Saturday, 22 March 2014

Natvia: giving back pancake day to people with D!

It's possible that when Natvia sent me two tubs of their all natural sweetener to try out with accompanying Bundt tin, they may have been overestimating my cake-making abilities just a tad.  The Great British Bake-Off may be all the rage at the moment, but unless they appreciate a beautifully microwaved omelette, I won't be on the show any time soon.

The people at Natvia: clearly not familiar with the
Presswell cookery skill level.
But there are plenty of ways I could use a decent sweetener in my life.  Since products containing aspartame became wildly unpopular after consumers discovered the many damning reports of links to cancer, toxic ingredients, notorious side-effects and the often too-bitter after-taste, there hasn't been a great deal on the market. Until recently.  

Natvia, a sweetener made from the Stevia plant, is a superb alternative.  The texture is similar to that of sugar, but with a cleaner, lighter taste.  In short, the leaf of the Stevia plant is ground up and blended with Erythritol, a naturally occurring nectar (found in melons) in order to give it the grainy texture of sugar.  It is low GI and can be used spoon-for-spoon in place of sugar.

Most of the time I've learnt to just cut sweetener out all together, but there are two major - very major - exceptions.

Coffee, and pancakes. 

The Presswell's do lent!
There is simply no substitute for a delicious morning coffee (or ten) with a dusting of sweetness to take the bite out of it  Sadly, aspartame-based sweeteners have a knack for adding a cheek-sucking bitterness that can ruin even the finest rich Columbian. Natvia, on the other-hand, with its sugar-mimicking taste gave me the sense for the first time in years, that I was enjoying a genuine barista-made coffee.  

The other treat that delights the palates of those living in the Presswell household, is pancakes.  And not these fandagled Banoffee/chocolate-marshmallow/peanut butter/cocoa crunch/strawberry ripple/chocolate raspberry pancakes.  I mean the genuine article: plain old-fashioned sugar and freshly squeezed lemon.  But with 5g of GI  blood-glucose spanking carbs in every teaspoon, sugar is a nightmare for people with D the world over.

This year however, I was just 6 pancakes into the stack Jamie had prepared us by the time I was thanking the gods for Natvia.  Never have I enjoyed a lent so much in living memory.  Mainly because diabetes and something called the Glycaemic Index, had other ideas!

So thank you Natvia, for giving me back pancake day!

You can get yours by shopping here. And remember, pancakes are for every day, not just for lent!

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