Cheer up folks! After a long time, Stevia rebaudiana is now legal in Europe.
The natural and healthy sweetener, that was used centuries from the Guarani people in Paraguay and now widely spread in Asia, is finally coming legally to sweet up your life in Europe legally.
It has been imported as a cosmetic ingredients and sold in alternative food stores for quite some time, building up a "grey market". There is a big movement within the organic food industry and consumers for this ancient sweetener. It's not harmful like many of the artificial sugar replacements.
Coca-Cola announced to use Stevia very soon. Other big food companies also did. It's kind of strange now that patents are granted to those. Some call the long wait on the Monsanto incident. We need to see if Coca-Cola really brings a aspartame-free soft-drink with Stevia. If it's mixed with that, I pass. To add a little bit healthy sweetener to a artificial stuff like aspartame, doesn't make it better.
A tip for using Stevia. The best method I found is to use the white powder called "Steviosid" or real natural, pure Stevia sweetener. It's heat-resistant and you can use it for baking, tea, coffee, deserts and more. Don't use too much, or it will make your food bitter in a way. Sweet -> Sweeter -> Bitter. Remember, this is no sugar. A tiny bit, like a small (!) pinch, is enough for a cup of tea for normal sweetness. It's a bit hard to get the feeling for this tiny amounts in the beginning.
And you have to get used to it. In the beginning it could taste "late". That means you e.g. drink your tea, and after you swallowed, it begins to taste sweet. This will change over time and your taste buds are learning to recognize it immediately. At least it was my experience. Other people may have no problems at all with Stevia. It tastes good, and doesn't have a horrible sweet taste for hours after the usage like some artificial sweeteners.
So have a lot of fun, with the "new", ancient, healthy, teeth-friendly and very sweet taste.
More via freestevia.de (Beware of German language)