Stevia Sweet Juice Concentrate & Trim Healthy Mama

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For the past 3 months I’ve been eating Trim Healthy Mama (THM) style.  And I LOVE IT!

Since THM is about low/no sugar I needed to learn how to incorporate stevia (which is usually bitter) into my diet in a palatable way to help feed the sweet tooth monster.

 

Stevia-Juice-Concentrate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So why is this post about Stevia?  Well I’m finally getting there…

Since THM has you cut out sugar, (even honey and maple syrup while you are trying to lose weight) what can you use for a sweetener?  We don’t want artificial sweeteners so we are left with Stevia, Xylitol, or Erythritol.

I HatED Stevia

Before this plan I really did, it had such a bitter fake aftertaste and I couldn’t stand it.

Even the good (expensive) stuff that people promise is better, such as Sweet Leaf Stevia left my teas wanting the real thing.

sweet-leaf-stevia

The plan recommends NuNaturals Pure Stevia Extract.  Rumor has it that this particular brand of stevia extract has been reformulated and taste different, buyer beware.  I recommend KAL, Trader Joe’s Stevia Extract, & NOW brand Stevia Extract.

Stevia-Extract

Just make sure you buy the PURE Stevia Extract powder that has no fillers or added ingredients. It is super sweet and you just need a half a pinch to sweeten up a cup of plain yogurt.

But even when I put NuNatural’s powdered stevia in my food, it was gross.  I was so disappointed and figured I’d just have to learn to do without sweets.

Thank God for smart ladies who figured out you can make a Stevia Sweet Juice Concentrate (SJC)!!!  (I’m sorry, I can’t remember who but it was someone from the Facebook Group)

Never heard of Sweet Juice Concentrate?

I hadn’t either.  But it’s basically a simple syrup that has “fermented” and the bitterness is gone.  I’m telling you, this is THE way to use stevia and it tastes so close to sugar you may not even be able to tell the difference.  My kids don’t even notice.

Below is how I make my Stevia SJC.  I use this in coffee, tea, plain Greek yogurt, smoothies, pretty much in everything I need to sweeten.  The only foods I’ve found that are not Stevia SJC-friendly are grain-free baked goods or homemade sugar-free skinny chocolate.  In those instances, I use Truvia, Erythritol, or Xylitol.

The instructions are so quick, you might miss them…

Stevia SJC (Sweet Juice Concentrate)

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 Tbsp Pure Stevia Extract

Pour pure stevia extract into a jar (I use a mason jar which holds the perfect amount of liquid), add water to jar and mix.  Let the jar sit for 48 hours on your countertop.  After 48 hours, cover jar with lid.  This can be stored in your refrigerator or you can leave it on your counter, depending on how fast you use it.  I’ve had mine sit out for a week with no ill effects.

The amount of SJC you need depends really on your preference.  Start with little and work up is my approach because too much SJC can be overwhelming.

Also, I was completely out of SJC and about 36 hours into the fermentation of a new jar.  I tried my batch at that point and it just didn’t taste right.  I don’t understand the need for 48 hours but can attest to the necessity of the fermentation time.

Initially it is a little cloudy but it ends up being completely clear by the time your Stevia SJC is ready to use.

SJC-Mixed

That’s it.  Talk about easy!!

Back to Trim Healthy Mama

I’ve been tracking on Trim Healthy Mama for a few months now and I’m so happy with the results I’ve gotten. Now mind you, I’ve not been super strict, lost some weight, gained muscle (& weight) but today I’m 10 lbs lighter and my clothes are much looser.  All the while I haven’t felt deprived or starved.

I’ll post my before and after once I get to my goal weight.

One thing I will tell you, without the Stevia, I think I would have given up on the eating plan completely.  I have a chronic sweet tooth and that’s always been my downfall as far as eating plans.

When I first started THM, I had headaches and was light-headed and woozy.  That lasted about a week and then I finally adjusted to life without loads of carbs and sugar.

Now you may be wondering what this Trim Healthy Mama plan is about.  Friends of mine have done amazing reviews of the book, like Gwen & Melissa.  I’m not going to even try hold a candle to the wind (check our their detailed reviews – they are great writers and do an awesome job of explaining), but I will tell you that this way of eating is revolutionary.

In case you don’t head over to Gwen or Melissa’s blogs, here’s my quick take on the plan. As short and sweet as I can make it…

* Protein is at the heart of every meal.
* Bye bye sugar.

Meals Fall into 4 Basic Categories:

  • Eat fats but with low carbs and a protein – can be higher in fat. (S – for Satisfying)
  • Eat carbs with low fats with lean protein. (E – for Energizing)
  • Eat low carbs and low fats with lean protein. (FP – for Fuel Pull)
  • Meals that are not so strict (Crossovers – for when you are at your goal weight)

BUT you should REALLY read Gwen’s and Melissa’s reviews, join the Facebook Group, and buy the book.  The learning curve can be a bit overwhelming but it’s worth overcoming.

But whether you are doing Trim Healthy Mama or just trying to cut back on sugar, you gotta give the Stevia SJC a try.  And if you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

This post has been linked up at Stacy Makes Sense and Gwen’s Nest.  There are some great recipes and inspiration posts linked up there!

trim-healthy-tuesdays-banne

 

 

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Comments

  1. So the mixture sits uncovered for the 48 hours? I want to do this and just want to make sure I’m doing it right.

    • Yes Krista, you are exactly correct. The mixture sits uncovered for the first 48 hours and then you want to cover it with a lid. I also found that the NOW brand of stevia extract is less potent than NuNaturals, so I do a heaping 1/2 Tablespoon. (I need to update this post when I make my next batch to double check my measurements for the NOW Stevia)

  2. Elizabeth says:

    So your greatest taste success is with NOW brand stevia? I have NuNaturals, but you say above to use pure stevia, and it says on the jar that it also has Maltodextrin and natural flavors. I just want to make sure that I make this with the best stevia for taste since I have had undesirable results with every stevia I have tried up to now (I’m talking about just using stevia as “recommended.” I have never made the SJC and am looking for a revolutionary new taste :-) Thank you!

    • Hi Elizabeth!

      Yes, it must be the pure stevia extract. I wish NuNaturals hadn’t changed their formula to add it, (NuNaturals pure was by far the best tasting). The one with Maltodextrin is not the one you want. I noticed that the NOW brand is less potent so I did a heaping 1/2 Tablespoon. I’m going to make my next batch with 1 Tablespoon and see if it’s more comparable to the NuNaturals.

      The bitterness is gone with the SJC. Would love to hear what you think about it! Blessings!

  3. What’s the difference in this and the SteviaClear liquid that’s pure stevia and water, by Sweet Leaf? I ask for the purpose of measurements when cooking, etc.? I currently use the SteviaClear but would love to do this if it’s more cost effective.

    • The Stevia SJC is sweeter to me than the store bought liquid stevia (and has a more sugar-like flavor in my opinion). In order to get the right sweetness you really need to test your batch and slowly add it to what you are sweetening. I find that my coffee is perfectly sweetened with 2 spoonsfuls of the SJC when I use NuNaturals pure stevia extract versus the 3 it takes when mixed I use NOW’s pure stevia in the SJC.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Hello again! I forgot about my SJC that was sitting out and let it go an extra 36 hours before putting the lid on it. Do I need to start over?

    BTW, I used the NOW Better Stevia, and I used a full tablespoon. Did you ever test yours at that amount yet? If so, what are your findings?

    • I’m sorry I took me so long to respond Elizabeth! I did make the NOW batch again with 1 tablespoon. The flavor is good, Nunaturals still had the best flavor though. The bitterness is gone which is the purpose in making a Stevia SJC. As far as the time your stevia sat out uncovered, I personally would not be concerned. I leave mine out for over a week with no problems. I usually just go by taste and if it tastes good, I use it. You may want to put it in the refrigerator until it is used up.

      Hope this helps!

  5. Thank goodness for blogs!
    On vacation I decided to buy the nunaturals you told me a out so long ago!
    I couldn’t remember how you said to mix it up.
    Decided to check your blog instead of bugging you, and THERE IT IS!
    :). Hope things are good!

  6. Dumb question, do you shake it up?

  7. So what do you use for the skinny chocolate? I used the NuNaturals and don’t like the taste! I so want it to work out — I want my “candy” and to be able to lose weight, too! Concerned I’m not going to like the food and all the changes!

    • I did NOT like NuNaturals in the skinny chocolate either. :P

      I have yet to try the skinny chocolate with this Stevia SJC. It’s on my list to do (and I will update once I finally get off my hiney). I know many are not comfortable with using xylitol but that is what I use currently. Please let me know if you try the Stevia Sweet Juice Concentrate before I do in Skinny Chocolate. That would definitely be my preference over xylitol.

  8. Hi Julie! Thanks for this info! This is such wonderful news for me a fellow sweet-toother also. I haven’t had much luck achieving the results I want with stevia, but unwilling to use the less than healthy alternatives. So happy about this! My question is do I only use powder? I wonder about doing this with my liquid stevia concentrate. Have you tried it? thanks again!

    • You’re welcome Anette! I’m so happy to have found a solution and the Stevia SJC is something I always keep on hand ready to use.

      To answer your question, yes, you just use the powder. I don’t use the one with fillers, just straight “Pure Stevia Extract” powder. I need to update this post but my favorite brand to date is KAL. It’s almost as good as NuNaturals was before they added fillers. I’ve not tried the liquid stevia to make my Stevia SJC because it is more expensive and not as sweet as the end results of my homemade liquid stevia.

      • Hi Julie. The KAL I found has Maltodextrin in it. Is there one without? The NuNaturals I found says other natural ingredients but doesn’t say what they are. I haven’t been able to use any of the THM sweeteners, including Stevia, so I’m hoping the Sweet Juice is good. I want to be sure I have the correct one to get the best flavor. I live in a small town in Wyoming so will have to order whatever I get. I really don’t want to have to give up sweet stuff to loose weight. Thanks for your help.

        • Hi Dona! Sorry about my delay in answering, but I checked my bottle of KAL Stevia and it does not have Maltodextrin in it. I bought it a few months ago so I wonder if that has changed. I’ve not tried the new THM Stevia but as of yet, KAL is my very favorite!

  9. I am used to measuring my Stevia powder in “shakes”. Two shakes for a beverage. How would you translate that to this mixture? Teaspoons, tablespoons?

    • Each batch can be slightly different Charlene. But I spoon 1 1/2 spoonfuls (Teaspoons) into my coffee and taste it. Best to taste as you go to make sure you don’t over-sweeten.

  10. How important is it to use filtered water?

    • If you’re comfortable drinking the unfiltered water, then unfiltered is absolutely fine for the Stevia SJC. :) I put filtered for the flavor aspect, but if you regularly use unfiltered water you’ll be accustomed to the flavor.

  11. My stevia sweet juice concentrate has gross things floating in it. It is only a week old. Could this be mold?

  12. I read on a facebook group that sometimes the SJC begins to mold as it is left on the countertop. Have you had any problem with this? Just wondered. I really want to try it. Thanks for sharing.
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    • Hi Ellen, I’ve not had problems with molding but that is likely due to going through the jar of SJC fairly quickly. I’d say it takes me about 1 week to go through my batch so longer than that, I’d think you should refrigerate it.

  13. I’ve made this using nu-naturals previous formula, but read somewhere (sorry, I don’t remember where), you have to add a tiny bit of vodka to keep it from molding. Mine turned out great. I kept it in the fridge after it fermented. It DID get bitter and awful after a couple of months, so I wouldn’t make a huge batch.

    • Thank you Chris! I’ve also read about the vodka addition (I don’t remember who shared it). I haven’t done this personally but it would be helpful of those who don’t go through it very fast.

  14. Could the sjc be a substitute for honey?

    • You could, but it wouldn’t be considered on plan. I think honey is healthy and such beneficial sweetener, just not for weight loss.

  15. DANIELLE says:

    Can we talk fermenting and water kefir? This sounds close, altough it ferments using kefir grains. I have never gotten a straight answer about whether water kefir (fermentation of white sugar and water using kefir grains for 48 hrs.) is on plan.

    • I do believe water kefir is very healthy!! :) I know there hasn’t been a thumbs up from the THM community but I say, it’s healthy and most of the sugar is eaten up in the fermentation process. The benefits of water kefir far out-weight the potential for being off-plan.

      Just my thoughts.

      I’m not good at sticking to things strict. I’ve had anxiety in the past over whether something was on plan or not. I say go for it! LOL! If you find drinking water kefir slows your weight loss maybe back off on it some, (but I’d be sure to add a good probiotic). I know I didn’t answer you question but I hope this helps you.

  16. I just wondered why you crossed out the Trader Joes brand of stevia above. That is what I have and planned to use. Is there a reason I shouldn’t?

    • Hi Jessica, there is nothing wrong with Trader Joe’s brand and it is on plan. However, I do not care for the taste of TJ’s stevia extract. KAL is the only stevia extract I like but you most definitely can still use TJ’s. It was a lot less potent so you’ll want to double your TJ Stevia to do the concentrate.

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  1. […] Julie: “Hey love, I want to go shopping for some clothes since I’m losing so my fat on this eating plan.” […]

  2. […] next effort to lose weight was by eating Trim Healthy Mama style.  For those who do not know, this is low-glycemic diet and all about combining the proper […]

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