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!