Everyone loves sweet food. We eat cakes, sweets or throwing sugar in the tea. The downside to sweet food and drink is known; we are fat. Our teeth get daily to endure attacks by eating biscuits and chocolate. Honey is a good alternative; it is healthier than sugar. Yet you become too much too thick honey. The solution to our sweet addiction is a plant from South America; stevia.
10 year long ban stevia
Stevia as a medicine
Stevia in the herb garden
Stevia in soft drinks
Update June 14th, 2012
Stevia is a sweet little plant that was used by the Indians from South America to make their tea with sweet. It is brought by the Spaniards to Europe. From the 19th century Europeans began to use more and more stevia.
Stevia is since April 2010 adopted by the EFSA. EFSA stands for: European Food Safety Authority and the organization's food safety authority within the European boundaries. Stevia was many years in health food shops for sale. From 2000 it could no longer be sold in the Netherlands after a lobbying by the sugar industry.
Stevia was still sold for external use; its also good as a cure for acne, eczema and dermatitis. In Brazil, stevia is an official cure for diabetes. Toothpaste is based on stevia sold. Stevia has numerous health benefits. In the 10 years that stevia was banned in the Netherlands, have consumers who knew how the fork in the stem just sat stevia used to make them eat it fresh.
In some countries, stevia bags are available as a replacement for sugar sachets. The stevia tastes very sweet; with one bag, you can easily make two or three cups of sweet tea.
Stevia is a plant that unfortunately did not survive the winter in the Netherlands. You can grow it in a pot. You can then put the pot inside in winter. A fresh leaf stevia can be used to sweeten the tea, or by mixing the food. Dried stevia tastes much sweeter than the fresh leaf. It's best to dry leaves and store them in an airtight jar.
Stevia is available in the form of white powder. It is then refined. Refined stevia is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and you will absolutely not fat. Stevia is also sweeter than artificial sweeteners like aspartame. You will notice that coffee saccharine is a pinch of stevia. Because it is a super sweet addition, you do very little to use.
In November 2011 the first soda with stevia as a sweetener was marketed. It was a tribute to a Finnish manufacturer to have the scoop. The drink which it is used is a red orange soda. It is expected that other soft drink manufacturers will soon follow. Stevia has for soft drink manufacturers benefit because the diet products have gotten a bad name. Aspartame is considered unhealthy and as one of the causes of ADHD and food allergies. Stevia is an ideal alternative; it is better for the health.
The rules were tightened on labeling of Stevia. There should no longer the product alone that there is a natural sweetener inside. The powder which is sold as is, in fact, stevia refined stevia. Although the product is sold in natural foods stores in the Netherlands, the method is controversial and is not called organic. Stevia powder does not contain the whole stevia plant but only the steviol glycosides from stevia. These are obtained by using an ion exchanger. According to many ecofoodkenners such method is not organic. Fortunately, it is still possible to buy stevia plants and put them in the herb garden. You can also cultivate the stevia plant as a spice in the window so you can use even in winter fresh sweeteners.