Stevia is a shrub plant that was originally cultivated in South America, before spreading around the world. The genus stevia consists of 240 plant species and is a member of the Asteraceae family. It is related with various herbs and flowers, such as the chamomile, the daisy or the chrysanthemums.
The sweetening and medicinal properties of stevia have been known for several centuries. However, its first use as a beverage sweetener is due to the Paraguayan Guarani tribe, while its name to the Spanish botanist and doctor Petrus Jacobus Stevus who discovered it.
In recent years, stevia has gained publicity and the love it deserves, as more and more consumers choose it as a sweetener for their drinks and recipes and buy products that include it. In particular, it is widely used throughout eastern Asia and in the USA and has gained 50% of the Japanese market. In Greece, the use of stevia is constantly increasing and large companies are constantly creating new products with stevia.
The pharmaceutical or beneficial properties of stevia are not scientifically proven. Although the leaves of the plant contain many minerals, trace elements and vitamins, the amount ultimately consumed is so small that the nutritional benefits are negligible.
The tasty result, however, is “proving” excellent and very sweet! The extract from the stevia plant gives 200 times the sweet taste of an equal amount of sugar and does not contain any calories.
Let’s take a look at some uses:
If you are watching your diet or you are going through a phase where you have decided to lower your sugar intake, you can use it as a sweetener for your beverages. It is an excellent choice for coffee or tea and for any cold or hot beverages in general. You can now find it in a large number of coffee shops and bars. You can also opt for it for your homemade desserts or to replace sugar in handmade liqueurs or summer cocktails.
An excellent suggestion is also the choice of products with stevia for your recipes provided that you always choose carefully the labels you buy to ensure product quality. It is important that replacing sugar does not change your favourite flavours, and does not alter your nutritional experience.
Once again, Kalamata Papadimitriou pioneers and refreshes the summer by presenting two new products with a sweetener from the stevia plant: Classic balsamic cream and Pomegranate balsamic cream.
The classic balsamic cream with a sweetener from the stevia plant is an ideal choice to lift off the taste of your main meals, salads and desserts while reducing the total calories intake.
The pomegranate balsamic cream, the only one containing juice from Messinia pomegranates, gives a strong aroma to your dish and a unique sweet taste in your recipes, with just 8 calories per spoonful.
This summer, enjoy the first Greek balsamic cream with a sweetener from the stevia plant that combines a rich sweet and sour flavour, creamy texture and wonderful aroma, with just 8 calories per spoonful!
Stevia has come to stay… in our plates!