PRODUCT REVIEW: Nu Naturals (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free)
Nu Naturals (nunaturals.com) -- family-owned, West-Coast-based purveyor of sugar-free sweetenings, gluten-free baking ingredients, and supplements, makes some wicked good additions to a celiac diet. But what really made Nu shine to me was that their gluten-free / sugar-free syrups, extracts, and supplements are both diabetic-safe and chemical free. Because Nu is stevia-based sugar free.
Since a significant number of celiacs (as compared to the general population) suffer from type-1 insulin-dependent diabetes, this is rather brilliant.
But what I loved about the syrups especially was just how well they compared to traditional chocolate or desert & drink syrups. Because Blitzen knows, most "natural" sweet-alternatives have, er, unpleasant after-tastes. Bitter. Odd. Or just as bad, taste fair but last for only half-a-drizzle, and cost somehwhere between 50 quid and $300.
I loved the syrups - -Vanilla Ginger, sharp and sweet; plain Chocolate, and Plain Vanilla. But the extracts of stevia with Peppermint, Vanilla, or Lemon (some alcohol-free as well) use essential oils -- and I've been adding to my coconut milk, breakfast chia-puddings, and early Spring smoothies.
All in all, what Nu provides is something simple, and something so key to eating joyfully with dietary restrictions: support, and versatility -- the ability to add variety and flavour to a sugar-free or gluten-free treat or meal.
So this morning, the kitchen smells of ginger. That sharp sweet scent that you can feel at the back of your tongue before you even taste it, but even better, behind it hovers air the deeper aroma of chocolate.
With the Nu ginger syrup, and the organic, fair-trade certified cocoa powder, I have a Butternut-Pie Smoothie blending, and Cocoa-Chili GF Cookies in the oven (rather brilliant, really; drizzled with chocolate syrup after, they're a beautiful contrast in spice and sweet). On top of that, Chocolate Marbled Lemon Bark is on the counter, setting.
Nu's founder remarks that he wanted to create resources so that people could eat joyfully, and the mission of this company couldn't be more well-suited to that aim -- Helping to Keep You Well.
Planning out a an oh-well-Eeyore week of healthy, gluten-free, sugar-free vegetables and rice might keep you fairly well. But part of wellness isn't just what you put in your body; it's the process, the creativity, the joy in experiencing that meal -- flavour, texture, smell.
So ho! for cookies, laced with the contrast of stevia-sweet, chili, and light flavour of chocolate. And ho! for smoothies that taste like milkshakes -- without milk, wheat, or sugar.
And ho! for Nu Naturals.
Whether you're aiming to reduce your sugar-and-chemical intake, have celiac and diabetes, or have children with either of the above, Nu is a standout, knockout, simple solution to eating joyfully.
Products Covered -- Vanilla Stevia Syrup; Chocolate Stevia Syrup; Vanilla-Ginger Stevia Syrup; Collage Peptides; Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Powder; Alcohol-Free Vanilla Stevia Liquid; Peppermint Stevia Liquid; Vanilla Stevia Liquid; No-Carb Erythytritol/Stevia Packets; Oat Fibre*
Gluten-Free: Yes, all products that state "gluten-free" are thoroughly gluten-free, including the banana flour. Be advised if you have celiac disease that the oat fibre is not tested, and thus cannot be considered free of cross-contact risks.
Fair-trade: Cocoa Powder, as well as a few other products, yes.
Shoestring-Budget-Friendly: One of the most budget-friendly options for supplements of this caliber. Definitely the best value in stevia-supplements for the quality. (Some are cheaper, but are heavily doctored with dextrose or maltodextrin.)
Availability: Online, at NuNaturals.com, and in some Whole Foods within the United States. Also, may be carried in your specialty grocery.
Taste/Texture: Taste -- that's the highlight of Nu's speciality -- the stevia syrups -- summed in one word. Taste. Great flavour here. Add a dash of syrup to your sparkling water to make a sugar-free soda any kid in love with Coke or Sprite will sprint to get.
*Oat fibre not gluten-free
You can find a current ONGOING GIVEAWAY here, along with creative ways to eat well, eat joyfully, and eat not just gluten-free, but waste-free and sustainably.