Products Sweetened with Stevia: Sweet and Healthy Treats!
Finding Stevia Sweetened Products that Taste Great
For those of us who have a sweet tooth, but are avoiding table sugar for health reasons and special diets, stevia sweetener really comes to the rescue.
As you are probably aware, stevia is an herb-derived natural sugar substitute, technically categorized as a “dietary supplement” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (For an introduction to stevia, you can read my previous article here at http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Best-Stevia-Best-Tasting-and-Best-Priced-Stevia)
Finding stevia-sweetened prepared food products can be a bit challenging, but they are available if you know where to look. It seems new products containing stevia are slowly but surely finding their way to grocery store shelves everywhere.
Let’s start with sodas. Obviously, most zero-calorie, diet sodas are made with questionable artificial sweeteners; however, a very popular stevia-sweetened version of soda finally hit the market. Zevia All Natural Soda comes in a variety of flavors: Orange, Mountain Zevia, Black Cherry, Cream Soda, Dr. Zevia, Ginger Ale, Grape, Ginger Root Beer, Grapefruit Citrus, Lemon Lime Twist, Cola and even Caffeine Free Cola.
I have personally tried the Ginger Root Beer, Cola and Orange sodas, and I can say without reservation that they were excellent. There was no detectable bitter aftertaste that I remember well from regular diet sodas, so this is a product I’m now enjoying and purchasing frequently.
Yet another beverage to consider is made by Stevita. With several flavors offered—Orange, Grape, Cherry, Lime, and Chocolate Delight–these comes as a powder that can be mixed into water. In fact, it can also be used to flavor and sweeten yogurt, among other things.
Next on my list is a favorite whey protein powder that I use almost daily. I had previously had a difficult time finding a good-tasting whey protein powder that did not have sugars added, but then I found a winner: Jay Robb Whey Protein Isolate makes a great product to fill this need. Flavors include Vanilla, Pina Colada, Strawberry, Tropical Dreamsicle, and Chocolate (my personal favorite). There is also an unflavored version available.
The bonuses to this particular protein powder (in addition to the stevia it is sweetened with), is the high protein value per serving (25 grams); the fact that it mixes fairly easily; and the fact that they use a high quality whey----from grass-fed cows not treated with rBGH, the synthetic bovine growth hormone.
While we wait for more food products like these to come to the marketplace, I am glad that we can find numerous recipes and forms of stevia to create any number of desserts and goodies of our own making. Numerous cookbooks about the use of stevia have been published in just the last few years, and I am very pleased with most of the ones I’ve seen.
As for price, stevia-sweetened specialty items do seem to cost a bit more than traditionally sweetened or other artificially sweetened products. For that reason, I should mention that Amazon.com has indeed offered the best prices on the aforementioned goodies, with the exception of an occasional sale on Zevita at my local Whole Foods Market.
Stay tuned for more “sweet ideas” as I find them!