Thanks so much Walnut, I thought I hit an empty cavern here on this subject.
Everything you said makes complete sense. I just got off the phone with Now Foods and was left with a sense of reassurance. When a company has a comprehensive web site and old school telephone customer service, I am far more likely to buy their product. In fact I have refused to buy many products if they do not have phone contact capability in English I can easily understand. I could hear the Midwest in the voices of the people I spoke with and that tells me they are employing at least regional Americans...another big deal for me.
Unfortunately they do not have samples to offer, but they do have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so it would be easy to return to Amazon if I didn't like it...having bought a whole pound.
I was also very curious about the Chinese origin. A lot of people are dubious about Chinese food products with good reason. Now Foods quality assurance department told me they had a 40 million dollar lab for testing etc. that they already had for their supplement line, their primary business, and they supposedly use that to test for contaminates and purity in their other products. That makes me feel a little better. An electronic device is one thing from China, it may be spying on you or whatever, but stuff we ingest is a different deal...even Chinese pet food has killed and their own baby formula in China as well.
Do you find this stuff behaves like sugar? I've read some reviews that say it remains crystallized in baked goods and doesn't dissolve in liquids well. If course even sugar doesn't dissolve in cold liquids well.
You mention the stevia, and adding it to erythritol. Do you find erythritol it is less sweet than sugar as all indications show? I'm with you, I dont mind less sweet, but I'm curious. To me stevia might as well be aspartame...my taste buds reject it. Probably becasue my mom used to try to make everything with sweet and low when I was a teen...I dont have many bad childhood memories, but mom's cooking stands out! I am far more the snooty chef in my 50+ adult life!
I may have to try the Now Foods Stevia if I can get a small package. I bought the Walmart liquid stuff and its disgusting...I'd rather my tea be bitter than taste like that. You may be correct on the extraction methods.
When you say some people experience the same problems with it as sugar. What are you referring to more specifically? Weight gain? Blood sugar levels? Everything?
Also, on the "fake sugar makes you body think its real sugar", I have said that for years, but like you if it tastes good, I'm using it for the very little stuff I actually like sweet. A lot of "experts" told us egg yolks and avocados were killing us at one point and making us fat...now super-foods. Don't like today's studies? Just wait a decade...
I dont know what all things I would use the stuff with. The brown sugar product looks promising, but the problem is I do most of the cooking and my wife for now is amazingly reticent to eat any fake sugar, she'll be more likely to slide back in to honey once her diet says she can. She is the historic sugar consumer between us, I cant believe she has given it all up and wont even try one of my Atkins candies.
I'll have to make some strategic diet choices down the road as to whether to use naturals like raw honey, molasses, etc. In low carb it seems even natural sweeteners like that are a no-no. I may switch over to the no sugar diet (which allows honey at some point) to sync up with her. I'm already following it to a great degree because Low Carb requires that label reading and eliminating of added sugar. She's looking more at Sugar/Fiber ratio and I'm more concerned with Carb/Fiber ratio and total sugars being as low as possible with little or no added sugar at all.
I am the cook, she's not a bad cook, but I got her so dependent on my cooking for some years now shes a little challenged in the kitchen, just because she doesn't have the "mise en place" organization and speed of prep, chopping etc I have developed, its simply easier for me to cook and her to clean becasue of my speed, skill and timing. She's out of practice from her previous life cooking for her ex husband and 2 kids...she calls it "spoiled", I call it "Cook and Drop the knife...and walk away"...and leave the dishes behind! I do clean as I go though!
My point is, making sauces for instance. I make (used to) a lot of them. I'm pretty good at Asian style preparations and have developed my own sauce recipes tweaked over time. They include sugars and products like Sriracha which, sadly the second ingredient in the stuff I have is sugar...also Gochijang...sugar is in there. So I still want that sweetness (its not super sweet, that's not my thing)...and what do I do? She doesn't want the fake sweet and I'm avoiding real sweets, even honey!
I made a great stir fry last night that fixed that problem for only one sauce flavor profile (it wont be a fix for all my sauces) using a product I have used for years that I could not be happier is no sugar. But you would not believe it because its sweet! You HAVE to love spicy food though, which we do. It's chili garlic sauce. I've even made it myself.
This is the product I usually buy at my local Asian market:
If you like it spicy, this is not outrageous, but to use enough to get the sweetness from it you better not be a spice wimp. I like food to make me sweat, this is not THAT spicy. i could eat the stuff by the teaspoon straight and not flinch, but I'm hardcore!
It's almost identical to the product more well known called Sambal Olek:
packaged by the same folks, but Sambal doesn't have the garlic. We like garlic and I try to eat as much as possible since its really good for you.
Both of these products are amazingly sweet and delicious for having no sugar
A little fish sauce, a good amount of Thai Mushroom Soy,: http://www.templeofthai.com/food/sa...-5134200219.php
(Do NOT substitute for any other mushroom soy, you will need an Asian grocer for this stuff, I used to buy it directly from my favorite Thai restaurant until it started showing up in the Asian markets too), a sploosh of rice vinegar (not seasoned!) and a hefty gloop of either of these chili sauces, and a splash of water to make a little less salty makes a great stir fry sauce. The key being always add your sauce right at the end, bring to the boil, allow to thicken if needed and remove and eat immediately.
You dont want to boil your stir fry very much or very long or let it sit to keep cooking if you like your veggies kind of crunchy like me.
Also to this sauce last night, I DID use 1 teaspoon of gluttonous rice flour. Only 2 grams carbs per teaspoon and is add that little bit of stickiness to the sauce without making it goopy. 2 grams of carbs spread over about 2.75 servings is not bad, the vegetables probably had more
Sorry for all the technical terms! Ha! I haven't started my low carb recipe documentation yet, I'll be doing a brand new batch of measures and refined sauce recipes in the future like I've done with pre-low carb recipes. I can dump cook really well, but to duplicate something perfectly there needs to be measurements...also to share them, most people dont work well with measurements like Gloop and sploosh!