What is stevia?
Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana).
As it has zero calories but is 200 times sweeter than table sugar, itís a popular choice for many people looking to lose weight and decrease sugar intake.
This sweetener has also been associated with several health benefits, including lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Nevertheless, commercial stevia products vary in quality.
In fact, many varieties on the market are highly refined and combined with other sweeteners ó such as erythritol, dextrose, and maltodextrin ó which may alter its potential health effects.
Meanwhile, less processed forms may be lacking in safety research.
Stevia is a natural sweetener linked to numerous benefits, including lower blood sugar levels. While refined extracts are considered safe, research on whole-leaf and raw products is lacking. When used in moderation, stevia is associated with few side effects and can be a great substitute for refined sugar. Keep in mind that more research on this sweetener is needed.
How to use stevia as a sugar substitute
Stevia may be used in place of table sugar in your favorite foods and beverages. A pinch of stevia powder is equal to about one teaspoon of table sugar.
Tasty ways to use stevia include:
Some stevia brands, such as Stevia in the Raw, can replace table sugar teaspoon for teaspoon (as in sweetened beverages and sauces) unless youíre using it in baked goods.
You can bake with stevia, although it may give cakes and cookies a licorice aftertaste. Stevia in the Raw recommends replacing half the total amount of sugar in your recipe with their product.
Other brands arenít made specifically for baking, so youíll need to use less. You should add extra liquid or a bulking ingredient such as applesauce or mashed bananas to your recipe to make up for the lost sugar. It may take some trial and error to get the texture and level of sweetness you like.
Where to buy stevia online?