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Thursday, July 2, 2015

stevia sweet, sugar-free coffee, chocolate, or mocha


Are you intrigued by that title? Pictured here, I am holding a mug of stevia sweet, milky coffee. Love it. I'm avoiding sugar right now. Actually, I'm avoiding processed stuff in general, where possible, and I don't drink coffee every day.

But I have a confession. I love coffee. I also love sugar. I love sweet, milky, creamy coffee. It's kisses in a cup.

Another confession. I drink decaf sometimes. There really is a jar of that processed, dehydrated decaffeinated granulated coffee flavored love in my kitchen. Really, really.

You don't have to do all or nothing, I believe. It is possible to choose some natural remedies, some clean eating, some healthy habits, and still enjoy stuff like caffeine, even decapitated caffeine-flavored stuff, and not wreck the whole project. If you can't give up the shampoo, you can still make herbal hair mask treatments. If you don't want to give up all sugar, you can still bake delicious muffins and take pride in home made breakfasts. There is no standard for how crunchy you "should" be!

Okay. Grin. Little bunny trail ended.

Yes, I am avoiding sugar. I need to lose a few extra pounds and I'd rather take out the sugar from my diet than count calories -- which I hate -- so this is my way. (If you are interested, check out the Harcombe way of eating for more info. It's worth it.)

BUT. I still like the occasional sweet mug of coffee. Even decaf. It's almost 9 pm as I type and yes, I had a craving for the flavor of sweet coffee! Decaf it is. And with stevia.

Now, I've tried stevia powders. Different brands. I tried making stevia syrup and tinctures to use from a dropper bottle. Mostly, I don't add sweetness to my tea or coffee, and if I'm off sugary stuff then I seldom try to make it taste sweet without sugar. Even a natural source of sweetness does something in the brain, I think, and I like my brain to know that it doesn't need sugar so often as it might sometimes think. But occasionally... You know. A bit of sweetness. But to fall off the wagon? Nuh-uh.

Stevia herb is really easy to use. I keep a jar of cut, dried stevia herb on the shelf next to all the herbs and teas in the kitchen, and every so often if I'm really wanting something sweet in the evening I'll add a bit to a drink to take the edge off the craving. Want to know how I made my coffee? You can even make hot chocolate the same way!

1 mug milk
1 level tsp cut stevia herb

Heat on the stove, stirring to prevent scalding, until the milk is good and hot.

Strain milk of herbs. Pour into mug.

Add 2 tsp coffee powder, decaf powder, plain cocoa powder, or carob powder. Stir smooth.

That really is it. I'm sure you can sass it up a bit with some more imagination. Add a bit of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, vanilla bean extract, whatever. But for basic need-sweet fix? It only takes 2 minutes and you really do have something delicious and healthy that won't derail your blood sugar levels while you're being so good!

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