Sunday, November 11, 2012

Moms Meet: Zevia Natural Soda Review & GF Mountain Zevia Cupcakes


First off this has been a busy weekend, we have been ripping up the flooring out of the basement and keeping up with our other normal weekend activities.  Two of our neighbors came over to help my husband and they really knocked it out, while I was upstairs with four boys.  Early in the day I decided to test myself with some gluten-free baking (don't get too excited I used mixes.)  I made a Banana Apple Bread (which I will post later) and Mountain Zevia Cupcakes. I knew the cupcakes were a hit when I needed to keep all the boys (big boys included) away from them. They also had a chance to try the Zevia soda, they had mixed feelings about the sodas flavor and tried adding some mix-ins  to help. But that review will come in a minute...

Zevia sodas are a natural, zero calorie soda that is naturally sweetened by stevia.  You can find them at most grocery stores that have a selection of natural foods. When I receive the package from Zevia, it contained 24 soda; 12 different flavors, an apron and a spatula  So with that I felt I needed to bake.  The cake recipe that they sent with everything called for cake mix and a soda, those were the only two ingredients. Since I am gluten-free I was weary about just using the GF cake mix and soda so I did a little research and settled for this: 


Cake
1 box cake mix (I used King Arthur's GF yellow cake)
4 eggs
1/2 cup vanilla pudding (GF of course)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 oz. Mountain Zevia

Glaze
4 oz. Mountain Zevia (the remaining from a 12 oz. can)
3-4 tbsp. powdered sugar

Mix all the cake ingredients together, and pour into greased muffin pan. (This made 12 regular size cupcakes and 36 mini cupcakes.) Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 min for the mini and 20-25 for the regular.

While the cakes are cooking, make the glaze.  Heat the soda in a small sauce pan over medium heat until simmering.  Whisk in the powdered sugar.  Spoon over the hot cakes.

Now for the review...the overall review was that some flavors were okay some were a fail, and they were not worth the cost (about $6+ for a six pack).  The sodas all had an after taste that we just didn't seem to care for, I don't know if it was the stevia or what.  I feel like if you are a true soda drinker, you will not like these. If you don't ever drink sodas then you may enjoy them, they are sweet, wet and carbonated.  All have natural caffeine (except the caffeine free ones).  Now if you are like me, I don't drink a lot of sodas but occasionally I do crave a dark soda.  My usual go to's are Dr. Pepper, Birch Beer, or just a diet Coke.  These sodas aren't able to fulfill those cravings. 

Here is a quick run down on each flavor we tried...

Cola - we all though it seem flat and watered down
Dr. Zevia - not anything like Dr. Pepper, so don't get confused. 
Mountain Zevia - to drink, Fail. To cook with great. 
Grape - that one was pretty good, but it did taste a little like medicine
Black Cherry - We liked this one, it still had the after taste but I would drink it if some one handed it to me.
Lemon-Lime - uh, could take it or leave it.
Grapefruit - personally this was my favorite, it was refreshing
Orange - we never actually opened it. Sorry.
Caffeine Free Cola - same as the cola
Ginger Root Beer - this one was disappointing, it smelled really good but the flavor was off.
Ginger Ale - this one was ok, but I was expecting the bite you get from a real ginger ale (like Reed's)
Cream Soda - same as the root beer, disappointing. Only my husband seemed to like this one.

So if I had a really good coupon, I may purchase one or two of the flavors but if I want a soda, I want a real one, one with all that syrupy goodness.  I know that is awful, but oh well.