SweetLeaf is an award-winning 100% natural Stevia sweetener which was proposed by founder James May. May was introduced to the Stevia plant and its natural sweetness in 1982 by a Peace Corp worker. He learned "When processed, the sweetest parts of the plant, called glycosides, are extracted from the leaves and isolated. The combination of these compounds is 300 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories or carbohydrates." James May was brave enough to invest all of his money into Stevia, in order create the SweetLeaf brand for marketing and production in the United States. His efforts paid off, as SweetLeaf has gained a great reputation. Mr. May was elected Honorary President of the Stevia Association of the Americas and plays a large role in helping Paraguayan farmers produce legal crops.
SweetLeaf makes three varieties of sweeteners: powders, SugarLeaf, and Sweet Drops. The powder form of the SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener comes in 35 count and 70 count boxes, as well as dissolvable tablets and a shaker bottle. SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener contains the "purest and sweetest source of stevia on the market today". It is different from other sweeteners because it is the only stevia-based sweetener that uses the combination of high quality stevia leaves and cool purified water in its extraction process. The process is so clean that the water used can then be given to farmers for the irrigation of their fields. The packets and dissolvable tablets of sweetener are great for coffee, tea, or even in baking and cooking. SweetLeaf Stevia sweetener contains no saccharin, aspartame, refined sugar, maltodextrin, fructose or artificial sweeteners. This makes it a great product for people who are watching their weight, eco-friendly people, or for diabetics. The shaker bottle comes with the addition of inulin, an all-natural vegetable soluble fiber that can aid in digestive health and immune function.
SugarLeaf is a new product which blends SweetLeaf Stevia® with cane sugar to create the perfect consistency for baking and cooking. SugarLeaf browns like sugar, but is non-GMO and only has 2/3 the carbohydrates and calories of regular sugar.
SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™ are zero-calorie sweetening drops made with all-natural flavors and stevia leaf extract. These drops make a wonderful addition to almost any recipe that calls for sugar; you can use them in beverages, yogurt, soup, sauce, desserts, salads, etc. What's great about the Sweet Drops is their ability to also add a unique flavor to your dish! They come in 17 different flavors, including: Coconut, Watermelon, Cola, Lemon Drop, Valencia Orange, Berry, Chocolate Raspberry, English Toffee, Vanilla Creme, Hazelnut, Peppermint, Root Beer, Grape, Apricot Nectar, Chocolate, and Cinnamon. So many possibilities! Just four drops of Sweet Drops are equivalent to one teaspoon for baking.
SweetLeaf was nice enough to send me four sample-sized bottles of their popular Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops. I received Valencia Orange, Vanilla Creme, Hazelnut, and Coconut. I thought the Valencia Orange drops would be great for any tropical drink, and the Coconut would be great for any dessert. I have listed two potential recipes below using these drops. I think that I will try using the Vanilla Creme and Hazelnut SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™ in coffee or other types of desserts.
First, my mom and I decided to make simple, tropical, homemade lemonade as a beverage to go with our dinner that night. For this drink, we used the Valencia Orange SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™. I was looking for an alternative to lemon water, because that just is not sweet enough for me to drink on a daily basis. At the same time, I hate drinking Diet Pepsi every day and filling my system with Aspartame. I decided to try making a naturally sweet drink by taking a glass of water, squeezing in the juice of one half a lemon, and 1 teaspoon (I used 6 drops) of Valencia Orange SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™. I was surprised at the power that just 4-6 drops of SweetLeaf could provide. It did not taste like lemon water at all, but tasty orange lemonade! This is definitely a quick and easy fix for a cold and refreshing drink that is not loaded with fake or unhealthy amounts of regular sugar. I could go through many glasses of this and not have to feel bad about it...I feel like this could really help women trying to diet. The drops are easy to add and can make a blah dish or drink so much more enticing. The orange did not overpower the lemon -- the flavors went well together.
Second, we decided to make the Coconut Macaroons found on SweetLeaf's website for dessert. This recipe uses the SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Coconut Sweet Drops™. My mom and I love coconut, but my dad and my boyfriend do not, so we decided to cut the recipe in half so just we could enjoy the macaroons! This recipe is super simple, which is great, because without mixes I am not a proficient baker. Here is what the FULL recipe calls for, as per SweetLeaf's website, if you want to make enough macaroons for the rest of your family.
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Coconut Sweet Drops™
- 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup melted coconut butter
- Optional topping: 1/2 cup melted unsweetened carob chips
We could not find coconut butter at our local store, so we simply used regular butter, and the macaroons turned out just fine. Since the topping is optional, we chose to use chocolate flavored syrup to drizzle over the top instead. I would really recommend adding a topping because I think that that is half the flavor! Here are the ingredients, also taken from their website:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, whisk egg whites, salt and Coconut Sweet Drops until frothy. Pour coconut flakes into egg white mixture and stir just until moistened. Mix in melted coconut butter and stir until combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter and pat down into scoop to pack it in well. Drop rounded batter onto cooking sheet, spacing an inch apart from each other. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Once completely cooled, drizzle melted carob over the tops, if desired. Store in an air-tight container.
The Coconut Macaroons turned out great -- I didn't burn them at all! They were ready in closer to twenty minutes than twenty five. The SweetLeaf Coconut drops really added the right amount of sweetness, without any funny "fake sugar" after-taste. I also love not having to compromise flavor and sweetness while eating semi-healthy. I would definitely purchase many flavors of SweetLeaf sweeteners in the future to substitute for sugar in my baking endeavors. I challenge my readers to try it and see if, besides the added flavor, you notice any difference at all! I'm sure if I just used the SweetLeaf sweetener without a flavor, I would not be able to tell.
SweetLeaf can be found in most major grocery stores. If you want to know the closest retail location to purchase SweetLeaf products, you can look here.
Interested in learning more about SweetLeaf and their products? Check out the following links:
One lucky reader will win their own 5-count SweetLeaf Sweet Drop sample pack, courtesy of SweetLeaf! All you need to do is enter on the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. readers, 18 and over, unless you have permission from your parents. Please be honest when submitting Rafflecopter entries -- remember, I DO check all of your entries for verification, and I will throw them out if they are false. If the form has a spot for you to enter information, please provide me with the appropriate username, link, etc so that it is easier for me to verify your entries! I am not responsible for the shipment of the prize, that is the company's duty. I will contact the winner via email (so make sure to use one that you check) and you will have 48 hours to respond with your shipping information. If you have any questions or if the Rafflecopter is not working properly, you can always contact me via Facebook or email (links on the sidebar). Good luck!!
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