Pros: Great for baking, less paper waste.
Cons: No cost saving, can be hard to use for baking.
Splenda is not without its controversies; some say that it is a cancer causing agent, others say that it promotes tooth rot. I look at this way, it is better than sugar and it doesn't give me heartburn. I don't use Splenda exclusively; I will buy whatever is on sale or whatever is the cheapest but I always try to keep an ample stock of 'something' in the house because it sucks to run out of an artificial sweetener at two in the morning. What makes Splenda so attractive to consumers? It is made from sugar so it doesn't have an overly "fake" taste to it. It's processed to remove portions of the sugar molecule and replace them with chlorine atoms. Essentially it's like tricking the body; you get the taste but no blood sugar impact. I am sure that twenty years down the road people will be treating Splenda the same was saccharine was; science never stops advancing and I am sure that they will find something even better than Splenda in the future.
Splenda Bagged Sweetener
Most of the time you see Splenda in a little yellow one gram packet but it is sold in a bagged format that makes it a lot easier to cook and bake with. I am continually amazed that people will buy Sugar Free Kool-Aid at the grocery store and pay $4.00 for a box of it when they could just as easy buy the .25 cent packets that contain no sweetener and use Splenda to make it for a lot less. The general rule of thumb in regards to substitution Splenda for sugar is 1:1/2. If you need a cup of sugar to make a pitcher of Kool-Aid, you will need 1/2 cup of Splenda. This is a loose rule; you can use more or less depending on your own taste. This is a great way to cut a lot of calories from your diet and if you have kids, chances are they won't know the difference unless they see you mixing it and then they'll have a prefixed notion about it tasting 'different'.
I started using Splenda for baking about two years ago; I read at the website that cookies tend to spread less when using Splenda instead of sugar. Even if I use a one half sugar and one half Splenda mix, the cookies don't spread as much. I can't imagine having to rip open packets to make a batch of cookies so having the 9.7 ounce bag around is nice. Before you attempt to do any baking with this, please visit the website for a breakdown of how much Splenda to use instead of sugar. Some people will tell you it is an even swap, others will tell you its a lot less. This is all based on personal taste so everyone is going to have a different opinin. I also use this when I am making a thermos of tea or coffee to take with me. Because the hole at the top of the thermos is small its almost impossible to get the packets to dump into it without ending up with some being wasted. The bag is resealable but most of the time I transfer it to an airtight plastic container so it's easier to work with and I dont have to fumble with the zipper seal.
I still buy the large 2,000 count box at my local restaurant supply store; I can kill off a box this size in two months. In the summer I drink a lot of iced tea and in the winter a lot of hot tea. I'm not talking a small amount either; usually at least two to three pots a day. This adds up over time and recently I have been noticing more than a few empty packets in the cases. I looked them over and saw that they were not crimped properly at the bottom or top of the packets so whatever was inside the packet worked its way out. Because the case isn't airtight the loose granules end up all over the place and that is an open invitation for ants to swarm the cabinet in the basement that I keep the box in.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $5.00 to $7.00 for this bag depending on where you live and where you happen to be shopping. Wal-Mart has the best price on the bags while Target has the best prices on the smaller sized boxes of packets. Be sure to read the packages closely as some of them are flavored and some are a blend of sugar and Splenda. I really wish that there was an industrial size of the loose Splenda; I could buy a three or four pound sack and use it for baking as well as giving some to friends that always seem to know exactly when I am going to the restaurant supply store to get the huge 2,000 count box of packets.
The Bottom Line
I did the math on this bagged version of Splenda and I wasn't really saving all the much money over buying the packets. For me it is the convenience of not having to rip open packets or fighting with them to get the Splenda into my thermos. If you use Splenda instead of sugar for health reasons or if you just hate having to wait for sugar to break down in a cold drink, the bagged version is nicer if you are using more than ten grams [ten packets] at a time. Even though the bag is resealable, I'd still try to find some type of airtight container to store it in to keep it from attracting ants. If you are going to repackage it, make sure that you label the container so others will know exactly what it is.
For a more detailed overview of Splenda and how people with diabetes can use this product instead of sugar, please visit this URL:
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