I've been using stevia for a couple years, since I found out about it, to sweeten everything. Love it. Just about the only thing I use sugar for anymore on a regular basis is to make a kombucha (cultured tea beverage) brew -- the yeasts in kombucha eat the sugars before the brew is ready to be consumed. I've got a family history of diabetes, too, and am somewhat insulin resistant with the extra pounds, but had a check-up a few months ago -- no diabetes. Stevia reportedly increases glucose tolerance and inhibits glucose absorbtion.
My husband, who has borderline type 2 diabetes, doesn't care for stevia (some folks don't), but for me, it has the same sort of sweet taste as sugar, especially the clear liquid stevia and the white granulated form. I like the clear liquid best, but carry a few packets with me in my purse for using at restaurants and when having tea at someone else's house. The powdered (greenish colored, from the powdered leaf) stevia doesn't dissolve quickly, and the dark liquid stevia is stronger, somewhat like brown sugar is to white sugar. The dark liquid stevia has more of a licorice-like aftertaste, but it is good, too, especially with deeply flavorful teas, like roiibos or tea with orange and clove flavor (like Constant Comment). The liquid, which comes with a dropper, for me, lasts a very, very long time, even though I use it every day...it's more economic than the granulated stevia in the packets, and easier to use, since stevia is about 30 X sweeter than sugar.
Stevia is another thing (besides "oil pulling" and manuka honey and other honey - antimicrobial) which helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay. I've sometimes put a few drops into my mouthwash. Powdered stevia can be made into a paste to soften skin and help acne - which I may try, as I have roseacea (adult acne) breakouts -- one going on now. Here are a couple sites with some health benefit and other information:http://reid_j.tripod.com/stevia.htmhttp://www.cookingwithstevia.com/stevia_faq.html
By the way, I read your blogs on SLD, and wondered what clementines were, since I'd never seen any. I looked them up on the internet, then finally found some last night at a local supermarket. I'd been looking for them unsuccessfully for about a week. Thanks for mentioning them on your site. Otherwise, I may not have ever tried them.
the first taste of clementine—
auspicous new year