I was at Vitamin Cottage today (contrary to popular misconception, it is neither a cottage, nor is made from vitamins) because I wanted to score some righteous natural sweetener.
I have been staring at my stevia plants for a few days now and want some sweet!
Many organic stores in your area will sell stevia. It’s also nice to support your local hippie hut and marvel at all of the various types of organic broths on the shelves.
I asked a nice lady about stevia, and she directed me to a tall kiosk filled with various forms of Stevia. Harps and angels sang (OK, so they sounded like Enya) and I saw before me literally a couple dozen ways stevia is packaged and sold.
I bought the cool stuff pictured above and plan to go back for more pretties, especially since now I know stevia kicks the total cottage cheesy butt of righteousness.
And, catch this action. I got the stuff far cheaper in the local specialty store than I would have online (and I didn’t pay shipping). *pumps fist in the air*
Stevia SweetLeaf Packets, 100 $ 10.75 (versus $12.99 online)
Stevia SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia, Vanilla Creme $11.89 (versus $13.98 online)
I paid a grand total of $24.46 with local tax at Vitamin Cottage.
Online I would have paid $26.97 plus $12.99 S&H (I twist your nostrils not).
Oh my Goth! I know!
Netrition.com thumbwrestles Hippies
While you were making tea, not war, I was doing a price comparison and realize I should have checked out netrition.com too.
Their Sweetleaf liquid is 2 bucks cheaper than what I spent today ($9.99). Now, granted, S&H is still $4.95, but that is a good deal, when you figure in the lower product costs.
I couldn’t find the Sweetleaf Packets at netrition to compare them, but they sell “Now” brand, which is half of the price of the Sweetleaf brand. If you know why this is, please let me know. I am thinking if they’re comparable in product, you could save some serious cashola, and I will proclaim you too good-looking for 13 states and 7 provinces.
Taste test for the Packets
I’m drinking some stevia powder in my tea and this stuff rocks. HARD. One small packet of this stuff has successfully sweetened 2 huge iced tea glasses (20 ounces each) of cold iced tea.
I am psyched to start playing with this stuff in the kitchen in recipes.
I’s just like to say that I am an avid reader of your blog – though I am gluten and dairy free as well as low carb which makes the recipes somewhat of a trial for me. Thank god for goat’s dairy is all I can say.
I just wanted to let you know that Xylitol is another good sweetener alternative. I use in in collaboration with stevia in recipes and it makes a mean lemon chiffon pie filling. It’s naturally derived from corn (ironically) and sometimes birch, and doesn’t come with all the nasties that aspartame and sucralose do.
Hope that helps!
Hannah from Australia.
I’ve got some stevia ordered after reading all the comments you got. I have bought from iherb for a few years (https://www.iherb.com) and their prices are the best and they will throw in free shipping if you spend enough, usually around $60. I get my nut flours and sunflower seeds from them and other things like lotion and shampoo. I paid $8.17 for the Vanilla Cream. Check them out. Look around for a first time buyer discount, they used to have that.
Cleo is right. Vitamin Cottage is NOT made of vitamins. (Very disappointing!)
I was there last night and picked up a bag of erythritol for less than $7. Same size bag is $15 at King Soopers.
The Vanilla Creme stevia liquid is about $14 at Whole Paycheck…errr..I mean Whole Foods. I tried the lemon and it really sucked, but the vanilla is good.
It is also a good idea to check out the sea salt section. Redmond is a great brand. Their Celtic sea salt is also wonderful.
Another good bargain was their brown cow cream on top yogurt. On sale for only $1.89 for 32oz.
I would love it if we had a Trader Joe’s, but until then, the Vitamin Cottage will work.
I thought you might like to look into this https://www.zevia.com/ its diet soda made with stevia, I found it at my local PCC (but then I live in Redmond, Wa and this brand of soda is made in Seattle, Wa. I liked the cola and the orange soda, it was kinda expensive but probably worth it for a once in awhile treat.
Per my experience, Stevia, in and of itself, does not bake very well for the same reasons Splenda does not bake very well. Sweet Leaf Stevia does have a baking blend similar to that sold by Splenda.
You might want to look for this cookbook sold by Sweet Leaf that has some baking recipes.
This is the product Sweet Leaf recommends for baking:
Be careful when you shop for stevia. There is also a product called Stevia plus, which is just stevia with bulking added. It looks cheaper, but you have to use a lot more.
I use stevia all the time and love it. For baking, sometimes I mix 1/2 stevia and 1/2 splenda. Stevia makes an especially good lemonaide,too. I don’t like the liquid as much because it seems less potent. And not all stevia is the same. I bought some excellent stevia online at herbaladvantage.com.
Okay, someone please tell me- does this stuff taste half way decent or what? I tried once before years ago and I found it bitter. I’d like to try it again, but I don’t want to waste my $$- especially now with gas @ $900.00 a gallon!!
The SweetLeaf stevia is stevia plus inulin, which might possibly be why it’s cheaper. In the wake of your last post, I tried this again… and Sweetleaf is a little more tolerable and a LOT less bitter than stevia alone, I have to say.
But I still find stevia weird. In tea, it’s like the actual tea doesn’t taste sweet at all, but there’s this huge sweetness aftertaste. Like being in a powdered sugar cloud. Not exactly unpleasant, but not exactly like drinking a sweet thing, either.
Maybe I’ll get used to it. I’m trying, but I’m getting husbandly objections, and sweetening everyone’s stuff with different things is more than a little annoying.
Oops! Should have said, it’s the Sweetleaf packets pictured (that say Stevia Plus) that have inulin in them; the liquid Sweetleaf products are pure stevia, I think.
New Mama says
Just wanted to chime in that Now is a very good company — I haven’t bought their stevia but I use their vitamins/minerals exclusively.
Just wondering if you noticed any bitter aftertaste with the stevia? I bought some a couple years ago when I first started LC, but didn’t use it since I found it quite bitter. I’d be interested in trying it again, if you’d recommend it.
PS- just pulled a beautiful batch of oopsies from the oven! I add a teaspoon of garlic powder to the yolk mixture and it’s soo yummy!
I just got my bottle of Stevia Vanilla Creme. It tastes pretty good. I put 3 drops in seltzer water and I liked it but the same in some green tea tasted a bit artificial. I’m hoping to find or create some ice cream recipes with it. My favorite new trick is to add a tablespoon of organic extra virgin unrefined coconut oil in a cup of tea and drink slurping off a spoon. It tastes wonderful and the spoon keeps me from having to much oil in my mouth all at once. It really puts the brakes on any appetite outbreak I might get or I just drink it for fun.
Dana Seilhan says
I love NOW. All their stuff seems to be cheaper than more mainstream brands. It’s at least a good source for essential oils (I am a fragrance snob–if it’s not the real smell I usually don’t like it as much).
I’m not a big stevia fan, though. I tried, but it’s just not working for me.
Sucralose doesn’t faze me. I know it has a chlorine atom in it but so does table salt. It’s a LOT less bad for me than sugar, in the final cost/benefit analysis. I have to say it is weird putting a packet of it in my coffee, though–it fizzes for like half a second! Might be the maltodextrin, though.
(How to cut a few more carbs for sweetened coffee: DaVinci sugar-free syrup! What puts the carbs in regular Splenda is the maltodextrin they use to bulk it up. Pure sucralose has no carbs at all.)
A friend of mine drinks at least a half a gallon of Kool-Aid made with Stevia every day!