In the interest of nutrition and all things local, I find I must give certain hyped products a chance. Products that, had I seen them in processed form via grocery, I would have blown past on my intensely productive 'purchasing' trips. (Shopping implies meandering- purchasing is shopping with purpose.) Recent years have brought us new 'natural' sugars like truvia, stevia, and agave. For most of that time, I was decisively against sugar replacements for those of a generally healthy intake. If you're craving sweet, I don't think you should ignore that voice. Most of us find that after a little of the real full fat, whipped cream, chocolate version of what we crave....the craving is gone. But as the saying goes: What  do you eat to satisfy a craving for Snickers? 

1 apple, 3 slices of cheese, a non-fat yogurt,6 rice cakes, a bag of chips....and one Snickers.

 But, if the occasion arises to try something new in a hands on sort of way....I'm up for it, unless it's skydiving. The Loudoun County Farmers Markets are a great way to spend a morning, especially in the event that you find a regular local vendor to support. For us, it's 'the plant people'.  The plant people have supplied us with spicy oregano, spearmint, cat nip, bay leaves and now stevia.

 While stevia is asthetically pleasing with tiny white flowers and long slender leaves, not to mention easy to grow, it surprised me in another way. I'm sure you've been handed a leaf before and told to 'try this'. You may have been underwhelmed, finding that mostly the scent of the leaf was great...but not the actual taste. You may have been pissed off, because you were just handed some cruel leafy joke (poision ivy?). But one bite into a stevia leaf and you taste true sweetness; More than a hint of sweet with absolutely no bitterness. So rather than buy sugar or even store-stevia  for sweetening coffee, tea or a cocktail, I'm going the local (right outside) and plant route with a leaf or two in my drink.

PS. The next 'plant people' purchase is rumored to be horse radish and hopps.