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I need to start every post that I do on sweeteners with the following thought… Just because the dessert recipes on my site  (or any other raw site) are raw, created on the foundation of whole foods, and are healthier than the typical SAD (Standard American Diet) desserts…  they are still desserts and should be consumed  sensiby.
I am not here to debate which sweetener is better than some other or whether or not you should consume them at all.  You know your own health better than anyone else so you will need to make those decisions for yourself.

To Use or Not to Use…

Sweeteners in general tend to face controversy at some point or another.  My suggestion is to use sweeteners in their raw and purist form so be sure to read the labels and if you are really concerned, called the manufacturer.
Some raw sweeteners are vegan and some are not,  you decide on what the priority is for you.  All we can ask of ourselves is to make the best possible decisions with the information we have at the time.

Why do you use several sweeteners in one recipe?

I like to mix  different sweeteners together for several reasons. By using multiple sweeteners I can sometimes reduce the overall  glycemic load, as well as create layers of flavor and sweetness.  Plus, different sweeteners respond textually in unique ways.  For example, dates not only add sweetness to a recipe but also works as a binder, holding cakes, cookies and bars together.  To keep the sugar levels down, I might add stevia, which bumps up the sweet level without adding more sugars or calories.  In raw recipes you always need to take your health needs in account, as well as the texture that you want from a recipe and the overall flavor.


What to watch out for:

Many stevia products contain corn sugar (aka – maltodextrin) or sugar alcohols to even out the flavor. Maltodextrin is a food additive that is produced from a grain starch, most commonly produced using GMO corn, rice, potatoes or wheat. It is used as a stabilizer, sweetener and thickener in many packaged foods.   Sugar alcohols are another thing to look for, they come from plant products such as fruits and berries. The carbohydrate in these plant products is altered through a chemical process and are not well absorbed as it passes through the body and may even have a small laxative effect.(2)  Always read labels!!! Look for the purest stevia product you can find.

If you want complete control in the what goes into the stevia that you use… you can make your own stevia sweetener that is raw by using the stevia plant.  If this interests you, Google the technique.

Love, Lust or Run…

I do use the liquid form of NuNaturals stevia in several of my recipes.  Most commonly used in conjunction with another sweetener or two (as mentioned above).  I have tested tons of different brands and forms… and this is the one that I will only use.  Feel free to use any brand that suites you and don’t use it at all.  If one of my recipes calls for it and you don’t want to add it, just taste test the batter as you create the recipe and see if you need to bump up the other sweetener.  Only your taste buds can be the judge of that.

Stevia has zero calories and doesn’t spike blood glucose, it’s a great sweetener for diabetics or others with blood sugar issues and for use in carbohydrate-controlled diets.  Stevia is a natural sweetener that does not prompt your body to store fat, like fructose does. It also does not contribute to insulin resistance or promote pathogenic bacteria and fungal overgrowth.

Keep in mind that different stevia products offer different levels of sweetness.  So always start out with less and work your way up to the sweetness that you desire.   It is also a good idea to remember that different foods / recipes may require less or more than listed below due to type of ingredients that you are working with. Very sour foods like cranberries and lemons need more sweetener than a recipe that has dates or dried fruits in it, which are naturally sweet.  Stevia is much sweeter than regular sugar so a little bit goes a long way.

Conversions from sugar to stevia

Sugar Amount: 1 cup

  • Equivalent Stevia Powdered Extract: 1 tsp
  • Equivalent Stevia Liquid Concentrate: 1 tsp

Sugar Amount: 1 Tbsp

  • Equivalent Stevia Powdered Extract: 1/4  tsp
  • Equivalent Stevia Liquid Concentrate: 6-9 drops

Sugar Amount: 1 tsp

  • Equivalent Stevia Powdered Extract: a pinch to 1/16 tsp
  • Equivalent Stevia Liquid Concentrate: 2-4 drops

NuNaturals Products

  • Vanilla Stevia Liquid Extract: 5 drops is as sweet as 2 tsp of sugar
  • Clear Stevia Liquid Extract: 5 drops is as sweet as 2 tsp of sugar
  • Alcohol Free Stevia Liquid Extract: 7 drops is as sweet as 2 tsp of sugar
  • Alcohol Free Vanilla Stevia Liquid Extract: 7 drops is as sweet as 2 tsp of sugar

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2 thoughts on “Stevia

  1. Chontay says:


    I have seen stevia plants at my local Walmart and was wondering what to do with them. I tried one of the leaves and it was not sweet at all, so I’m not sure what it is good for or how to use it, do you?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Chontay,

      I have grown stevia before but do to my schedule and all the traveling we do, I buy my stevia.

      Use it fresh: Combine fresh stevia leaf with fruit. Make a fruit salad and julienne one stevia leaf for every 2 cups of fruit. Or make a nutritious smoothie with frozen fruit and fresh stevia in the blender. Use one leaf per 16-oz. serving.

      Keep in mind that when the leaves are dried, they become much sweeter.

      You can dry the leaves in a dehydrator. Remove the leaves from the stems and place them on the mesh screen that comes with your dehydrator and dry at 105 degrees until dry. Then you can crush the dried leaves by hand using a mortar and pestle or using a coffee grinder. You can use the stevia in this powdered form, adjusting the amount you use to achieve the desired degree of sweetness.

      If you don’t have a dehydrator, take sprigs of the fresh stevia and hold them in a bunch by the stem. Tie the stems tightly into a bundle and hang it upside down from a hook or nail in a warm place but out of the sunlight. Drying fresh stevia should take no more than a week, depending on the humidity in your area. With either drying method you should store your stevia in an airtight container.

      You can also make your own extract from the fresh plant. First dry the leaves. Then pulverize enough leaves in a coffee grinder or food processor to give you a ¼ cup of powder. Add 1 cup of warm, but not boiling, water. Allow the mixture to steep for 24 hours, and then refrigerate and use as needed.

      I hope you find this helpful…Have a great weekend! amie sue

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