Tony’s Take on: SweetLeaf Stevia
Tony’s CowboyStar Rating on SweetLeaf Stevia:
Welcome to the latest installment in an ongoing review series I call “Tony’s Take on…” where I review all kinds of “stuff” because we all of us use “stuff” and we either like the “stuff” or we hate the “stuff” and we love to talk about “stuff…”
Today I’m yackin’ ’bout SweetLeaf Stevia. For those folks who want the “stars” and nutin’ but da “stars” well, here they are!
Introducing, my good friend, “Stevia” — da Plant!
Since Wikipedia says it VERY well, I’m just gonna let them talk for a bit:
Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana.
The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycosides, which have up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar, are heat-stable, pH-stable, and not fermentable.
[Stevia has] …a negligible effect on blood glucose, which makes stevia attractive to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.
Stevia’s taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, and some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.
I love Wikipedia! 🙂
- Basically Stevia is used in place of sugar.
- It is a LOT sweeter to the tongue so a teeny-tiny bit goes a looooooonnnng way.
- It is the ground up leaves of a plant – 100% all natural.
- It is ZERO CALORIE! Did-cha-get-that? !!!! ZERO! as in zip, nadda, NUTHIN!
- You can cook with it.
- You can put it in your coffee (which is my main way of using it).
- And for those who are diabetic…. [drumroll please] It has a ZERO Glycemic response!
Some info about who uses this stuff and where it came from:
- The stevia plant is from South America and has been used as a sweetener for over 1,500 years!
- Japan is crazy about the stuff! It has been commercially available there since the 1970’s. Japan currently consumes more stevia than any other country, with stevia accounting for 40% of the Japanese sweetener market.
- It is approved for use as a food additive in both the USA and in the European Union.
I figure that if people in South America have been using this stuff for 1500 years AND if Japan, a major industrialized nation and one of the most safety aware nations on the planet, has had no issues with this stuff for decades, and they use TONS of the stuff, then hey, I can use it it in my morning coffee with no worries!
Woot! Uh-huh! Doin’ a happy dance!
Why I like SweetLeaf Stevia
But to get it, I had to go to one of those specialty “Healthfood / Vitamin Stores” that smell funny when you walk into them and they have all these New Age kinda flyers about cleansing your body and yoga under the moon and… well you get the idea.
Just to be clear: neither the smell nor the New Age bits bothered me…
Nope. The PRICE bothered me! NuStevia was $10 a box! And the fact that I had to make a special trip to this store to get ONE item. Sheeeesh!
- Zero Calorie
- I can get it in individual packets which makes it easy to use as an additive to my morning coffee.
- The packets are easy to open.
- Zero Glycemic Response – which now that I’m a diabetic, is important to know
- It tastes as sweet to me as two packets of Sweet-n-low or about 3 teaspoons of sugar. So I use less, which makes it cheaper to use because I use less of it. One packet vs two or three of other options. Mileage on your tongue may vary! 😉
- Zero Carbs
- No Bitterness.
- No aftertaste. — Some brands of stevia have this weird aftertaste. BLECH-TOOEY! SweetLeaf, to my tongue just tastes like sugar. Sweet.
- Non GMO verified.
- NO ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS — This is a big deal. Be sure to read the ingredient label on the other brands! and my blog post “Buyer Beware! or… “Why isn’t anything ever easy?”
- You can get SweetLeaf Stevia at a “regular” grocery store like Kroger, right along with your milk and your TP. 😉 No need to go to a Whole Foods, Trader Joes or any other “specialty store.”
- The price is reasonable. SweetLeaf Stevia a little bit more expensive than Sweet-n-low, but only a tiny bit, and well worth the little bit of extra cost. But it is CHEAPER than the other “fake-stevia” brands like Truvia.
- Comparing using sugar, honey, or stevia: I’ve been using SweetLeaf Stevia for years. I’m still here, breathing and raisin’ cain! Everything I’ve read about stevia indicates that stevia, just stevia, is 100% safe to use; however avoid the brands that add junk to their stevia. The only difference I’ve noticed is that when using sugar or honey I get a “rush” that stevia does not give me. But to me, that is a good thing. I do NOT need those extra calories or the “rush.”
Why not 5 stars?”
The reason I do not give it 5 stars is because if you’re not careful when pouring it into your coffee the stevia will form into a CLUMP.
And once you get a clump it is hard to stir into the coffee; you end up having to press the clump against the side of the cup to break up the lump then do some scraping on the side of the cup to get all of the lump to dissolve into the coffee.
However, given all the PROs this isn’t really a big deal — just enough to knock off half a star.
I’ve learned to pour it out of the packet using a circular motion so that all the powder does not end up in one spot. Tah-DAH! Do it this way and everything works groovy, but it will take you a bit to get used to doing it this way. And you have to be AWAKE enough to do it this way. Which means that my first coffee usually has a CLUMP but cups 2 and 3 work out fine.
Hey SweetLeaf? Ya reading this? Help a brother out! Fix the clumping problem. That way I can stumble into the kitchen and have a non-clump in my first cup of coffee as well as my second and third.
Watch out for Fake Stevia made by other brands!
Stevia is like “pepper” or any other spice / herb. It is the ground up leaves of a plant which happens to taste “sweet” to humans. The raw plant tastes sweet. Just the plant and nothing but the plant.
And that is what you get with SweetLeaf Stevia. Check out the nutrition label to the right:
It’s just there to add a bit of bulk and make the Stevia pour out easier, and in theory to make it not clump up in your coffee.
The Inulin is why the SweetLeaf company can’t say that it is “Organic” on the front of the box of the packets. The Stevia is organic, but the inulin is not.
The Greedy Evil Corporate Empires Strike Back!
Big huge corporate GIANTS do not like nature.
Because they can not “trademark” something that is usable pretty much straight off the plant, the way nature created it.
FYI, you can actually grow Stevia in your kitchen like any other herb. Well, perhaps you can grow it. I can’t. Plants generally wither and die whenever I enter a room where they are potted. I can almost hear their tiny plant voices shrieking in fear. Nope, herb gardening is not an option for me.
But I digress. I do that ya know.
Since the huge international conglomerates can’t “trademark” Stevia, they ADD STUFF TO IT!!! to come up with a “unique” blend that CAN be trademarked, patented and sold with the round “R” on the front.
Who cares if these additives are really needed or not. To these guys, the bottom line is all important. Consumer health is secondary. Check out my blog post from Feb 2014: “Buyer Beware! or… “Why isn’t anything ever easy? for the full take on these FAKE Stevia brands
SweetLeaf Stevia is available in different ways:
And after 52 years of opening white, blue, yellow and pink packets, well opening packets is just how I do my coffee.
However, I just learned that there is a liquid vanilla flavored drop variety which I plan on trying. I’ll let you know how I like it. 🙂
Other formats / varieties:
You can visit the Products Page on the SweetLeaf company site to read their descriptions of the various varieties they offer.
Where to buy SweetLeaf Stevia
- You can get it at Amazon.com — I buy mine on Amazon, along with other “household” necessities, because I can use the gift cards I earn by taking surveys to pay for it all. I wait until I have $50 of stuff to order which gives me free shipping. The cost for the stevia when I buy it this way ends up being cheaper per ounce than buying it in the grocery store. Of course if you have Amazon Prime, then shipping is always free. I used to have Prime, but money was tight when it came up for renewal. I’ll get again because it is well worth the annual subscription fee just for access to all the movies, TV shows, and music. Free shipping is just the icing on the cake.
- You can buy it direct from the SweetLeaf company online
- You may be able to buy it at a store near you. The SweetLeaf company has a “Store Locator“
- Stevia (Wikipedia.org)
- Inulin (Wikipedia.org)
- Maltodextrin (Wikipedia.org)
- Is Stevia Safe (Foodbabe.com)
- Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe? (WebMD.com)
- Stevia (WebMD.com)
- All Stevia Brands are NOT Alike (blog post)
- Safe Artificial Sweeteners
See ya on the dance floor!
Feel free to share your own stories or tips and tricks about sweeteners by using the comment form down below:
- These are my opinions…
- Other than being a customer / consumer, I am not affiliated with any of these companies in any way.
(Though if you happen to be with one of these companies and you want me to be your spokes person, well, uhmm, give me a shout via my contact form and we’ll talk. – yeh, like THAT’s gonna ever happen!).
- I have actually bought and used and/or researched the products I review – read the individual review for all the details on any particular item.
- I am a member of the affiliate program on Amazon. So, if you click on a link, in one of my reviews, and you actually buy the item from Amazon, well, I get paid a teeny tiny commission — a few pennies (from 1-6% depending on the product, averaging about 4%) But that’s what we’re talking about folks. Pennies. So a few measly cents really isn’t enough to make me give a good review to a bad product. Don’t get me wrong… I can be bought, but girlfriend, I can’t be bought cheap! — I have a MUCH higher price tag than a few pennies maybe earned via a referral. So there! 🙂 (And if I ever *am* bought by a company, I’ll let ya know up front! LOL) And you don’t have to buy it from Amazon. That’s just an option. Use it if you like. Ignore it if you like. Your choice.
Posted on Sun, Jul 5, 2015, in Product Reviews and tagged diabetes, product reviews, reviews, Stevia, stevia review, Sugar substitute, sweetleaf, sweetleaf stevia, Tony's Take on. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.