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Stevia

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liquid-stevia1Stevia 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.

To complicate matters even further, there are a number of different companies that make stevia. The quality, flavor, and sweetness varies from product to product. So, it may take some test and trials to find which one works for you.  Many people (my husband included) complain of a bitter after taste.  My response to this is to make sure that you purchase a good quality of stevia and again keep testing different ones out.  I tried 3 before I found one that works perfectly for me.  For me personally, my favorite is NuNaturals.   The taste is not bitter, and both the liquid and powder are easy to use and excellent.

My last recommendation is to read the labels.  Pure stevia liquid comes in purified water, glycerin, or food grade alcohol. The alcohol helps to preserve it longer, but it’s not always suitable for those who are on an anti candida diet.  The powder in its pure form is extremely potent, so it’s often mixed with fillers such as cellulose or maltodextrin.  With eating a diet higher in raw foods, it is my goal to omit as many unnecessary ingredients as possible.

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

Conversion chart from The Stevia Cookbook, copyright 1999 Ray Sahelian and Donna Gate

Below is a guide as to the sweetness of Stevia.

NuNaturals Products

  • NuStevia Sweetener, Stevia Baking Blend: 1 tsp is a sweet as 1 tsp of sugar (1 cup = 1 cup)
  • MoreFiber, Stevia Baking Blend: 1 tsp is a sweet as 1 tsp of sugar (1 cup = 1 cup)
  • NuStevia White Stevia Pure Extract: 3/4 tsp is a sweet as 1 cup (48 tsp) of sugar
  • NuStevia White Stevia Pure Extract: 1/64 tsp is a sweet as 1 tsp of sugar
  • NuStevia White Stevia Powder(w Maltodextrin): 1 packet is as sweet as 2 tsp of sugar
  • NuStevia White Stevia Powder(w Maltodextrin): 24 packets or 12 tsp or 4 tbs is as sweet as 1 cup of sugar
  • NuStevia White Stevia Powder(w Maltodextrin): 1/4 tsp is a sweet as 1 tsp of sugar
  • NuStevia White Stevia Powder No Carbs (w/Erythritol): 1 packet is as sweet as 2 tsp of sugar
  • NuStevia White Stevia Powder No Carbs (w/Erythritol): 24 packets or 6 tsp or 2 tbs is a sweet as 1 cup of sugar
  • NuStevia White Stevia Powder No Carbs (w/Erythritol): 1/8 tsp is as sweet as 1 tsp of sugar
  • NuStevia White Stevia Quick Dissolve Tabs: 1 Tab is as sweet as 1 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 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
  • General Equivalencies Of Measurements In Cooking
    1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoon
    8 tablespoons = ½ cup
    24 teaspoons = ½ cup

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2 thoughts on “Stevia

  1. Chontay says:

    Hi,

    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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