Healthy Ingredients

Healthy Cooking obviously demands the use of healthy ingredients. I know there is a lot of information and opinions on what constitutes a healthy ingredient. I can bombard you with lots of details, but remember, our goal is to keep it simple. If you have specific questions or want more information, please email me anytime. After extension research, I am going to share what I believe to be the best.  I personally shop from





Nutivia on



What: Stevia is a herb grown mainly in South America. The leaves are harvested and processed into a liquid or powder form.

Why: Stevia is an all natural product than has been used safely for centuries. It does not raise blood sugars and has zero calories.

Where:  Look for pure liquid, pure powdered or powdered stevia with inulin. Avoid stevia with maltodextrin or other fillers.  Be sure to read labels!

While at the Natural Products Show in California this spring, I discovered a company that produces a high quality, organic stevia grown in Paraguay. It is processed with no added alcohol, which I think eliminates the bitter aftertaste common to other stevia products. It comes in four flavors.

Cid Botanicals Flavor Stevia Packets, Vanilla, 100 Count

Cid Botanicals Flavor Stevia Packets, Original, 100 Count

Cid Botanicals Flavor Stevia Packets, Mocha, 100 Count



Sweet leaf makes a variety of flavored Stevia. Lemon is one of my favorites to add to plain water.

SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia, Lemon Drop 2 fl oz (60 ml)


How: Stevia is highly concentrated so unlike other liquid products, 3 drops equal 1 teaspoon of sugar! It is great way to sweeten
coffee, tea, smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt or even water. It’s easy to bake with as well. Many sugar substitutes are not suitable for the high temperatures required during the baking process. Stevia is ideal for baking, as it tolerates high temperatures very well. The average conversion rate of sugar to stevia is one cup of sugar to 2 1/2 teaspoonfuls of pure stevia extract. Clearly very little stevia is needed to replace sugar. When used in beverages, stevia dissolves quickly and easily and, depending on your taste preference, only a pinch is needed. The real challenge to using stevia effectively is knowing what ingredients to use in a recipe to make up for the volume and consistency lost with the elimination of sugar, especially in baked goods.

Linda’s Coaching Tip: I love putting the Sweet Drops Liquid Stevia, Chocolate, 2 Ounce into my almond milk. Reminds me of my childhood – drinking chocolate mik. It is also great in shakes or anything else you want a chocolate sweet flavoring. When baking, I will sometimes use a combination of Stevia and another healthy sweetener.



Xylitol is the most sugarlike sweetener. It works well for glazing and streusel effects.  My research has identified to avoid Xylitol  made from corn and from China.  XYLA is made in the USA from hardwood birch trees. Beware all brands of xylitol are toxic to dogs.

USA Birch Xylitol – 5lb – NON GMO – Kosher – Gluten Free




The newest sweetener to hit the market  is Luo Han Guo/Monk Fruit. Look for brands that contain just monk fruit or monk fruit and erythritol. The brand Lankanto  contains Monk Fruit and Erythritol.  Avoid both Monk Fruit in the Raw and Nectresse because these products contain glucose and/or maltodextrin.


Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol and generally made by the fermentation of plant sugar. This sugar is mixed with water and then fermented with a natural culture into erythritol. It is then filtered, allowed to crystallize, and then dried. The finished product is white granules or powder that resembles sugar. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has been approved for use as a food additive in the United States and throughout much of the world. It occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. It is 60–70% as sweet as table sugar yet it is almost noncaloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is partially absorbed by the body, excreted in urine and feces. It is less likely to cause gastric side effects than other sugar alcohols because of its unique digestion pathway. Under (FDA) labeling requirements, it has a caloric value 95% less than sugar and other carbohydrates.

The brand I purchase and use is

  NON GMO – Erythritol – Made in the USA – 5lbs – Kosher Certified

Artisana Coconut Butter 16oz (Glass Jar)


Artisana – 100% Organic Raw Coconut Butter – 16 oz.


I love this coffee, because it does not upset my stomach due to the way it is processed.








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