How to Use Stevia Plus A List of Stevia Recipes

Welcome back to the Get Healthy & Fit series here at Authentic Simplicity! Joining me are 18 other bloggers, all desirous of improving their health and raising their level of fitness. We each have a different goal in mind and a different plan to reach that goal; and you can follow each blogger’s progress here. Follow along on Twitter and Pinterest as well!

I discussed my personal goals at length the first week, but to sum up, this is what I’m hoping to do in the course of these 12 weeks:

  • Kick my sugar habit
  • Lose approximately 10 lbs. and a few inches
  • Fit in my clothes
  • Develop sustainable habits like eating more proteins and fewer carbs

Types of Stevia, and Which Ones to Use

I’ve mentioned before that I’m using stevia more and more as a sweetener, and I’ve almost completely eliminated sugar (cane sugar) from my diet. I don’t eat sugar at all at home, and I try to keep my consumption of it minimal when I’m eating elsewhere. Personally, I think it’s the best thing anyone can do for their health!

Stevia is a great replacement for sugar because it doesn’t raise the glycemic levels, which is good news for people like me who are purposely reducing carbs and sugar for that very reason. Of course, food manufacturers see the money available here, and are doing everything they can to profit from this trend, which inevitably results in a watered down, less-than-healthful product.

Consequently, you’ll see all kinds of stevia sweeteners popping up in stores everywhere, but not all of them are created equal. Real Food Forager and Kitchen Stewardship both have done a lot of research about stevia and have written great posts about the different kinds and which ones you should use. Since my information on stevia largely comes from them, I will direct you to their work instead of attempting to reinvent the wheel.

Suffice it to say, your best bet with commercially available stevia is the liquid form, preferably glycerin-based rather than alcohol-based. Powdered stevia (with the notable exception of the SweetLeaf brand) is often highly processed with added chemicals and sugars, which, in my opinion, makes it a less desirable option. I do still occasionally use it, but mostly because I received a whole package of different types of stevia in a giveaway, and I hate to waste them! (You know how I feel about food waste!)

In an ideal situation, you could grow your own stevia and make your own stevia liquid from that. I was actually attempting to do exactly that this year, but something happened to my plant and the whole thing turned black. I am thinking it was a little cold snap we had, but since none of my other plants were affected, I’m not really sure. I still plan to order some dried stevia online and make my own liquid, which is also an option if you’re not up to growing your own stevia.

Stevia Plant

How to Use Stevia

Since stevia is a LOT sweeter than sugar, you only have to use a few drops of it per serving. As you can imagine, this complicates the process of baking, where the ratio of dry to wet ingredients is important. I also find that stevia – even liquid stevia – can negatively impact the taste of the finished product unless you use the more highly processed powdered stevia products that act as a one-to-one sugar replacement. My personal opinion is that I don’t really like baked goods made with stevia alone, so when I do bake with it, I usually prefer to use part stevia and part other sweetener (such as honey or palm sugar).

I use my stevia all the time in beverages and raw foods, though. You have to play with it a bit to find your personal level of desired sweetness, but I find that 5 drops is the perfect amount in my cup of coffee.

Other easy uses for stevia that don’t require a recipe:

  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies
  • Tea
  • Lemonade
  • Dips (I love to mix peanut butter, plain yogurt, cocoa, and a little bit of stevia for a great apple dip!)
  • Whipped Cream

I also have used liquid stevia with good success in vinaigrettes and other dressings, as well as tomato sauce. I just add a few drops until I get the desired level of sweetness.

Stevia Recipes

If you’re not familiar with stevia, it’s best to start with recipes that have already been adjusted rather than attempting to substitute your favorites. Once you’ve experimented with it, you’ll get a better handle on how to work it into your regular recipe repertoire (hey, say that 3 times fast!).

To get you a head start, here are some great recipes (most of them I’ve tried myself, but some of them are on my to-try list) that use stevia:

This Week’s Update

Unfortunately, there was an upward trend on the scale this week, which I am blaming entirely on Aunt Flow (Dad-Blast that woman!). The measurements continue to creep downward every so slowly.

Here are my current stats that I will update every Monday:

Weight: 135 (up almost a pound)

Waist (inches): 30-31

Butt: 40

Find out how the other ladies are doing with their weight loss efforts and other goals by clicking on the image below.

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Comments

  1. I wish I could grow stevia…but alas, I cannot grow ANYTHING. It’s Sweet Leaf all the way for me. :-) Thanks for the link shout- out!

  2. Robin says:

    I really like the powdered Stevia from Trader Joes. I have a shaker (like a parmesan shaker) and buy the packets for my car. This is the only brand that doesn’t taste bitter to me. I haven’t found the sweetleaf brand anywhere. Is it only at specialty stores?
    Also, you mentioned making your own liquid. Can you post directions on how to do so? The liquid stuff is expensive to buy premade!
    Thanks!

    • Anne Simpson says:

      Hi Robin, I haven’t actually tried making the stevia liquid yet, so unfortunately I don’t have a post about it. I read this free ebook about stevia (if you dont’ have an ereader, you can download Amazon’s kindle app to your computer) and the instructions are in there. I have used TJ’s powdered stevia in their coffee samples, but I have to admit I don’t love it, but maybe because I always get a little too much in my little coffee cup, lol! SweetLeaf is available at Vitacost or Amazon. I buy the liquid stevia on Amazon with my Swagbucks gift cards.

  3. I knew there was some hesitation with using stevia – thanks for confirming that in reference to liquid versus powdered. Makes sense!

    31 Days to Living a More Intentional Life
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  4. julieann r says:

    Thanks for all the links and recipes!!

  5. Rachel Ramey says:

    Brand can make a big difference in the flavor. NuNaturals has much less of a funky aftertaste than other brands I’ve tried. (The first few times we tried stevia, we didn’t even like it in tea, because it had this weird aftertaste. The NuNaturals flavored drops are yummy even in yogurt, though!)

  6. I haven’t tried stevia before, but a lot of recipes I’ve used call for it. I always substitute with honey or maple syrup.

  7. Debbie D. says:

    I grew stevia this year. One plant died but the other is doing nicely. I just don’t know what to do with it now.

  8. Anjanette says:

    We love stevia, too. It’s the only sweetener I can use while dealing with candida/thrush. We grew Stevia last year, and I liked having it on hand, but it was difficult to make it usable. It was just too strong ground up. Making this recipe tonight: http://chocolateandcarrots.com/2011/06/coconut-flour-chocolate-chip-cookies with stevia substituted.

  9. syb says:

    Great post; I will come back to read all the details! and growing a stevia plant is on my list!
    Stevia is ranked the most alkaline plant that will help detoxifying your body and lose weight!

  10. Stevia plants are becoming more common in the stores. I’m certain I’ve seen them at Home Depot for the past few years.

    I’ve never tried using Stevia myself. Since it’s low on the glycemic index, it sounds like a useful sweetener substitute for a diabetic. My mil is a diabetic, and I’m always on the hunt for healthy recipes to make for her.

  11. Hi, Anne,
    I just discovered your site and have looked over enough of your content to know that I just have to ask you to join in over the weekly Wednesday link-up. If you would like to or are able to, many would benefit from your site. Love your practical and helpful posts.
    I grew stevia last year, but could not find a small plant this spring. I need to find out about using seed, etc.
    Thank you.

  12. What a great resource…and such cool ideas and recipes! Thank you!

  13. Litty says:

    Loved this post. I’m already on the stevia bandwagon but I learned a lot from this so thank you!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] is kind of a new trendy sweetener, and here are some tips for baking with it. I’ve only tried the powder form, not the liquid, and I purposefully buy only straight stevia [...]

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