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Healthier Baking with Truvia Baking Blend and Brown Sugar Blend

Disclosure: I received a sample of Truvia Baking Blend and Truvia Brown Sugar Blend for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience using the product.  I was not financially compensated for this post.

My family has been living a healthy lifestyle this year.  It has actually been pretty easy, as there are many great, healthier options that still taste delicious when it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  With desserts and baked goods, it has been a little more difficult.  As a result, I really haven't done much baking this past year. 

Things changed for me a few weeks ago when I learned that Truvia had come out with a Brown Sugar Blend in addition to their Baking Blend, that would allow me to replace both regular and brown sugar in my baking recipes for a natural, lower calorie, low sugar alternative!  75% fewer calories (you heard me) than regular sugar and brown sugar!  See my full review below, along with some great recipes.

But first, I want to let you know that you have a few more days to enter the Truvia Baking Star Contest (click here for complete details on how to enter). Simply upload a short video (2 minutes max) of you baking your best original recipes using Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and/or Truvia Baking Blend. You could be one of three people, along with a guest of your choice, who win a trip to New York City to compete for the title of Truvia Baking Star!  You have by midnight ET October 14, 2014 to enter!

If you are a baking star, get your Truvia and get baking!

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to test the new Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and Truvia Baking Blend for some of my recipes.  What really appealed to me about this sweetener is that is has significantly less calories than a serving of regular white or brown sugar.  Given that sugar is one of the primary components of a lot of baked dessert recipes, a substitute like this has the ability to make a big dent in the amount of calories in the dessert overall.
When I was ready to get baking, my husband requested oatmeal raisin cookies (his favorite). If we were going to indulge, we wanted to do it with something we really wanted!  I found a recipe for some supposedly amazing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on, and got to work.
The recipe called for 1 cup each of brown sugar and regular sugar (translation: a LOT of sugar).  Per the substitution instructions for Truvia, I substituted these for 1/2 cup each of Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and Truvia Baking Blend.  Man oh man, these cookies were DELICIOUS!  Addictively delicious.  The sweetness and the flavor was just right... you wouldn't know offhand that it was not made with real brown sugar (which is such a key flavor in good oatmeal cookies). I did notice a slight hint of an aftertaste that reminded me of when I drink my coffee or tea with Sweet N' Low, but it wasn't a strong or bad taste.  I only noticed it in the aftertaste, and not while eating the cookies.

Here is a picture of a finished batch of these cookies, chock full of raisins.  As you can see, consistency turned out perfectly. Substituting the sugar and brown sugar did not have a negative affect on the consistency or the way the cookies baked.

Tonight, I decided to really put Truvia to the test. As it is the fall, and in the fall I inevitably crave anything pumpkin, I have been itching to bake GG's Pumpkin Bread.  This is an old family recipe on my husband's side.  GG was his great-grandmother, and had a famous recipe for pumpkin bread (long before it was cool to make everything pumpkin-flavored).

I made a batch of the bread tonight, with the only change being that I swapped the white sugar out for Truvia Baking Blend.  As you can see in the photo above, it baked perfectly. The consistency was not changed, the color remained beautiful.  As for taste, I can't notice a difference.  I didn't even detect the aftertaste this recipe that I did with the cookies.  I indulged in a delicious piece, and don't even feel guilty about it knowing that it has far less calories than it would have with regular sugar.

Here's the recipe!

GG's Pumpkin Bread
Yield: 3 Bread Loaves (Great for Gifts!)

3 Cups Sugar (or 1.5 cups of Truvia Baking Blend)
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2/3 Cups Water
2 Cups Canned Pumpkin
3 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Finely Chopped Nuts (Optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together, then distribute evenly into 3 greased bread-sized baking pans (pans shouldn't be much more than half full).

Bake for 45 - 60 minutes until toothpick stuck in the middle of the loaves comes out clean.

Don't forget to enter the Truvia Baking Star contest, and to pick up some Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and Baking Blend of your own to take some of the guilt out of your sweets baking!

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