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Is their a brand of stevia that actuall tastes good?

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  • Elle Nov 23, 2004 02:40 PM
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I am trying to drastically cut back my sugar consumption and I am pretty much limited any soft drinks to fresh lemonade or tea, but I wanted a natural sweetener that tasted good. At the herb and nutrition store they all said that Stevia was the healthiest and I bought a powdered form of it that was absolutely disgusting. Has anyone had a good one or a liquid Stevia?

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  1. I may be mistaken, but I'd bet that stevia tastes like stevia just as sugar tastes like sugar. There's not a variation between brands.

    10 Replies
    1. re: GG Mora

      I think there's a good deal of variation among brands.
      Other CH threads on this very thing.

      The Trader Joe's brand tastes very clean and sweet as stevia goes -- almost no aftertaste. Especially in things like Fage plain yogurt with fresh fruit, and iced tea with mint and fresh-squeezed lime juice.

      1. re: maria lorraine

        Maria, you have never steered me wrong with your advice. I must try Trader Joe's brand soon!

        btw, is this stevia that I'm referring to in the following post from TJ? And, if not, do you have any idea what brand it may be?

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6557...

        1. re: Miss Needle

          Miss Needle, greetings...happy summer!

          It's probably time for me to purchase some more stevia myself, given that I love iced tea in the hot summer, prepared with lots of citrus and occasionally mint. Your link is to a post about stevia in small packets, and I'm sorry I don't know the brand. I haven't seen the packets so I can't check out their provenance, but I'll keep an eye out.

          I will say again that I've been very pleased with the Trader Joe's brand of Stevia.
          Please note, it's not found near the sugar -- I think it's near the vitamins, as it's considered a "supplement." (??) Comes in a jar with a brown lid. Very little aftertaste, which dwindles to nearly nothing when using in yogurt, smoothies, beverages, etc.

          I suppose I want sweetness and invisibility, or sweetness that most resembles sugar.
          Other brands don't taste so clean, and have a bothersome something that makes me too aware of them.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Happy summer to you as well, Maria!

            Thanks for letting me know about the location of the stevia in TJ. True, I don't think I've seen stevia near the sugar unless it was the Truvia brand.

            I'm currently using the 365 brand of stevia -- not horrible. I prefer it to Sweet Leaf, but there's still this bitter aftertaste.

            The best stevia I've had was at this restaurant in upstate NY where the chef grew his own stevia plants and made them into a syrup. It was wonderful. If I wasn't so lazy, I would have tried sourcing some stevia plants and growing them myself -- though I don't know how well they would do in an apartment.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              I find the taste of fresh stevia much better also. I grew some a few years ago and it was pretty carefree. I think it would do fine in a pot by a sunny window. If you can grow herbs in your space it will work. Mine became about 3' tall, but clipping will keep it a more apt. friendly size.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                i have to chime in as the voice of dissent here - i was really disappointed with the bottle of stevia powder i bought at TJ's a few months ago - i actually returned it. they add lactose, and i honestly picked up on a faint sour milk note in it. i also didn't have much luck dissolving it in anything but super-hot tea.

                the cleanest-tasting liquids i've found are Stevia Clear and KAL - i also like the fact that neither one contains alcohol or glycerol, as many products do. and obviously they're easier to mix into cold liquids and foods - the powders can be stubborn about dissolving. my favorite powder is KAL, but it's verrrry tricky to get the right amount - too much is wicked bitter.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Meatn3, yes, the fresh stevia infused water was really good. Perhaps I'll try to find some plants this year. Did you start out with seeds or were you able to source a plant?

                  And GHG, I've had the Stevia Clear liquid but wasn't too crazy about it. But I'll keep an eye out for KAL as well. Where did you get it?

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    i usually buy it at the Vitamin Shoppe because their price is the lowest, but you can also find it at Whole Foods. both places have good return policies, so you can try it and just bring it back if you hate it.

                    the only other one i've tried that tasted good was the Now Foods brand (also available at WFM or any health food store), but it contains vegetable glycerine, which upsets my stomach even in really small amounts.

                    you might want to look into Sun Crystals. i haven't tried the product yet - it's a blend of stevia and pure can sugar. i have a [formerly] junk-food addicted client who started using it instead of Splenda (that stuff just scares me), and he loves it.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      I found the plant at an herb festival, but I found seeds at Lowes this year. I have a friend with access to a commercial greenhouse so I gave him all of my seeds to start and share (I only have room for a few of each). He said the packet was empty! Same thing happened with a few other packets he purchased from the same company...

                  2. re: Miss Needle

                    I don't know about growing them in an apt, but I've seen stevia plants at Lowes and Ace Hardware...

          2. Check out HerbaSweet from HerbaSway Labs. It is a calorie free traditional chinese herbal sweetener using LoHan and Inulin. Very concentrated and all natural. 7 drops equals one teaspoon of sugar. Tastes great. Their website is www. HerbaSway.com or 1-800-672-7322
            I also drink their Cranberry Magic and mix it with selzer water for a great drink, again no carbs or calories.

            1. I use the sweetleaf flavored liquids - i.e. lemon juice + a couple drops of "lemon drop" stevia = lemonade, or seltzer + chocolate raspberry (which really just tastes like raspberry to me) for tasty pseudo-soda. I do think that the liquid is preferable to powder, just because it mixes more thoroughly, and the flavored ones might cover up the stevia flavor enough for you to enjoy it. http://www.sweetleaf.com/category.php...
              Also worth noting: I find that I get used to the flavor of stevia after a couple of days - whenever I start using it again after not touching it for a couple of weeks, it does taste a little off, but I get used to it after a few days and don't mind it at all.

              1. My husband likes the taste of stevia, I don't so it may be a matter of personal taste. I use xylitol as a sugar substitute (but no more than 1/4 c per recipe).

                Regarding Babs' post, be careful with things containing inulin, it makes some people bloat and feel like they're going to explode or wish they would to relieve the pressure.

                5 Replies
                1. re: lgss

                  I rarely use sweetener, but when I do I use Xylitol also. Unlike Stevia, it is not calorie free. You may want to search for a more delicious tea you can drink without sweetener. I drink Mighty Leaf brand. The herbal varieties make very nice ice teas.

                  1. re: maxie

                    But xylitol is actually beneficial for one's teeth.

                    1. re: lgss

                      My understanding is the ones made from birch have that attribute. Many are made from corn...

                      1. re: meatn3

                        How do you know what your xylitol is made from? I had incorrectly thought it was all birch sugar, but am sadly mistaken. My container just says "xylitol". I'm thinking if it doesn't say otherwise, it's probably corn, though I probably shouldn't jump to conclusions.

                        1. re: maxie

                          Most are not made from birch - too expensive from what I have gathered. Global Sweet is the only one from birch that I am aware of in the U.S. If it doesn't say "birch" then I would suspect that it is made from something else.

                          http://www.globalsweet.com/

                2. In 2007 I tried a bunch of different stevias looking to avoid the aftertaste. I finally found Stevia Max 80 powder from a company in Canada. I don't get a bitter aftertaste unless I make something ridiculously sweet. Their shipping does take a few weeks.