School is back in full swing, but fear not, readers – I am going to continue blogging while taking classes this year! In addition to recipe posts, I’ll be doing reviews of products that are buzzworthy. An item I’ve received questions about is Truvia, sweetener that became widely available in grocery stores in 2011.
Truvia is a blend of stevia extract and erythritol, the two sweeteners I have been using since 2008 in the dessert recipes on this blog.
Scroll down for my recipe for cheaper, tastier homemade Truvia substitute + photos of how to make it! I came up with a sweetener blend that’s a one-for-one substitute for Truvia after purchasing the real deal a few times (@ $7.99 per 9.8 ounces, yikes!) to test it. A premixed blend of stevia and erythritol is convenient for smoothies and coffee, but I still prefer to use stevia and erythritol and separately.
So, how does Truvia stack up with similar sweeteners? Read on for my review!
After trying out Truvia in various recipes, I’m a little disappointed in the sweetener that the manufacturer, Cargill, claims is made from “the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf.” Truvia has a distinct aftertaste–a lingering, pungent flavor note that’s a dead giveaway it’s not real sugar. I’m used to erythritol’s cooling sensation on the tongue, so I know it’s not that. I’m guessing the aftertaste comes from Cargill’s refinement process for extracting the sweet compounds from the stevia plant. The special extract they used is called “Rebiana.” By comparison with Truvia, the NuNaturals pure stevia extract I use has a pure, clean sweetness. It’s still the best-tasting stevia I’ve ever tasted, which surprised me a little since Cargill is a multi-billion dollar corporation that has pumped thousands of dollars into developing and marketing Truvia. Their taste tasters must not have tasted multiple brands of stevia to know what “good” stevia tastes like!
Another noteworthy aspect of Truvia is the artificially sweet smell of it, reminiscent of cotton candy, or perhaps toasted marshmallows? The added fragrance seems a bit unnecessary. I’ve never smelled sugar with an odor that hits you in the face when you unscrew the jar! The scent must come from the “natural flavors” listed as one of the ingredients for Truvia on the label.
Still, the taste of Truvia is tolerable. The main reason I won’t be purchasing any more Truvia is due to the cost. At $6.99 for 9.8 ounces in grocery stores, it’s expensive for the amount you get compared to my homemade blend of stevia and erythritol. I order 5 lb bags of erythritol and have a giant jar of stevia extract (a lifetime supply, pretty much!), which I combine to sweeten baked goods for the best value. Truvia cannot be purchased in bulk as far as I know.
Since I get questions from readers about using Truvia in my recipes, I decided to create a Truvia substitute. This way, if you’d like to use Truvia in place of the sweeteners I list, you’ll know the amount of stevia and erythritol that you can replace with Truvia. My recipes don’t always use the same ratio of stevia to erythritol that’s in this “Truvia”-like blend, so keep that in mind. I like to play around with amounts of each sweetener, and usually add a little xylitol in the mix to improve the flavor. The flexibility you have when you can use erythritol and stevia separately is ideal for baking.
Homemade “Truvia” Sweetener
Add ingredients to plastic baggie. Shake baggie well to mix sweeteners. To replace 1 cup of Truvia, mix 1/2 teaspoon of pure stevia extract with 1 cup erythritol. Enjoy!
And now… the fun part! Here’s the cost of my homemade substitute compared to the cost of Truvia:
With a 1-oz container of pure stevia extract, you could sweeten 43.75 cups of homemade Truvia at $0.19 cents per cup. With a 5-lb bag of erythritol, you could sweeten 11.83 cups of Truvia at $2.67 per cup.
Adding the costs per cup, 1 cup of homemade Truvia costs $2.86 per cup. 1 cup of Truvia at $6.99 per 9.8 ounce container costs $5.59 per cup. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, huh?