Stevia is a sugar substitute that is calorie-free and derived from the stevia plant. Because it does not raise blood glucose levels, stevia is popular among health foodies, dieters, and diabetics. You can use stevia leaf in refined liquid or powder form, or you can use fresh stevia leaf to sweeten your food. Although the US FDA considers high-quality refined stevia to be “generally recognised as safe,” pure stevia leaf does not have FDA approval for use in food.
Method 1 Using Stevia in Liquid or Powder Form
1. Make use of pure stevia drops. The most common way to consume stevia is in liquid form. 1-2 teaspoons of white sugar can be replaced with a few drops of stevia. Stevia drops can be added to hot or cold drinks, sauces, salad dressings, or soups.
Stevia can have a bitter and/or licorice-like aftertaste. Experiment with the number of drops required to achieve optimal sweetness with the least amount of aftertaste.
2. Flavored stevia can be added to beverages. Stevia drops come in a variety of flavours, including lemon-lime and root beer. For a low-calorie alternative to soda, mix a few drops of flavoured stevia into sparkling water.
Examine the labels of flavoured stevia products.
Avoid flavoured stevia with aspartame or other chemical sugar substitutes.
3. Purified stevia extract powder is an option. Another popular application for stevia is as a pure powder. This refined stevia looks like sugar and can be used anywhere powdered sweetener would normally be used. However, stevia extract powder is more potent than sugar. Use half (or less) the amount of stevia you would normally use for sugar.
Stevia extract powder can be added to beverages (hot or cold), cereal, or recipes.
It is available in large containers as well as individual packets that can be carried with you.
Seek out pure stevia powder. Read all labels and stay away from stevia powder that contains additives.
4. Stevia is a sweetener that can be used in baking. Stevia extract powder can be used in baking to replace sugar. When baking with stevia, use half the amount of sugar you would normally use (or even less). To account for this difference, you will need to add more bulk (such as flour) and liquid (such as milk, applesauce, or butter).
When you’re first starting out, look for stevia-based baking recipes.
Although stevia can mimic sugar’s sweetness, it will not caramelise. 1/3-1/2 teaspoon (about.5-.7g) stevia extract powder or 1/3-1/2 teaspoon (about.5-.7g) liquid stevia.”|SHORT
5. Read all labels and stay away from additives. To mask this, many packaged stevia products contain additional additives such as sucrose or aspartame. These additives are frequently artificial and, unlike pure stevia, can have a negative impact on blood sugar levels.
Read all of the labels on your stevia products and look for products that contain pure refined stevia.
6. Cover up the aftertaste. Stevia has a licorice-like aftertaste that some people find bitter. Rather than using stevia that contains artificial additives (designed to mask the taste), you can mask the bitterness with a small squirt of agave nectar (which has a low glycemic index), lemon juice, or lime juice.
Method 2 Using Fresh Stevia Leaf
1. Sweeten tea with stevia leaves. Fresh stevia leaves can be used as a sweetener if you have access to a fresh stevia plant (or if you have grown your own). This allows you to avoid the use of additives and save money. Simply remove 1-4 small leaves from your plant and place them in hot water with your tea bag to sweeten a cup of hot tea. After a few minutes, remove the leaves.
Although it has been used for thousands of years around the world, the FDA has not approved unrefined stevia leaf as a food additive. It is best to consult your doctor before using stevia leaf in your food or drink.
2. Make a dry leaf powder. There are two methods for drying stevia leaves. You can either remove 8 or more leaves from your plant and place them between two paper towels, or you can simply remove an entire stevia stalk and hang it upside down. Leave your stevia leaves in a cool, dry place for a few days in either case. Then, using a mortar and pestle, grind the dry leaves.
Sweeten drinks, breakfast cereal, or curries with this green powder.
1 teaspoon of this stevia powder is roughly equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar.
The aftertaste of this pure form of stevia will be licorice-y or slightly bitter.
3. Make your own stevia syrup. When you have stevia dry leaf powder, you can make stevia syrup. Bring 2 cups of distilled water to a boil, then add 1 teaspoon of dry leaf powder. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the water reaches the consistency of syrup. To strain the powder, use a cheesecloth.
Keep your stevia syrup in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
This syrup can be used in cold drinks, fruit salads, or sauces.
Keep in mind that this sweetener will be stronger.
Creative Commons License