Where To Buy Stevia Powder
Where, oh where can I buy Stevia Powder in NZ? Since my move back to New Zealand last year, I’ve found myself getting incredibly frustrated with the lack of availability of some food items (and the prices!) that I’ve become used to accessing easily when I lived in Australia.
One of those foods is pure Stevia Powder! (also Stevia liquid…).
Buying products like this shouldn’t be this hard – or this expensive… Seriously. But before I continue my rant, let’s do a little run down on Stevia for those who don’t know much about it.
What Is Stevia Powder?
Stevia is a herb (or an herb if you’re in the USA). It is a small bushy plant with sweet leaves. You can buy the plant and grow it in your garden quite easily. (That’s a picture of a Stevia plant above.)
In commercial Stevia products, the ‘sweet part’ of the leaf is extracted and used to sweeten foods, create Stevia powder and Stevia liquid drops. Stevia powder on it’s own is very sweet and only a small amount is needed (WARNING: A little goes a loooong way!).
Dried Stevia leaf is also found for sale sometimes, but because it is the whole leaf, it is not as sweet as the commercial white Stevia powder or Stevia liquid. It also doesn’t blend invisibly in to drinks or liquids like the Stevia extract does.
The great thing about Stevia is that it contains no calories or carbs, but unlike artificial sweeteners, it is a more natural product and has a long history of safe consumption by humans.
Even large junk food creators like Coca Cola and Pepsi are beginning to use Stevia (albeit combined with sugar) in some of their products to make them more appealing to consumers with the resulting reduction in sugar, calories and carbs.
Stevia Safety: Is Stevia Good For You?
Stevia has been used safely for over 1500 years. You can read more about the history of Stevia use here.
Stevia is a(n) herb and a food. It’s not a drug, or a chemical, created by mad scientists in a laboratory (like artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin!).
As with many common foods, there have been occasional reports of allergies to Stevia, but they are rare and an unfortunate thing for those who have an intolerance to it.
In fact Stevia is not only a safe low calorie sweetener, it has been shown to have positive health effects for those consuming it. Stevia has been shown in studies to have positive effects on high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease and studies also show that Stevia has no adverse effects on health.
Cooking With Stevia & Stevia Recipes
I personally don’t tend to use specific recipes when using Stevia (but plenty can be found with a quick Google search). Instead, I usually use it in places where I know I can either replace other sweeteners totally or partially without affecting the finished product.
For example, one really simple way that I use Stevia (drops usually) is in sparkling water with a slice of fresh (squeezed) lemon. It creates a really refreshing no sugar, no calorie lemonade drink that can easily take the place of sugary soft drinks. (This is personal favorite of mine on the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol).
One thing to understand when using Stevia in cooking and baking, is that unless you are using a brand that combines Stevia with Erythritol or another filler, (read why I don’t like to use these further down the page), the Stevia won’t have the bulk that sugar does and that makes it unsuitable for some recipes (many biscuits, cakes etc).
Stevia can however sometimes replace part of the sugar content (depending on the recipe) creating a successful end product that contains less sugar.
Some places that I commonly use pure Stevia powder or liquid are:
- Raw dishes
- and other recipes that don’t need the ‘bulk’ of sugar.
Where To Buy Stevia
At this stage, my answer to this question is to order Stevia online from Iherb (you can do that here).
So far, my search for reasonably priced Stevia in New Zealand has found only Stevia blends where the Stevia has been combined with Erythritol or Agave Inulin.
Neither of these options are particularly satisfactory to me as Erythritol is commonly made from corn (probably GM), and Agave Inulin? Well I don’t know much about that or why the producers of these products would even add it, but here’s an article that creates questions in my mind about using it.
The question that springs to my mind is why even add Agave Inulin? What’s wrong with pure Stevia?!!!
The couple of times I’ve come across pure Stevia here, it has been incredibly expensive. I’m talking about $25 for a tiny bottle where in Australia, I used to pay about $10. (The prices in the screenshot below are from Iherb).
As I said, I order Stevia online from Iherb. They have a great variety of Stevia products at great prices including flavoured Stevia drops which are brilliant for many recipes, and particularly because I order my Pyrrole supplements from them, I figure I might as well also order my Stevia from Iherb as well.
P.S. If you’re worried about ordering from Iherb because they’re in another country, don’t be. I’ve found them to be really reliable. They have various shipping solutions depending on how quickly you want your products to arrive, and they always get my orders shipped quickly (usually within 24 hours). I’ve been ordering from Iherb for a while now and I have only praise and good experiences to share.