Whole Earth Stevia Leaf & Monk Fruit Sweetener | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Whole Earth Stevia Leaf & Monk Fruit Sweetener – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Whole Earth Stevia Leaf & Monk Fruit Sweetener

We have been using noncaloric sweeteners for decades, starting with zero-calorie soda brands in middle school, then on cereal and other foods as packets of the sweetener became available.

While we’ve tried every brand over the years, our reigning favorite was Splenda (sucralose), introduced to the U.S. in 1999.

Not only did it have less of an aftertaste, but it was heat-stable for cooking and baking.

We’ve tried other sugar substitutes, most recently including monk fruit and stevia leaf. We gave a thumbs down to both.

While we recognize that the choice of sugar substitute is very specifically attuned to one’s palate (we have friends who still prefer Sweet ‘N Low saccharin), we came across a new blend that’s worth a try to those who aren’t perfectly happy with their sugar substitute.

Splenda had started to taste more and more artificial to us in hot drinks—largely coffee and tea, but also hot cocoa.

Did our palate change somehow? Did Splenda change the percentages of its ingredients? Is the main ingredient, sucralose, somehow different now?

We don’t know; but for the past year we’ve been sweetening our tea with one packet of Splenda and one packet of sugar (16 calories, 2 g sugar) to provide the sweetness, while minimizing the aftertaste. The combination is O.K., but not perfect.

So when we were offered a sample of Whole Earth Stevia Leaf & Monk Fruit Sweetener, zero calories, we accepted (photos #1 and #2).

And we’re glad we did. While we didn’t like stevia and monk fruit individually, they work magic together.

We prefer it in our our coffee and tea, and find it equally good on cereal and baked apples (our regular sweet treat). If you dip a finger into the powder to taste it straight, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

We haven’t made brownies or cake yet—largely because we have an unfortunate tendency to eat the whole thing. But people who have baked Whole Earth sweetener really like it.
 
 
WHAT’S IN WHOLE EARTH STEVIA & MONK FRUIT SWEETENER

Whole Earth Stevia Leaf & Monk Fruit Sweetener, which we’ll abbreviate to WESLMF, has a crystalline appearance, plus:

  • Zero sugar and zero calories
  • Gluten free
  • Low glycemic index
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • No preservatives
  • High digestive tolerance
  • Heat stable
  •  
    It’s certified kosher by OU.

    The ingredients are erythritol, stevia leaf extract, natural flavors* and monk fruit extract.

    The product is available in packets, in jars of loose product, as a liquid, in “sugar” cubes, and Baking Blend.

    The basic product works best in beverages, salad dressings, sauces and sprinkling. Each packet of WESLMF is equivalent in sweetness to 1.5 teaspoons of sugar.

    Baking Blend (photo #3) has non-caloric bulking agents that give WESLMF enough body to substitute for sugar in recipes, and properties that bake and brown like sugar†.
     
     
    The Ingredients

    All of the ingredients exist in nature.

  • Erythritol: Erythritol is a sugar alcohol (polyol) used as a sweetener in many reduced-calorie foods. The erythritol in WESLMF is obtained through the fermentation of glucose from non-GMO corn, using yeast. It is similar to the erythritol that occurs naturally in fruits like grapes, melons and pears. Erythritol has zero calories per gram.
  • Monk Fruit: Monk fruit, called luo han guo in its native China, is a herbaceous perennial vine of the gourd family (which includes pumpkin, squash, zucchini, etc.). The plant is cultivated in Southeast Asia for its fruit—small, round sub-tropical melons (photo #5). The extract from the melons is nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar. Monk fruit has long been used in China as a low-calorie sweetener, as well as in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Stevia Leaf: The stevia plant, a member of the chrysanthemum family, is native to the mountains of South America. The Guarani people have been using its leaves (photo #4) for centuries to sweeten herbal teas like yerba maté. Today, stevia is grown beyond South America, including Asia (China, India, South Korea). The extract from the leaves is more than 200 times sweeter than sugar, with zero calories.
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    > DISCOVER MORE AT WHOLEEARTHSWEETENER.COM.
     
     
    > CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT SUGAR SUBSTITUTES.

     


    [1] We prefer the taste of Whole Earth Stevia Leaf & Monk Fruit in our coffee and tea (photos #1, #2, #3 and #6 © Whole Leaf Sweetener).


    [2] Whole Earth Sweetener is available in a format for every use.


    [3] Yep: made non-caloric Whole Earth Sweetener.


    [4] Stevia leaves and blossoms on the plant (photo by Ethel Aardvark | Wikipedia).


    [5] Monk fruit melons (photo © Monk Fruit Corp).


    [6] Our favorite easy treat: Baked apples. Core the apple, sprinkle WESLMF, cinnamon, and bake in a pan with 1″ water at 375°F, for 30 to 45 minutes, until the apples are tender, but not overcooked and mushy.

     
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    *Natural flavors are ingredients that come from nature, e.g. blueberry extract. The term “natural flavor” is defined by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations, 21 CFR 101.22(a)(3). In this Whole Earth sweetener, you will not taste any flavor in the product; only sweetness.

    †All powdered sugar substitutes contain bulking agents. That’s because the sweetening ingredients are so tiny (e.g., 300 times the sweetness of sugar), that there would be hardly anything to put in a packet.

      




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