I bought a stevia sugar substitute sweetener for my Albuquerque bed and breakfast guests last summer at our local food co-op, La Montanita. I thought it was rather expensive, but what the heck. We have only had a few guests use it, so it lasted quite a while. This fall I needed to replace my stock and bought another box at the co-op. It’s still pricey at $4.50 for 35 packets, but that’s ok. I’m supporting the co-op – a good thing, and giving my guests a better alternative – another good thing.
A guest has talked me into leaving the Splenda and Sweet n Low behind to try a more natural solution, so I tried the SweetLeaf stevia sweetener we had on hand and it’s pretty darn good. No problem switching at all! I do have honey bees in the back yard, and love our raw honey, but not in my coffee -and coffee, not tea, is my poison of choice in the morning…sometimes afternoon…sometimes evening, so SweetLeaf it is.
My husband was at Costco and saw another brand of stevia sweetener available in a larger size for a lot less money than the SweetLeaf. It was called Pure Via and was only $8+ dollars for hundreds of them. “Don’t buy it until I’m out of the other stuff”, I told him. Thankfully I didn’t have to buy it. A local friend who bought some Pure Via at Costco gave me a huge zip lock bag of it. I gave it a try, the first time in a cup of coffee I made in the Keurig. We’d been having a little trouble with the old Keurig and I was ready to blame it for the horrible coffee I just made. I dumped it down the drain. My husband said it was probably not the Keurig, but rather the sweetener, (Pure Via), because he could smell it from across the table. YUCK! He was right. I made the next cup with the SweatLeaf and it was more than fine – it was great.
I have not yet tried the brand being advertised on the TV lately and can’t even remember the name of it, but from this experience I can say that all stevia products are NOT alike, and I will be staying away from Pure Via. It tastes awful, to me. I’m not the wizard of sweeteners, especially stevia. Pure Via may be fine for some people, but if that is the first brand of stevia you’ve tried and you didn’t like it – try something else.
You can see the difference in the ingredients and taste the flavor too. And I ask myself…”Why add natural flavors & cellulose powder?” I don’t know which of those Pure Via ingredients tastes and smells so awful, but it does.
SweetLeaf IS a superior product. The Pure Vida is in the trash. How can they sell something that tastes so bad? Thank GOD none of my Adobe Nido B&B guests had a chance to use it.
Update! We are now using Stevia in the Raw – and it is a fantastic product! Our guests love it, it costs much less than SweetLeaf, and it’s easier to find. From the maker of Sugar in the Raw. I will also caution readers that when researching stevia, (or any other product), beware of words like “may cause”, “could be”, and also realize that lab animals are fed extremely large quantities of any item during testing, in order to get a negative result. Example – if lab rats are fed large quantities of cows milk they will eventually end up with serious issues in so many areas. Got Milk?