Okay, I will freely admit that I hated Stevia the first time I tasted it. I’m not all that in love with its natural flavor now, to me it tastes like licorice and unless it’s alcoholic as in Sambuca, I don’t want licorice in my coffee. But I am slowly getting used to natural Stevia flavor the more I use it.
But the vanilla-flavored liquid Stevia I bought–OMG! What a difference some vanilla makes. I bought it as a non-calorie, all natural sweetener for hot coffee but I’ve ended up making the most delicious iced tea and iced coffee I’ve ever tasted in my life. And it’s healthy, and it’s not fattening. How can you go wrong? So now, instead of mixing powdered chemicals with water for my diet iced
tea, I boil a kettle of water, throw in a few teabags, sweeten with a squeeze of vanilla stevia and chill. It’s so tasty it’s like having a treat. And when I have leftover coffee in the pot, I put that in the fridge too, then add half and half and a squeeze of vanilla stevia and viola! My husband said it’s as good as the flavored iced coffee people pay a lot of money for at certain coffee shops we all know and love to hate. AND as I said before, no calories (except for that found in the half and half) and all natural (so my friend will stop yelling at me for using Splenda).
What is Stevia? My understanding is it’s a naturally growing plant but let’s turn to the all knowing Wikipedia for clarification.
Here’s a picture of the Stevia flower. Pretty, no? Now I like it even more! Here’s what Wiki says… “Stevia is in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia’s taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.
With its steviol glycoside extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.”
I see it is also sold in chocolate flavor, which I’m very tempted to try for a Mocha Iced Coffee at home. There is also an Orange flavor which would probably be amazing added to sweeten whipped cream, though I guess the cream defeats the purpose of the low calorie sweetener. There’s also Root Beer, that I’m not so excited over but to each his own. I suppose it would be good in plain seltzer water for an all natural, low-calorie alternative to soda. Hmmm…..
So give it a try. It seems pricey but I paid under $10 for a bottle and I literally use only drops at a time. Perfect for summer, enjoy some Vanilla Iced Tea or Coffee without the guilt!