April 29, 2010

Stevia

I did a research paper and presentation on Stevia for a Food Chemistry class over a decade ago. I was so impressed with Stevia (on paper) as a natural sweetener. Something so good seemed to good to be true and in a sense this is true. I have yet to stumble across truly yummy, doable recipes using Stevia. I have, however, become remotivated about attempting to use Stevia after buying the fully revised & updated book by Rebecca Wood titled, "The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia". Here is what Ms. Woods has to say about Stevia:
"Imagine a healthful herb that is 30 times sweeter than sugar, nonnutritive, and essentially noncaloric. Stevia, which the Guarani Indians of Paraguay call caa-hee, is such a plant. Its leaves and flower buds contain two glucosides that are 200 and 300 times, respectively, sweeter than sucrose and which cannot be metabolized in the human digestive system. Stevia is a member of the daisy family."

I will continue to give Stevia a chance and I'll be sure to pass on any amazing, sugar-free, Stevia sweetened recipes I try. (I am being hopeful)

I typically buy the white powdered form of Stevia. You can find it in the health section of your grocery store or at your local nutrition store. It isn't very expensive and it goes a long way. I have also purchased the stevia sweetened chocolate extract, but I have to experiment with it more. Maybe it'll make some great hot chocolate this winter! I'll let you know.

(Quick note: I might have to pull out my herbology book and argue the fact that Stevia is nonnutritive. Using this word to describe Stevia (or any herb) is kind of bugging me, but that is for another blog post. :))

2 comments:

Jessy said...

What sweetener has Stevia in it? I've stopped using splenda, and I've been using Truvia. I heard it's better for you.

anna said...

Stevia is itself. There is no "sweetener" that uses Stevia as its base. You can typically find it in a health food store or in the natural food section of a grocery store. I don't know too much about alternative sweeteners. If you use Truvia (again, I am not familiar with any of the sweeteners on the market today) to sweeten drink and things Stevia might be a fun alternative. You can buy Stevia extracts. They come in fun flavors like chocolate, mint and vanilla. These are nice to add to coffee. A little goes a super long way. Love Ya, Anna