Basics in the naturally sweet kitchen are these:
Azure Standard for lots of organics and wonderful products https://www.azurestandard.com?a_aid=cti33xg1Ih
Birch Xylitol http://www.globalsweet.com/
I buy the big 55# bag because it is significantly cheaper per pound and keep it in a 5 gallon grain bucket to keep it dry. If it is too much for you to spend at once, find some friends and split a bag. I do NOT use other xylitols because they are usually sourced from corn, which is GMO.
Sweetleaf Stevia – www.vitacost.com
Clear for general cooking and sweetening tea
Vanilla Creme for most baking, ice cream and whipping cream
English Toffee for apple toppings and apple pie
Berry for my husband’s tea and my daughter’s yogurt
Hazelnut for my husband’s hot cocoa
We actually have all the flavors and the possibilities are limitless using them in water, tea, milk and for baking.
Sweetleaf is the ONLY brand I trust. My dear friend, Dr. Catherine Rott, confirmed with James May that Sweetleaf brand is distilled with water. Stevia is NOT an artificial sweetener. It is a plant from Paraguay. Per Mr. May’s book, THE MIRACLE OF STEVIA, it is pronounced “stay vee uh.”
I also have the little tablets in a tin that I keep in my purse in case I want to sweeten tea when I am away from home.
Be careful, because some brands of Stevia have additives, too. Again, that is why I use only Sweetleaf.
Unsweetened Applesauce – Any brand would do, but I get mine through a health food coop. I buy a case at a time and buy organic, unsweetened applesauce. Most local grocers do carry large jars of unsweetened, but buyer beware – READ the label carefully, because many brands are full of sugar or corn syrup.
PLAIN, unsweetened yogurt – Again grocers carry several brands. Our favorite is Brown Cow Whole Milk Yogurt. It is a step above the others in tastes and texture. We do cook with it, as in the pound cake, but Hannah often eats it with Berry Stevia with seeds, nuts and fresh fruit stirred into it, in place of cereal as we rarely do grains.
Powdered Milk – I get an organic one from my coop, but I have also used a goat milk one from www.tropicaltraditions.com
Unsweetened Coconut, Shredded or Flaked – www.tropicaltraditions.com
Coconut oil – www.tropicaltraditions.com
Almond Flour – I use the blanched version and I get mine through a coop, but our super Walmart carries Bob’s Red Mill in the gluten free section and I am pretty sure you can get it at www.vitacost.com, www.amazon.com and other online sources.
REAL Salt – this is the only salt I use, so it is the salt in ALL my recipes. It is available at health food stores, online at several places and through the health food coops. It is FULL spectrum and has all the minerals naturally occurring. Himalayan salt is also full mineral and I have used it, too, but I can get the REAL salt cheaper and easier through my coop that I use it more.
Milk – Always use WHOLE milk, preferably raw. If dairy intolerant, use Coconut Milk. I get organic Thai Coconut Milk. It is available online and in most health food stores and coops.
Cream, Sour Cream – Watch those labels, as some have sugars added! Our favorite brand is Kalona. You can look it up online. We get a non-homogenized cream and that is what we use to make ice cream and Hannah pours over her fruit and nut “cereal” blend. When we cannot get it, I get heavy whipping cream from the grocer to make ice cream and for toppings.
Cottage Cheese – BE VERY CAREFUL – READ the labels. Some of these have added sugar and other things I cannot pronounce, so I get whatever I can get that doesn’t have anything added.
Vanilla Extract – Most grocery store brands have added sugar or corn syrup. I found a good source for Mexican vanilla with NO additives. http://www.globalgoods.com/
I do not personally use agave and they sell it at this same site. Young Living sells agave, too, and I do not use it from them either. Just my personal preference based on the Know the Cause diet which allows only Birch Xylitol and Stevia due to low glycemic levels.
Yacon – Young Living is working on a source for this great mild molasses tasting sweetener and I am hopeful that this will give me what I need to make a syrupy pecan pie and keep the glycemic level low. It is not yet available, but I have tasted it at convention and it is really good and has ZERO glycemic.
Birch Xylitol has 7 glycemic index and Stevia is 0. I am really excited that Young Living is giving us Yacon which has 0, too!