All about Stevia – the Wonder Sweetener used in our Zoot Zero Choc Bars

Welcome to the first part of an occasional series on the ingredients that go into or Zootelicious Zoot Bars. Today we are focusing on the wonder ingredient Stevia, that we use in our Zoot Zero Chocolate bars.

Stevia is a 100% natural plant that, when refined is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, yet contains no calories at all. Hard to believe isn’t it?

A field of Stevia - the 100% natural sweetener used in our Zootelicious Choc bars

A field of Stevia – the 100% natural sweetener used in our Zootelicious Choc bars

So, what is Stevia?

Stevia is a green, leafy plant that is native to South America.

It has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. The plant has also been bred for its strong, sweet flavor and used as a sweetener. However, the refined Stevia sweeteners used today often don’t resemble the whole Stevia plant at all.

While you can buy whole or crushed Stevia leaves, we use a naturally refined version of the plant’s sweet compounds in our Choc Zoot bars.

ZOOT ZERO-Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar-FINAL 2ZOOT ZERO-Zesty Orange Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar-FINAL 3ZOOT ZERO-Hint of Mint Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar-FINAL 2

Not only do our Zoot Zero bars contain no calories because of the Stevia, the Stevia itself has a number of additional health benefits.

Various studies have shown that Stevia has a beneficial effect in lowering blood pressure, reducing blood sugar and insulin levels (an important benefit for Diabetes sufferers), as well as anti inflammatory and anti cancer benefits.

Not that a single Zootelicious Choc bar is going to give you all those benefits overnight – it won’t! All the studies have used very high doses of Stevia extract and you would have to eat a very large number of Zoot bars for there to be any discernible effect.

However, it’s nice to know that the Stevia that goes into our Zoot bars is essentially very natural and healthy.