What Is Stevia Leaf Extract?

What Is Stevia Leaf Extract?

We have a confession to make. At Betsy’s Best, we have a major sweet tooth. But that doesn’t stop us from keeping our products healthy and all natural. Each of Betsy’s Best Gourmet Nut or Seed Butters has only 2-4g of sugar per serving and contains only natural sweeteners like organic honey and Demerara sugar.

How do we keep our products so low in sugar, yet still satisfyingly sweet? With organic stevia leaf extract! Stevia is a zero-calorie all-natural sweetener that Betsy uses to keep the sugar content of her butters low.

Why Betsy’s Best Uses Stevia Leaf Extract

Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia leaf is totally natural. The stevia plant is native to South America but also flourishes in Asia. It has bright green leaves like the color of mint and a mature plant grows to about three feet tall. A member of the Asteraceae family, stevia or “sweet leaf” is related to common flowers like chrysanthemums and daisies.

You may have seen stevia sweeteners appearing recently in grocery store aisles in powdered, liquid and granulated form. It’s also been popping up in naturally sweetened soft drinks. But people in in Brazil, Paraguay, Thailand and other countries have used stevia medicinally, and as a natural way to sweeten their tea and coffee for hundreds of years.

We think this pretty, “sweet” leaf is the perfect complement to our butters, and we hope you will too.

Stevia is Low in Calories

Sweeteners derived from stevia leaf contain almost no calories or carbohydrates, yet they’re 200 times sweeter than sugar. So, it just takes a tiny bit to make our butters decadently sweet. What’s more, the stevia we use is organic and contains no artificial or chemical fillers. So, it’s all natural and totally delicious – just the way we like it.

Stevia Has Many Health Benefits

We’re always on the search for ingredients that are as healthy as they are delicious, and our organic stevia leaf extract is no different. In addition to being low in calories, there are other benefits to consuming this yummy herb. For one, stevia has antibacterial properties. It’s also been shown to lower blood pressure and keep blood sugar levels in check. If you have diabetes, you can add stevia extract to your yogurt, oatmeal or other foods without affecting carbohydrate or blood sugar levels. Pretty sweet, right?

Further, the stevia plant contains beneficial antioxidant compounds like tannins, triterpenes and flavonoids. In particular, one of the of the flavonoid anti-oxidant phytochemicals found in stevia – kaempferol – may significantly reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer (according to the American Journal of Epidemiology). It also aids in calcium formation, great for strengthening those bones.

In its purified form, all-natural stevia extract is FDA-approved. It’s one of eight low and no-calorie sweeteners deemed safe to use by the FDA. But make sure you only use products containing the words “stevia extract” or “stevia rebaudiana” in their ingredient list.

With a list of health benefits like this, you can enjoy this natural sugar substitute completely guilt-free. And that’s what we’re going for!

We use organic stevia leaf extract in all Betsy’s Best Nut and Seed Butters, except our Cardamom Cashew Butter. The light sweet flavor is perfect as a spread and use in recipes for baking and smoothies. Or, just eat it by the spoonful. We won’t judge!