Stevia Sweetener – True Natural Sweetener
Since most of the people that I mention it to have never heard about it, I thought it was time to share about the herb Stevia that I use as a sweetener. You probably have not heard about it for a good reason. It was not available here in the US until a few years ago.
Stevia is actually is South American plant that has been used by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay for hundreds of years. The Japanese started cultivating Stevia in the 1970’s as an alternative to artificial sweeteners, aka suspected carcinogens. But here in the US, the herb was banned in the early 1990’s at the request of an anonymous complaint. The FDA labeled stevia as an “unsafe food additive” and restricted its import. There is evidence that the FDA acted in response to industry pressure. I wonder from whom. Hummmm…
Stevia is 300 times sweeter than fructose (table sugar) so a little bit goes a long way. I pay $9.99 at Trader Joe’s for this little bottle but it contains 1120 servings. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your neighborhood, you can buy it here from the manufacturer.
Anyhoo, I have been using Stevia for about three years now, mostly in my coffee, tea and lemonade. Actually, a Stevia lemonade is my favorite summer drink. My 2 second recipe is so simple: all I do is fill a glass with ice cold water, squeeze in a lemon (or a couple splashes of Realemon if you’re in a bind) and add a tiny sprinkle of Stevia. Mix and drink. And lemon juice is great for us blood type A’s. Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose and even enhance glucose tolerance, which might be an additional reason that I so enjoy drinking the Pure Invention Tea extracts that contain it. Makes me feel good and has a way of satisfied that craving for a “little something sweet”.