Monday, February 4, 2013

Secret Weapon #1 - Stevia

This week I'm going to share a post a day that covers my "secret weapons" of making healthier choices!  There several staple products that I use on a daily basis, and are easy to find in the grocery store!

To start off with -
 STEVIA

What is Stevia?
Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the leaves of the rebaudiana plant.  It has ZERO calories, carbs, fat, etc.  It's just like those pink, blue, and yellow packet sweeteners in that way, but what makes Stevia different is that it is NATURAL.  There are tons of studies out there that show the harmful effects of using artificial sweeteners, and Stevia doesn't have those negative effects.

Where can I buy Stevia?
I buy my Stevia at my local grocery store, Giant.  They have 2 aisles dedicated to natural/organic/vegan/gluten free products, and this is where Stevia is found.  It's with the baking ingredients.  You can also order online if you do a little Googling!

What does it look like?
Stevia comes in several forms: packets, tablets, granuales, and liquid.  My favorite is the liquid.  I use a few drops of it every single day in my Green Monster, in my tea, and even to add sweetness to baked goods and recipes.  I used to use 1-2 packets of artificial sweetener in a cup of coffee, now I use 3-4 drops of Stevia.  I keep the packets at school and a little container of the tablets in my purse.
Is there a specific brand of Stevia?
The brand I use is called Sweet Leaf.  It's packaging is green.  The liquid comes in a little dropper bottle.  It can seem pricey at first, a bottle costs around $11.  However, you really only use a few drops at a time so the bottle lasts a really long time!

What else makes Stevia special?
One of the things I like about Stevia is that it also comes in flavors!  I only have the vanilla right now, but it comes in grape, root beer, chocolate, peppermint, and a bunch more.  My afternoon snack is usually 3-4 drops of vanilla Stevia mixed with plain Greek yogurt and berries. 

Is Truvia the same thing as Stevia?
You may have seen Truvia on the shelves of your grocery store alongside those other colored packet sweeteners.  Truvia is NOT pure Stevia, as the SweetLeaf products are.  Truvia contains both Stevia and the sugar alcohol erythritol, which can cause "digestive disruptions". It's definitely a better bet than the colored packets, but I'm still sticking with regular Stevia!

Check out the Stevia website for more information!


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1 comment:

  1. It's great, isn't it. I have been using stevia for years now. I got mine from a company call Steviva out of Portland, Oregon. The pure powder lasts a real long time. I haven't ordered any for about 3-1/2 years. It has lasted that long. Missionary friends in Paraguay introduced me to it. The Indians in Paraguay have used it for hundreds of years. Here is the web site if you are interested. www.steviva.com

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