The craze for sugar free products is more prominent than ever! As companies like Natvia provide ‘sweet’ alternatives for the weight conscious, diabetic and fructose intolerant, it is clear that this phenomenon is here to stay. To celebrate the release of the new ‘Icing and Baking’ range at Natvia, Felicity Curtain and I were invited to a one off master class to learn how to use their product. The class was held in Melbourne Central at Sheryl’s beautiful cupcake haven, ‘ Cupcake Central’’. This very aptly named store offers a range of mind-blowing vegan, gluten free and dairy free cupcakes. I highly recommend going there… right now! Sheryl has pioneered the very first range of Natvia cupcakes on the market. Also present was Co-Founder of Natvia, Samuel Tow, who enjoyed assisting in the taste testing as much as the rest of us.
We were lucky enough to eat bake chocolate muffins with Natvia’s new products, ‘Natvia Baking’ and ‘Natvia Icing’. The muffins turned out exceptionally delicious and along the way, Sheryl made sure to teach us some tricks of the trade on how to cook with Natvia. For example, if you require your recipe to rise, 2-3 tablespoons of an acidic ingredient such as baking powder can help with the process.
The class was a really great way of learning a bit more about Natvia and how they came about. I especially liked the fact that Samuel Tow was first inspired to make Natvia when his wife was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It was also interesting to learn how Natvia is made. Samuel explained that the product uses a combination of the young part of the stevia plant and ErythrItol (a sugar alcohol) to create a sweet characteristic similar to that of sugar, but without the bitter after taste that many artificial sweeteners have. This is actually a great point to make! Natvia is one of the only sweeteners I have come across that resembles and tastes very similar to sugar.
As Natvia uses erythritol, it has a minimal effect on blood glucose levels, which can be helpful for people with diabetes. However beware, eating too much Erythritol can potentially result in a laxative effect. So remember not to overdo it!
I was really impressed by the professionalism of the whole event. From the honest and openness of Samuel Tow to the great cooking advice provided by Sheryl, it was a very enjoyable experience.
Although Natvia is a great alternative to sugar, I am not necessarily suggesting that sugar should be neglected altogether. Sugar is an important ingredient in a number of recipes and instead should be consumed in moderation to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. However, products like Natvia can play an extremely beneficial role in particular situations. For people looking to lose weight, suffering from one or more diet related diseases such as diabetes, or for those who require a fructose friendly alternative, Natvia is worth giving a try.