Truvia Review and a Recipe for a Natural Sugar-Free Sweetener Blend Recipe (Homemade “Truvia”)!

Update 11.25.2014: This post is a re-post of the one originally hosted here. The old comments are in that comment thread, but there’s an error on the page that prevents it from loading properly. 

A hot sugar-free product I’ve received questions about is Truvia, sweetener that became widely available in grocery stores in 2011.

truvia-review-sample
Getting ready to review of various brands of stevia!

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 pure stevia extract I use has a pure, clean sweetness. 

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 an 8 oz bag 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.

The perfect set of measuring spoons for baking with stevia!

Homemade Natural Sweetener Blend
Yields 1
This mixture of plant derived, sugar-free sweeteners works just as well as the product in the green and white container sold on store shelves! Be sure to buy a brand of non-bitter stevia (I prefer Trader Joe’s pure stevia powder, available in TJ’s stores) to ensure the best tasting results!


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Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon (5 mL) good tasting pure stevia extract*
  2. 1 cup (50g) erythritol
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to plastic baggie.
  2. Shake baggie well to mix sweeteners. Remember to shake up the bag every time you use the sweetener to make sure the stevia and erythritol stay evenly distributed. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *I currently use Trader Joe’s Organic Stevia. It’s about half as sweet as the old, beloved NuNaturals stevia powder manufactured before they changed the formula in 2013. It is available in stores for $9.99/bottle.
Healthy Indulgences http://healthyindulgences.net/

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And now… the fun part! Here’s the cost of my homemade natural sweetener blend 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?