Friday, May 27, 2011

susta review

i am not a baker. i am a giant failure in the cooking sweet morsely goodness department. and honestly, i try to avoid processed white sugar as much as possible. but when i was asked to try a new natural sweetener called SUSTA, i accepted, thinking it would be an interesting opportunity to try some not so bad for you sugary snacks.

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a few facts:

  • SUSTA is an all natural sweetener that is a low glycemic index food. meaniing, when you use SUSTA as a substitute for sugar, it won't give you that sugar rush followed by a crash. in other words, it doesn't affect your blood sugar levels as badly, making it great for people suffering from diabetes. 
  • SUSTA is low calorie. each packet contains only 5 calories.
  • SUSTA contains fiber and probiotics which aid in digestion.
  • SUSTA is safe for use in pregnant/nursing women, children and those with diabetes. 
  • there are no chemicals or processed ingredients. 
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i was sent a box of SUSTA packets and also a bag of their product called SUSTAbowl, which is just loose SUSTA in a bag to use in baking. the information sheet informed me to only substitute the sugar in a recipe up to half, so it would be half sugar, half SUSTA. 

first things first, i'm a southern girl and love some sweet tea. it was time to make some more anyway, so i decided to try replacing half of the sugar with SUSTA. i made my tea as usual, but replaced half a cup of sugar with SUSTA, and then added a half cup regular sugar. 

my first impression was that it was WAY sweeter than i expected. i usually use 1 1/2 cups of sugar when i make tea, and i think that is pretty tame, but this SUSTA tea was more sweet than that. it also had a little bit of a fruity taste, which was not something i cared for. it didn't taste bad, just not like the tea i like to drink on a regular basis.

my second attempt at tasting it was by substituting the sugar in cookies. like i said, i am not a baker. i don't know anything about baking, and as a matter of fact, i burned out my hand mixer tonight and almost lit the house on fire. this is why i buy pre-made cookies or cookie dough. but i figured the best way to really tell if it was good, was to..well.....use it. 

i decided upon the most basic sugar cookies i could find. i made the recipe and the first thing i noticed was the consistency was a little different than i am used to. it could have been my terrible baking skills, or the SUSTA, but i couldn't quite get the sugar mixture and butter to cream and it remained grainy. i added in the dry ingredients and and finished mixing (cue smoke and flash). 

i rolled out the cookies onto a cookie sheet and baked them according to the recipe. another thing i noticed was that the cookies didn't flatten out like most cookie dough does. it stayed exactly like how i dropped it. 

after they cooled, i grabbed a few and a glass of milk and got to tasting. it was all very scientific. i ate a bite, swirled it around in my wait.....that's wine.......scratch that. i took a bite, and my first reaction was that it was sweeter than i am used to. *mental note: next time use less sugar all together* this turns out to be a good thing! SUSTA is so sweet that you don't need to use as much to get the desired sweetness from your food. so, yay! less sugar! the cookies were actually really delicious. i could tell there was a difference, but it wasn't a bad difference. 

there is an odd feeling in your mouth after consuming it. i can't explain it well, but it is almost like after you spray throat spray in your mouth. no taste, just like your breath is a lot cooler or something. i'd say that might be the only negative to the product. 

some pros:
some cons:
  • the feeling after you eat it is a little weird
  • it takes a few times to get the amount right.
the website has several recipes (that i saw after making my cookies) that include SUSTA, and sound really yummy.

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