey, dates, and other sweeteners, too.  You can read my thoughts on “healthifying” desserts, and why I take no great pleasure in that. So stevia is just one tool in my toolbox.  But it’s a great one!

2. Do you like chocolate?

Silly question, right?  I know there are a few people who are just meh about chocolate. <–who are you people if that’s really the case.  I’ve only “heard” of people like this.

I love chocolate.

See my Chocolate Recipes compilation if you need proof!

Including Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies (you can bake them in the oven or dehydrate them)

P.S. Thanks for the entries on the Coconut Oil Giveaway.  Keep ‘em coming!

   

73 Responses to “Stevia & Chocolate”

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    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — June 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I just started using Stevia in the Raw. I’ve never seen those drops before! You are my kind of girl with the yummy iced coffee staring down at me! :)

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    Jordan @ foods sweat and beers — June 8, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I’ve literally never tried Stevia but am VERY fond of chocolate and, after seeing the picture, super envious of those Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles. Vanilla, chocolate, and no need to bake?! a summer sweet tooth’s dream come true!

    Reply

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    Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh — June 8, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I have never used Stevia in recipes before but I see it in alot of peoples. I saw it in the grocery store the otherday an was intrigued but didnt buy it. And yes I LOOVE chocolate. More than anything :)

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    O.C. — June 8, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I like Stevie and my perfered branda are Nunatural and Stevia in the raw I also really like the vanilla flavored one that you mentioned. Especailly in coffee or my morning oats!
    And who doesn’t like chocolate?! I am so hooked on your raw vegan coconut oil fudge right now :)

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    Emily — June 8, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I love stevia! NuNaturals is definitely the best kind of stevia, I use it every morning in my coffee! But despite my love for stevia I’m still obsessed with maple syrup, honey, and real sugar as well as naturally sweet foods like dried fruit (especially dates!) :)

    Reply

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    Emily @ comfortable home life — June 8, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I’ve never had stevia! I should jump on the train and get some. No excuse with your sweet discount. I looooove chocolate! My sister is one of those people who doesn’t like chocolate. Crazy, I know. I prefer dark chocolate over all other kinds, hands down.

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    natasha — June 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Your raw vegan choc choc chip cookies are the best! I made a batch yesterday– the kids gobbled up half before the other half made it to the dehydrator. I brought three with me to have for lunch after my salad today. I know I have mentioned before, but thanks so much for all the yummy recipes you share!!

    I’m NOT a stevia fan but now you have me thinking I need to try different brands out. I usually sweeten with agave.

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    Mellissa — June 8, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I am one of those meh people. Seriously! I don’t love chocolate. I would much rather have chips or salt of some kind. Now when I do want chocolate it must be dark, a piece of really good dark chocolate makes me happy.

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    Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers — June 8, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I haven’t tried stevia yet (unless it was added to something packaged), but I love chocolate. I don’t usually crave chocolate bars or chips, but a good truffle is a verrryyyyy good thing!

    Reply

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    Missy — June 8, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I love the NuNaturals stevia, especially the vanilla drops! I use them all the time. I’ve mentioned it here before, but I also really really love the NOW brand French Vanilla liquid stevia. I have the powder packets too, but I love the liquid better.

    I’m not a big chocolate fan (gasp!). As a child I always picked caramel over chocolate. Pralines and cream was my choice ice cream while my chocoholic sister got fudge brownie. I could eat a whole bag of caramels, no problem but chocolate. No thanks, I just don’t crave it like so many people I know.
    But your recipes always look so good – with or without chocolate!

    Reply

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    Beth — June 8, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I jumped on the Stevia early on. Got my father and sister in law to try it and now they both use it. So far I’ve only tried the powder, but I must be using a good brand because there is no bitterness. My parents had to order theirs online because their local store doesn’t carry it anymore. The upside was the “buy in bulk” discount they got :)

    OMG – love chocolate. Especially dark chocolate. We will be finishing off Angela’s Double Chocolate Torte (no bake) tonight. Might have to make some of your Chocolate Coconut Snowballs, along with your No Bake Coconut & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls so there is something in the freezer waiting for us.

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    Sara — June 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Averie! I am coming to san diego next weekend for a wedding and my birthday. It will be a quick trip but I was just wondering if you have any must-go places? I was born there and my husband spent 2 years living there but we are always looking for new places. I would love a restaurant that offers gluten free and/or vegan options (I am not completely vegan but do love eating clean and healthy) but that is also delicious! If you have time to write me back that would be great. If not I completely understand, you are one busy woman!

    ps I am obsessed with making the no bake chocolate chip balls!

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — June 8th, 2011 at 12:44 pm

      it depends where you’re staying, what your access to transportation will be, what you want to spend$$, indoors, outdoors, structure, or not, etc etc…so many variables!

      For both food and things to do the parts of San Diego I may look into more would be
      Encinitas
      Del Mar
      La Jolla
      Hillcrest
      Downtown
      Gaslamp District downtown
      Coronado Island

      Really any beaches are great and just do your research and if you find a few restaurants that you’d like me to give you a thumbs up or down, an A or B, I can once you narrow it all down! Have fun!

      Reply

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    Maria @ Scandifoodie — June 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Recently I’ve been using natvia, which is a natural sweetener. Stevia is also good. I do like my chocolate, but I can only have minimum 85% cocoa chocolate, everything else tastes way too sweet!

    Reply

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    jen @ taste life — June 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I’m still on the fence about Stevia. I bought some packets by Stevia in the Raw a couple of weeks ago. I’ve added them to protein muffins and smoothies. I don’t mind the taste when I’m eating/drinking the foods, but sometimes I think the aftertaste is weird. HEAB loves Nunaturals best, too, so maybe I need to give that brand a shot.

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    Heidi @ Food Doodles — June 8, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I actually do like stevia since trying NuNaturals. You’re totally right, bad stevia is baaaaaaaaaaaaad.
    Chocolate? You know I love it :D But my hubby is one of those people that doesn’t care for it. In fact he’ll go out of his way not to eat chocolate. How weird is he? He definitely loves his salty things more, he’ll take chips over sweet things any day.

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    cathy — June 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

    i love stevia and it’s thanks to your blog that i tried it when i started drinking coffee. i ONLY like coffee with stevia!!
    i use New Roots stevia concentrate (powder) – never tried any other brands, so can’t compare tastes, but i have no issue with the New Roots brand.
    love chocolate!!! i’m not an addict or anything, but definitely a fan!

    Reply

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    Holly @ The Runny Egg — June 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I love chocolate and I really want to try those chunks! I saw them on Spabettie’s blog (I think) — and I want them!

    Stevia — I finally have some to use at home and I love the NuNaturals so far!

    Reply

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    Tamizn — June 8, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I love stevia but I LOVE chocolate more the darker the better! x x

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    dragonmamma/naomi — June 8, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Even though I’ve always HATED stevia in the past, you’ve never led me wrong when it comes to food, so I trusted your recommendation for the NuNaturals liquid vanilla stevia. And I LIKE IT! I’ve been using the drops in my coffee and tea.

    However, it’s a bit pricey to use in smoothies and desserts where I need larger amounts, so I guess it’s time to give their powder a try. I’m going to start with the smallest box of packets.

    Reply

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    Jess — June 8, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Love stevia. Love chocolate. :D

    Haha, “ma’am, what are you doing with white powder in your suitcase”?! ;)

    Those chocolate truffles look AMAZING!!

    Reply

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    Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews — June 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

    That brand of stevia is definitely the best!

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    Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn — June 8, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Stevia is my favorite favorite thing. One time though a dietitician referred to it as an “artificial sweetener” and advised people stay from it. Excuse me??

    Reply

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    kris (everyday oats) — June 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

    chocolate is my middle name ;)
    I just recently tried NuNaturals vanilla stevia drops and I’ve been loving it in my coffee! I haven’t had the chance to try it out in baking yet. I was afraid it might give baked goods that artificial-ish taste.

    Reply

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    Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope — June 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Love receiving goodies in the mail! I’ve never used stevia before, but I definitely think it’s a great option as a sweetener. So many sweeteners are basically artificial “junk,” but stevia offers something different and, from what I’ve heard, tastes pretty darn good!

    I’ve never been a big chocolate fan… I know, crazy! ;) Although I’ll enjoy it in foods, I’m not one to say yes to a plain chocolate bar. It’s just too much for me! I actually prefer white chocolate.

    Reply

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — June 8, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I am a big fan of the NuNaturals Stevia period. I just ran out of my liquid vanilla (insert curse words). As for chocolate, not a fan at all. I think I’m one of the only women on earth not a fan of chocolate LOL

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    Ali — June 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Averie or anyone else, which Stevia product do you use for baking? I really want to give it a shot. Thanks :)

    Reply

    • Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) replied: — June 8th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      I use the vanilla drops in baked goods, but use less sugar. NuNaturals has some baking blends too that you can use cup for cup in place of sugar. They do have a flavor to them, just so you know before you get in to it. You might want to go half and half on it to begin with, just to get used to it.

      Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — June 8th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      There are sooooo many different types of baking blends, no carb blends, some that have more “volume” by weight so they are more like the same volume and sweetness than sugar is…just research them all and see what sounds like the best fit for your needs.

      Reply

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    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — June 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I’m a big stevia fan too! It took me a while– but once I discovered NuNaturals, I was hooked!

    Reply

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    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — June 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I love NuNaturals and the vanilla drops go in just about everything! The extract is great in coffee too! I’m not really a chocolate lover, but every once in a while I get the need for some!

    Reply

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    Leslie — June 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Chocolate—always! Stevia—sometimes. I am still getting used to the flavor. I have found that it really works best in liquids and not so much raw cookies or baked things. I can’t even describe the flavor if too much is used, but it’s a little off! I have started using flavored stevia drops in tea and coffee and it’s worked out pretty good!

    Reply

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    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — June 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    When I was introduced to stevia (years ago) I promised myself I would NEVER, EVER use it again. It was SO awful. Problem was, I was using it like sugar, way too much! In school, we learned how fantastic it was, so I gave it another try. Over time, I’ve learned that less is more. Just a drop’ll do ya!

    Reply

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    The Teenage Taste — June 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I know this is sorta unheard of in Blog World, but I’ve never tried stevia before. My family members are huge Splenda junkies so whenever I want some low-cal sweetening I just use that. Is Stevia really that much better for you than Splenda if I only use about 2 packets a day? I’m curious!
    Have a great day! :-D

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — June 8th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Do you research and do what works for YOU! I use Splenda sometimes too. But if I have my choice, I prefer stevia. Everything in life is a balancing act and we all do what we can as best we can and just do what you feel comfortable with.

      Reply

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    Colleen — June 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I have never tried stevia, no one around me really has it, but I absolutely ADORE chocolate :)

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    Felicia (Natural + Balanced) — June 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    i LOVE that vanilla stevia… its the best! esp in iced coffee and plain greek yogurt :)

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    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli — June 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Averie!! I have been such a bad bloggy friend! I am SO behind on your posts…please don’t hate me! :(

    “I love stevia so much that I traveled down to Aruba with a suitcase full of white powder. Try explaining that one to Customs” <– Haha! Love it! Uh, sure ma'am…sure that is just powdered sweetener!

    Until recently (I got lucky enough to win a NuNaturals giveaway on Spabetti's blog), I had only tried the SweetLeaf brand liquid and loved it. I've tried a few unknown brands of the powder and you're right…bad Stevia is awful! Ick! I can't wait to try out all the new products from the giveaway! I'll definitely be looking into some of your lovely recipes!

    I could take or leave chocolate…I realize recently I'm becoming more of a fan of carob everyday! Which is weird because the first time I tried it, I hated it! Funny how things grow on you…same thing goes with SSB and I LOVE that stuff!

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    melissa @ the delicate place — June 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    i do like stevia but you are right, bad stevia is really bad as in it makes me pull an awful face it’s so chemically tasting!

    chocolate? um yes. i love it!

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    Alison — June 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    NuNaturals is my absolute FAVORITE Stevia brand. I had bought a bottle of Kal and that stuff is absolutely wicked (in my opinion). The taste seemed off and didn’t work for anything unless it was a baked item.

    Also have tried the flavored SweetLeaf and those are pretty good in coffee/tea. I bought a little tin of the Sweet Leaf dissolving tablets that fit perfectly in my purse. Very convenient for using at the restaurant.

    I switched away from stevia in the raw because I was told it contains other sugars besides stevia. Need to do more research to confirm though.

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    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — June 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Enjoy Life makes choc chunks! That’s awesome! I’ll pick some up when I see them. Chunks are fun, as are mini chips.

    I love nunaturals stevia. It blows the competition out of the water.

    Fg and ts hate me today. :(

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — June 8th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      TS hasnt liked me in a month. No worries. It’s 2 to 1, FG to TS for me. And now that I am not in Aruba with tons of extra cooking time, the actual recipe submissions are few and farther between so a rejection is a double whammy. I feel you!

      Reply

      • Baking 'n' Books replied: — June 8th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

        What are these secret codes?! TS? FG?! ;)

        Chocolate? YES.

        I wish NuNaturals was sold here. Not in my part of Canada. I have a hard time nailing down a good brand as well. Many have maltodextrin and inulin and stuff in it too I think? Not sure if that’s good or not but i still use it.

        Maple syrup is my ultimate fave though :)

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    Jess@HealthyExposures — June 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I hear you on stevia just being another tool in the toolbox. There’s so much available sweetener-wise these days that I would be foolish to choose just one to work with ;) I do prefer stevia in my iced coffee, though! Just a drop, and I like the cocoa bean best. Not even sure if that’s stevia though, or just cocoa bean extract! The stuff I’ve baked with it (using NuNaturals) has come out well thus far, too! I’ll admit it – I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting to like it!
    Chocolate? I’m sorta meh. Sometimes I’ll get the hankering for something chocolatey (mainly dark!) but usually just a bite or two will keep me happy. And then there are times when I need to make carob-pb brownies/cookies, like yesterday :P
    (reading over that sounds like an oxymoron. First I say I like the cocoa bean extract and then I say I’m meh about chocolate. i guess the cocoa bean extract in the amount i use doesn’t really taste cocoa-y! haha.)

    Reply

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    Christine (The Raw Project) — June 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    That vanilla stevia is good, but pricey. I actually like the Whole Foods brand dropper, it’s considerably cheaper and not bitter at all. SweetLeaf stevia is a little bitter to me.

    The granola looks good.

    1. Yes, great for desserts, smoothies and coffee.
    2. Yup, I go through a lot of cacao powder making raw chocolate desserts.

    Reply

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    julie — June 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    hahaha i use nunaturals vanilla stevia SO much that its probably running through my veins along with my blood. sometimes i just add it to things and don’t even realize thats what i’m doing. its probably one of the best things to happen to my food life haha

    Reply

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    Bria @ West of Persia — June 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Hey Averie, I’m back. :-) My transition back from running my Yoga retreat this past weekend has been much slower than your shift back from Aruba. Alas, it’s all good.

    I love stevia, but I agree, it used to taste bad. I think the stevia technology has really involved. Yes, brand is one issue. I clearly remember it tasting like slightly bitter licorice as recently as about 3 years ago. It’s come a long way. Thank goodness, because it’s a staple in my house.

    LOL at white powder/clearing airport security. How about bags and bags of green herbs? They were Persian cooking herbs stashed in my suitcase, but they gave the airport security peeps pause at LAX a few years back. Ha!

    Chocolate is practically a food group to me. ‘Nuff said.

    Reply

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    kristina@beancakes — June 8, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    heck yes i love chocolate!! i don’t normally take stevia, but i do like it. that iced coffee looks amazing!!
    xoxo~ kristina
    http://beancakes.wordpress.com/
    p.s. check out my blog post tomorrow… i will email you the details averie ;)

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — June 8th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      comment back to me with a link if there’s something you want me to see. that’s the best way :)

      Reply

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    candice — June 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    love stevia! Just wish it wasn’t so pricey… and I LOVE chocolate!! In fact I just ate pretty much an entire bag while my cookies were baking!!

    Reply

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    Tanya @ Sunday Baker — June 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try Stevia (glad you mentioned that the namebrand makes a difference!) but I am leary-is it all natural?

    I love chocolate very very much!

    Reply

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    Brooke — June 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Hello! I have been reading and following your blog for months now, but have just recommitted to my own blog (and the blogs I follow) so, I’M BACK :)

    I am so apprehensive about artificial sweeteners, and I haven’t done enough research about Stevia. However, the few times I’ve tried it, it’s had a kind of funny taste and after taste to it. But now I feel like I may just try it again!

    And chocolate?! I was born in Hershey, PA! I grew up with the smell of chocolate literally in the air! I don’t have a choice, but to love chocolate!

    Reply

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    Jennifer@ knackfornutrition — June 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Ah I am so far behind on blogs so of course I am the last one to comment, but I am happy you received your stevia. I think I may tap into your recipe arsenal this weekend and use up some of my supply. :) Thanks for the link back.

    Reply

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    Sabina — June 9, 2011 at 4:17 am

    hey averie!

    stevia gets a big meh from me; i don’t like the aftertaste it leaves in my mouth. :-(

    i’m a big chocolate fan! i make your coconut oil ‘chocolate’ regularly and keep in the fridge for … emergencies (well, a piece or four every day ;-) ).

    xo

    sabina

    Reply

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    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — June 9, 2011 at 8:17 am

    nunaturals is my FAVORITE! i have tried so many different types…i also really like “stevia in the raw” its the brand that makes the raw sugar but its great and not bitter at all! Ive tried different generic brands of stevia such as the one from Trader Joes and hated it bleh not for me!

    One day, when i visit you, you are going to shower me with raw desserts! :)

    Reply

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    Amber K — June 9, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Oh me, me, me! I’m pretty “meh” about chocolate. Especially if it’s by itself, I’ll pass. But if it is combined with something else like caramel, nuts, peanut butter, then I am ALL over it! Unless it’s white chocolate, which is just plain good by itself or combined with anything else, but I know it’s not “real” chocolate.

    I actually have never had bad Stevia, I normally just go cheap with Truvia, but it all tastes good to me!

    Reply

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    marla — June 9, 2011 at 9:32 am

    You know my relationship with stevia…..only like a few products and you have touched on them here. I pray that NN fixes that NoCarb blend that I told you about. That is my all time favorite product by them. xo

    Reply

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