Blogger's Note: the new and improved liquid stevia from Body Ecology is excellent! No nasty, bitter aftertaste, due to better filtration. All natural, NO calories, no artificial anything. We use it in our tea, yerba mate, etc. You really only need a drop or 2 per cup, so a 2 oz bottle lasts a l-o-n-g time. Enjoy. (click here to go right to it)
Learning about Stevia, by Donna Gates of BodyEcology
How sweet it is...Body Ecology's Stevia is even sweeter than before with an enhanced filtering process that ensures all you get is sweetness, with none of the aftertaste! If you’ve been turned off by the taste of stevia in the past, taste the Body Ecology Stevia difference for a high quality, no-calorie, all natural sugar substitute that benefits your health!
Craving sweets and don’t know where to turn? Here’s why you should re-evaluate stevia! Find out the health benefits of stevia and learn some tips for how to choose the best stevia from Body Ecology founder and stevia poineer, Donna Gates.
Stevia is finding it’s way into the market in a variety of products these days, which I am very excited about.
But did you know that not all stevia products have the same quality or taste?
If you’ve sampled stevia before and found it to have an unpleasant taste, it may be time to give it another try again...here’s why...
Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute. This sweet herb (member of the crysanthemum family), used in Japan for more than 30 years, is
200 – 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is also
calorie-free, so using stevia allows you to minimize or eliminate sugars from your diet and also those poisonous artificial sweeteners. Yet you will still be able to enjoy the sweet taste we humans naturally love!
The Herb Stevia has health benefits. Both the 1) white powder, 2) the liquid made from the powder and 3) the crude green herb actually prevent cavities. They do not cause blood sugar to rise (so it’s safe for diabetics) and do not feed candida. The unrefined (green) herbal stevia is the most medicinal form. It increases energy and aids digestion by stimulating the pancreas but this green form has the licorice-like after-taste.
Stevia enhances the flavor of foods. The little known fact about stevia is its ability to improve the flavor of foods. It is most complimentary with dairy foods like milk kefir and fruits (like the ones we recommend on the Body Ecology Diet.) To use stevia as a flavor enhancer...say to pop up the flavors in your Body Ecology salad dressing... simply use a drop or two, literally. No more than this tiny amount, please, or you start sweetening the dressing.
So with all of the health benefits of stevia, what took so long for it to make a mark in the United States? Why are companies, like Coca-Cola, which relied on artificial sweeteners, now starting to use stevia?
The answer lies in stevia’s history.
Many years ago, in my quest to find an all-natural sugar substitute that would not feed candida, I came across stevia in Japan. At that time, stevia was known to just a few of us here in the US and was sold occasionally as a green herb. It was not very popular or appealing because of its licorice-like aftertaste. I learned of a delicious white powder that was developed by scientists in Japan who mastered the ability to extract the sweet-tasting elements in the crude leaf.
What we were eating here in the US were artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal and NutriSweet) and saccharin (Sweet and Low).
It was actually the manufacturers of artificial sweeteners that created the FDA ban on stevia, so they could leave an open playing field for their products.
So unfortunately, stevia was surrounded in controversy shortly after I arranged for a delicious blend of white powdered stevia to be brought into our country...developed by the Japanese...but actually made in an award-winning facility in China. I lead a grass roots movement and had literally tens of thousands of people safely enjoying the white powder (with many calling the FDA asking why it was not approved as a sweetener) when the FDA lifted the ban.
Immediately, stevia appeared on the shelves in the supplement section of health food stores labeled as a dietary supplement...but not as a sweetener.
Unfortunately, it was not very popular at first because it was new and no one knew how to use it. This new white powder tasted very sweet, but it was not like sugar, and there was a learning curve to using it. It was hard for consumers to grasp that only a tiny amount was needed so most everyone over-sweetened their food or drink on their first attempt to use it. You couldn’t bake with it either. Cakes and muffins didn’t brown well. They didn’t rise up and become light and fluffy either.
To help with the learning curve problem I wrote a cookbook called, Stevia: Cooking with Nature’s Calorie Free Sweetener with ”transitional” (not Body Ecology) recipes. That was later followed up by my popular cookbook, The Stevia Cookbook, which has over 100 taste-tempting recipes.
I wanted to show Americans how to use it in ice cream and cheesecake so they would stop using sugar and aspartame. Other recipe books appeared as well, but their recipes usually had additional sweeteners like fruit juice and date sugar.
The good news? Stevia survived and today there are many more options to choose from.
So if you haven’t tried stevia lately, here’s what you need to know to get the best tasting product:
How sweet it is...Our Stevia is even sweeter than before with an enhanced filtering process that ensures all you get is sweetness, with none of the aftertaste! If you’ve been turned off by the taste of stevia in the past, taste the Body Ecology Stevia difference for a high quality, no-calorie, all natural sugar substitute that benefits your health!
Educate yourself. The first thing to know is that there are a lot of different formulations and variations in the quality of stevia. Stevia is made up of
but it’s the rebaudiosides that give it a sweeter, more delicious taste.
Because the percentage of stevioside to rebaudioside varies, you may find that some stevia tastes stronger or more bitter than others. With a long history working with stevia, we have always formulated the Body Ecology Stevia with a higher percentage of rebaudioside, which you’ll notice gives it a more delicious taste without the bitter after taste.
Keep in mind that the more rebaudioside, the more it costs to manufacture the stevia. However, if you truly want to enjoy stevia, the extra expense is worth it.
Recently, we’ve improved on the formula by implementing an enhanced filtering process. This means that our Stevia concentrate is even sweeter, so you need less drops for your desired level of sweetness...and you’ll love the taste!
You can learn all about stevia on our special stevia website.
- Taste test. Taste a variety of stevia products for yourself and see the difference! Here are some guidelines:
Crushed green leaves and greenish brown syrup– these are the most medicinal way to use stevia, but have a bitter, licorice-like taste.
White Powder and liquid– tastes better, but be aware that there are different strengths of stevia, which affect the taste (see above).
Learn to use the RIGHT amount of stevia.If you are accustomed to using sugar, and are unfamiliar with stevia you will tend to overdo it when you are first learning.
If you use too much of any stevia, it will be way too sweet and dominate the rest of the ingredients. It’s important to learn to use very small amounts and determine the number of drops that work for you in that particular food.
Clink on this link to find a generalized sugar to stevia conversion chart that will help you learn to convert sugar in recipes to the amount of stevia you’ll need to use. Keep in mind that since stevia concentrates vary in strength, there will still be some degree of experimentation before you have settled on the amount that works for you.
Body Ecology’s liquid stevia concentrate is stronger and sweeter than others.
Body Ecology’s Commitment to SAFE Sweeteners
Body Ecology has always been about creating balance in your health and lifestyle. Having the sweet taste in your diet is part of honoring all six tastes (sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent and sweet) that keep us feeling balanced.
But you also want and deserve to be healthy.
And at Body Ecology, we are committed to finding the best products to meet your need for a joyful, delicious eating experience!