Sweeter and Healthier Desserts with Monk Fruit in the Raw

       We’re on the last stretch of 2014.  You know what that means right? The holidays are here and let the baking marathon begin. 
     For those who have been extra good about their weight loss and management the whole year  (certainly not me!), this time of the year is said to be the most challenging. Though most studies mention that the average weight gain during this period is just one pound (really?!), my weighing scale often disagrees and shows 5 -10 lbs every year.    

         Anyway, if you also have a sweet tooth like me, I’m sure you will like this new sugar alternative called Monk Fruit in the Raw.  I’ve seen this product in the store shelves a while ago yet never really have the courage to try it. When Moms Meet asked me to review it, I became really excited.
       

     

        For starters, Monk fruit in the raw is a wholesome, zero calorie sweetener made from real monk fruit.  What exactly is a monk fruit you may ask?  Well, it is a vine ripened fruit that is native to Asia. This fruit is said to be twice as sweet as the regular table sugar.  Also known as luo gan huo, this fruit was believed to be first harvested during the 13th century by Arhats or “Enlightened Ones” which translates to Monks in English.  
       Monk fruit in the Raw is made from the extract of monk fruit blended with other sweeteners such as dextrose.  It is naturally vegan, kosher and gluten free.  It also doesn’t contain any added table sugar, sugar alcohols or molasses.  
The Test
       For this review, I received a baker’s bag of Monk Fruit in the Raw and a box of Monk fruit in the Raw Packets to try. 
       Honestly, I am not a big fan of sugar alternatives because most brands have a strong after taste. This after taste not makes tea or other drinks very bitter, it also leaves a soapy or chemical flavor. 
       My experience with Monk Fruit in the Raw however, was surprisingly pleasing.   It tasted so close to real sugar.  If not for the finer texture, I won’t be able to distinguish it from the real thing. Regarding my issue with aftertaste, Monk fruit in the Raw had the slightest hint of bitterness.  With coffee and black tea, it is almost undetectable.  
      As most of you have already figured out, I bake lot at home.  To make my baked goods healthier, I often substitute half of the required amount of oil with fruit purees.  I never dared to use sugar alternatives because of the numerous horror stories I’ve heard and read.  For this review, I challenged myself to actually use Monk Fruit in the Raw bakers bag to bake.  
        Since the makers recommended to replace just half of the required sugar, I followed.  I tried using it to make my Pumpkin Oat Muffins last Thanksgiving.  Though the end product didn’t rise as high as the usual, the muffins still tasted really good.  The texture was also close to what we always had.  The best part is that, it didn’t have any bitter aftertaste.  To my delight, none of the four kids detected any change in the recipe.  
       To sum up, I have to say that Monk in the Raw is one of the better sugar alternatives we currently have in the market.  It works really well on baked goods which people with diabetes would appreciate.  If you are watching your sugar intake, this product will be your friend.  
          Happy baking!
Roz
       
(Note: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.)

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