Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Light Year!

Light Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Raise your hand if you started this year – every year? – with a resolution to cut calories. Keep your hand up if you’re already finding that resolution just a little bit hard to keep. Yes, we see a lot of hands. But don’t worry—you’re not alone. We’re all hard-wired to enjoy sweetness; and sweet treats, in moderation, aren’t a bad thing. The challenge is that “moderation” part, right?

Well, we have good news! Our newest product, C&H® Light Sugar & Stevia Blend, makes it easy to cut calories without sacrificing sweet taste. The secret: a special blend of pure cane granulated sugar plus stevia and natural flavorings. We love it for all kinds of cooking and baking, and we know you will, too.

What’s Stevia?

Light Sweet Potato Apple Casserole
Stevia – the first syllable is pronounced “Steve” – is an herb native to the South American highlands. Sometimes called sweetleaf or sugarleaf, it’s been used by indigenous people for more than 1,500 years to sweeten tea, to add to medicines, and to eat as a fresh-picked treat. In the early 1970s, Japanese scientists discovered how to crystallize an extract from stevia leaves and turn it into a powdered or liquid sweetener. The result is 200 times sweeter than granulated sugar but has zero calories. In recipes, you use only half as much C&H® Light as you would pure sugar.

C&H® Light Sugar & Stevia Blend has no allergens and meets all Food and Drug Administration requirements. (We do add a bit of natural flavoring to mask the slight licorice taste of pure stevia and create the sweet taste you expect from all C&H® Sugar products.) Stevia has no effect on blood-sugar levels, but if you need to watch your blood sugar, we recommend that you consult your doctor before using C&H® Light.

C&H® Light in the Kitchen

Light Butternut Squash Soup
Before we introduced C&H® Light, we tested it extensively on a range of recipes. Our baking consultant, Lisa Basini, quickly became a fan. “C&H® Light dissolves easily and creams beautifully,” Lisa says. “In breads, it activates yeast the way pure sugar does. You won’t feel you’re deprived of anything!” (For more about Lisa, see our Baker’s Profile.)

Remember, you’ll use less C&H® Light than you would pure sugar. So just a tablespoon added to our Light Butternut Squash Soup or Light Creamy Tomato Basil Soup lends a bright, deep taste that balances the other flavors in the recipe. And you’ll never guess it isn’t pure sugar in our Light Sweet Potato Apple Casserole, a delicious cold-weather side dish that’s further “lightened” with low-cholesterol butter blend.

Light Chocolate Mocha Brownies
Because C&H® Light dissolves so readily, says Lisa, it’s an excellent choice for liquid or semi-liquid dishes such as our Light Basil Vinaigrette. And it’s a natural match for chocolate-based recipes. Lisa raves about Light Chocolate Mocha Brownies and especially Light Chocolate Pudding, which she made as comfort food – on a barbeque grill! – after Hurricane Sandy temporarily displaced her family. “It’s delicious—you absolutely don’t feel deprived,” she says.

You’ll appreciate the way C&H® Light creams with butter in slimmed-down versions of traditional favorites. Try dunking Light Mixed Berry Almond Biscotti in hot tea for an afternoon treat while the kids enjoy guilt-free Light Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies or Light Cinnamon Apple Crumb Cake with a tall glass of low-fat milk.

Sugar Plus Stevia Plus Agave Equals Delicious!

Light Chocolate Pudding
We were delighted to discover that our new C&H® Light blend is the perfect complement for another of our new sweeteners: C&H® Organic Agave Nectar. (Read more about our agave nectars here.) The natural flavors balance beautifully in our Light Fresh Fruit Tart, made with fresh berries, and in our Light Granola Bars – so much healthier than store-bought!

Keep checking our recipe database for more recipes that use C&H® Light – we’re adding them regularly!

And Keep in Mind...

Light Fresh Fruit Tart
C&H® Light is a versatile ingredient, but it isn’t an exact replacement for sugar. “Sugar performs many functions besides sweetening, and stevia doesn’t duplicate them,” says Lisa Basini. For example, sugar adds moisture to baked goods. If you’re adapting an existing recipe to use C&H® Light, Lisa suggests adding an extra egg or nuts. “If the recipe calls for milk, substitute yogurt or sour cream, which add more moisture,” she says. Use oil, margarine, or vegetable shortening instead of butter. You can also decrease the size of your baking pan, which will cut the baking time so the result isn’t over-dry.

C&H® Light doesn’t caramelize the way pure sugar does, so for good results with caramel, it’s best to stick to pure sugar.

Light Orange Cream Smoothie
The very slight stevia taste of C&H® Light may conflict with tart or sharp flavors such as lemon, pineapple, or mint, Lisa says. But not orange – which is why Lisa enthusiastically recommends our Light Orange Cream Smoothie, a tasty and healthful morning wake-up call.

“C&H® Light was a wonderful new journey for me,” says Lisa, who’s experimented with just about every sweetener on the market. “It’s really the best of both worlds – a natural sweetener you’ll feel good about using!”

Quick tip: When they’re done, cookies and cakes baked with C&H® Light will appear lighter in color than their counterparts baked with 100% sugar. Don’t overbake!


  1. What are the natural flavorings consist of in your C&H lite with stevia?

    1. Thank you for your interest in our C&H Light and for taking the time to contact C&H Sugar Co.

      The natural flavor used in C&H Light is a proprietary formula. We can confirm that this product does not contain sugar alcohols, peanuts, tree nuts, milk and milk products, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, gluten or sulfites. Gum arabic, maltodextrin, and ascorbic acid are used in the production of the natural flavor.