Know What You're Eating: Stevia

I admit, the catchy tune had something to do with it - those commercials for "all natural" stevia sweeteners featuring frustrated women and a jingle many of us can relate to. And I was pretty happy. I've often wondered why there are some many artificial sweeteners out there (especially in supposedly health items - Airborne anyone?) when there's stevia. Then I read the label. Here are two popular stevia products and what they contain:

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Mmmm Mmmm Good

Probably my greatest flaw as a foodie and would-be expert on what to eat is my undying love of Campbell's condensed tomato soup, especially in the autumn. As soon as the temperature dips below 70, soup's on. I'm more reliable with the season's first can of soup than I am with getting the furnace serviced. It's the first sign that summer is over, and I feel it in my core.

Here's how I make it:

  • Reconstitute the soup with half water, half milk (or 3/4 water, 1/4 cream)
  • Dice up some fresh tomatoes and onion or leek. Simmer these with the soup and add some pepper (white, red or both).
  • Mince some fresh herbs, or muddle dried herbs with a mortar and pestle and add to the soup as it approaches done-ness.
  • Grate some cheese directly into the bottom of your soup bowl.
  • Ladle the soup on top of the cheese, and add a dollop of sour cream if you like.
  • Serve with a crust of crusty French or sourdough bread.