Sunday, November 22, 2009

Naturally Sweet

(I admit I wrote this Tuesday, which is why some things, such as the weather, do not make sense haha)

My car still won't start (I need a new battery), and I had to be at St. Elizabeth's for 6 am this morning. J. was nice enough to give me a ride at 5:30 a.m. so that I didn't have to bike there, which was VERY MUCH appreciated especially after noting the thick layer of frost that was present this morning.

Since I was driven to work, afterwards I had to take good ole Boston Public Transportation home, I JUST missed the bus I was trying to get, so I wound up walking a couple of miles (which was good, and maybe I can partially justify my constantly skipping the gym lately?), then I hopped on a bus that took me to Central Square.

Being in the area, and being in need of flour after my cookie making Monday, I stopped into the Harvest Co op. I picked up some whole wheat pastry flour, raisins, and sesame sticks (coming to a salad soon??)

While at the Co op I also recalled a recent conversation with Annabelle, and she told me you can get stevia from the bulk section at the coop, which makes it ideal for giving it a try, since I was hesitant to purchase a whole package of it for like $8 and discover I disliked it.

Stevia is the "new" big sweetener. Elizabeth is constantly talking about it, and at work I have been analyzing more and more food records with people using stevia. There are even stevia sweetened sodas now (I love how junk food products think if they add something natural they are suddenly healthy, but that's a rant for another day...)

Stevia is a natural sweetener made from the leaves of the stevia plant. I'm not going to go too in detail about stevia, since I feel like everyone that reads my blog knows significantly more about it than I do.

At any rate, I decided to give it a try. I purchased 0.06# of the herb, for just over a dollar, - not too harsh of an investment.

When I got home, I decided to have some in a cup of tea. I chose a basic black tea so that I could really get a sense for what stevia tastes like.

It looked a bit more frothy than usual, and there was a definite green tinge in the foam, but as I always say, I've never met anything green that I didn't like (yet)!

I think the excess foam/ powderiness is partially due to the fact that I've recently switched over to using powdered soymilk in coffee and tea etc (basically because it's a lot lighter to carry home than whole soymilk haha).

Sooks was also very interested in this new sweetener and hesitantly inspected the situation.

Stevia wasn't as sweet as I was expecting, but I used it very sparingly since I was a bit nervous from I've heard all these stats that it is like 200x sweeter than sugar, and a serving size I read on one package was 1/40th teaspoon.

It tasted pretty good, and made my tea an adequate sweetness. There was a lot of residue left over from the stevia, and it left me with a bit of a powdery taste in my mouth.

I know this green kind is the more "raw" less refined version, so perhaps the more refined ones have less excess particals to cause this build up and powdery taste.

I'll have to give this sweetener a try in other settings, and perhaps not in the presence of powdered soymilk and see how it fares.

As for now, Sookie and I Signing out!


  1. hahaha love me some stevia!!! i actually have never had the green variety-i've been meaning to get some from harvest! next time i see you, i am throwing some packets in my purse to give to you-i have an abundance of stevia!!

  2. Hahaha- I look forward to it!
    You could definitely be a stevia spokesperson, all your talking about it is the main reason I tried it! Whenever I see peoples food records including it I just get annoyed that I have to figure out how to make it in out Nutritional Data Base.

  3. although I've meant to try it and I've seen it, I've never had the green stevia, either! the green stevia is supposed to be better for you and isn't supposed to have the bitter aftertaste that the more refined, white stevia powder has. i'll need to buy it the next time I'm at Harvest. and glad that you're going to give stevia another try, looking forward to your comments!

  4. I haven't tried the green stevia, but I do use the SweetLeaf stevia, both their flavored liquids and powder. I personally don't detect an aftertaste! I think it's great that it has 0 calories, 0 carbs, and a 0 glycemic index!