Friday, June 27, 2014

SweetLeaf Sweet Drops Water Enhancers & Cola Flavor: Review





Do you remember when I reviewed SweetLeaf sweeteners, awhile back? I am now happy to present a new line of their products: Sweet Drops Water Enhancers and a new Sweet Drops flavor: Cola. In case you missed my review, here is a synopsis of SweetLeaf:

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 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 21 different flavors, including: Coconut, Watermelon, Cola, Lemon Drop, Valencia Orange, Berry, Double Chocolate (coming soon), Chocolate Raspberry, English Toffee, Vanilla Creme, Hazelnut, Peppermint, Peppermint Mocha, Pumpkin Spice, SteviaClear, Strawberry (coming soon), Root Beer, Grape, Apricot Nectar, Chocolate, and Cinnamon. So many possibilities! Just four drops of Sweet Drops are equivalent to one teaspoon for baking. 

Sweet Drops are now available in three different sizes: 2 ounce and 15 ounce dropper bottles, and 6-ml minis. There is an average of 288 servings per standard 2 ounce dropper bottle, which is a great value! Sweet Drops have been recognized worldwide; the Vanilla Creme flavor received the "Best Taste Award" from the World Stevia Organization in 2013, and the Chocolate flavor received this award in 2012. 







I received a Sweet Drops Water Pack from SweetLeaf for the purpose of this review, as well as a Cola-flavored 6 ml bottle of Sweet Drops. Sweet Drops are available in convenient 3-packs for anyone that has an "on-the-go" lifestyle, or wants to try a variety of flavors. Each package contains three 6 ml bottles of Sweet Drops that have similar flavors. The Water Pack, which I received, contains Berry, Lemon Drop, and Valencia Orange Sweet Drops. The other 3-packs include the following:
  • Coffee and Tea Pack - This package, great for addition to your coffee, tea, milk shake, or dessert, contains the Chocolate, English Toffee, and Vanilla Creme Sweet Drops flavors.
  • Soda Pack - This package, great for addition to sparkling water, popsicles, or ice cubes, contains the Cola, Root Beer, and Grape Sweet Drops flavors.
  •  Party Pack - This package, great for addition to non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages alike contains the Peppermint, Coconut, and Cinnamon Sweet Drops flavors.







 


I tested the Sweet Drops Water Pack (Berry, Lemon Drop, and Valencia Orange flavors) in a standard glass of filtered water. I started by adding just one drop, and testing the water, until it had my level of preferred sweetness. I used about 4-5 drops for a really rich sweetness, but the nice thing is that you can change the intensity of the flavor very easily. Four to five drops was nice for a glass of flavored water to have at dinner. On the other hand, I also used these Sweet Drops Water Enhancers to jazz up the bottled water that I was taking to the gym. In this case, I only used 2 drops, for a light hint of flavor. SweetLeaf suggests adding one drop per two liquid ounces, and then adjusting. My favorite flavor was the Berry, but that was a very close call...they all tasted great! In fact, I definitely prefer the taste of the Sweet Drops Water Pack to that of some of the major brands of water enhancers (like MiO, for example). Many water enhancers on the market taste extremely artificial, like they are jam packed with chemicals and additives...not to mention all that dye! I prefer this more "natural" taste - it is very pleasant.

For those of you that have read my past reviews, you may know that I am NOT a water drinker, by any means. I wish I could lie and tell you that I drink it on a daily basis, but its a rare occasion where I'll actually consume any at all. I realize that I am not doing my body or my diet any justice by not drinking water, and this is something that I have been struggling with for awhile. I would love to switch to only drinking water, but it only quenches my thirst...it isn't exciting, or something that I desire. However, with the addition of the Sweet Drops, I feel like I might finally be able to take that plunge, trying to increase my daily water in-take. The 3-pack is nice because you can try multiple, similar flavors, and the 6 ml bottles are small enough to stick in your purse or at your office. I put the Berry Sweet Drops in my purse, so that I can add a few drops to my water before I go into the gym. I am very happy with the quality and the flavor!

So why don't I drink more water? ...Because I am addicted to Diet Pepsi. Yep, that's probably one of the worst drinks I could have chosen, but I tried to tell myself that making a switch from regular soda to diet soda many years ago was enough. Now, however, I am in medical school and we are learning more about the types of chemicals that are in leading diet sodas. I know that the aspartame is linked (though maybe not yet proven) to a variety of health conditions. Even if it doesn't directly cause them, it probably exaggerates them. If I don't have two of these a day, I will start to get headaches. I want to slowly wean myself off of this diet soda, on the journey to becoming healthier. This brings me to the other SweetLeaf product that I received...the Cola Sweet Drops. 






Cola Sweet Drops are a great addition to carbonated water or any sparkling beverage. They are the Diet Pepsi addict's salvation. Again, just a few drops (until you have your taste preference) in your sparkling or carbonated water, and you are good to go. I was a bit skeptical of how this one would taste, in particular. I tried the Cola Sweet Drops in a glass of sparkling wild cherry, and also in plain, carbonated water that I produced with my Soda Stream. I was pleasantly surprised. It doesn't taste exactly like Diet Pepsi, but the flavor is good, especially when mixed with wild cherry. It feels as though the carbonation tricks my body into thinking I am still drinking Diet Pepsi. In reality, switching to Cola Sweet Drops would be a major benefit for my health. This may be a way for me to continue enjoying the taste of soda, without having to worry about compromising my health. I definitely recommend this flavor to anyone who knows the struggle of a diet soda addiction! You won't be sorry.

Interested in learning more about SweetLeaf and their products? Check out the following links:

28 comments:

  1. This sounds good and I like that they're small enough to be portable, in case you're going out and want to flavor a drink.

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  2. Nice flavored sugar.. i do not like regular water so this appeals to me..

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  3. I love using stevia as a sweetener so this looks good.

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  4. I have been hearing a lot about stevia lately. I am usually not an early adopter but it looks like I would make an exception in this case.

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  5. Very interesting. Never heard of this product before. Would like to try the berry and the cola. Thanks for the info!

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  6. I like that they can fit in my purse!

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  7. I also use stevia sweetener, not sweat leaves though because they don't sell it here. But I really like stevia, the taste is very good and it's natural!

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  8. Hmmm, I wasn't familiar with Sweetleaf until now, but I love the options, and even that it comes in powder formula. I will have to try it!

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  9. These look like a great, healthy alternative to Crystal Light and other liquid drink enhancers...thank you for sharing!

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  10. Thanks for sharing! I had never heard of these before.

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  11. I hadn't heard of it either, but I really want to try some in my flavored carbonated water :)

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  12. This is great. i've never heard about drops like this but I would be happy to give them a try

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  13. awesome, never heard of these before. thanks for sharing

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  14. This sounds like a great way to delishify water! Love that its no carbs or calories!

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  15. Thank you for this review.. I have nearly bought this more than once, especially when I saw some of the more candy/dessert like flavors but I kept thinking that they had carbs in them but from the labels you showed in the pic it looks like they say 0 and if that is the case I will be buying some of these very soon! I'd like to add them to coffee or to my protein shakes! But I will try them in water too like you suggested. I've been spending a fortune on Hint Water and Metro Mint Water.

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