Stevia is a perfect solution for anyone who wants the sweetness of sugar without the negative effects. It’s an herb that’s been used for hundreds of years by people in South America. With sweetness up to 300 times that of sugar, it’s easy to understand why.
The use of Stevia in food
One of the best ways to use Stevia in food is as a prepackaged sugar substitute. It’s much safer than aspartame, which has been known to cause problems from blurred vision to seizures in people who are particularly sensitive to glucose. In Japan, this plant is used as a natural sweetener for sugar-free food and simply as a healthier alternative. It can be used in cooking and baking as well, being extremely heat stable. Therefore you should check out the Stevia recipes available online.
4 Useful Tips for Baking With Stevia
Any baker knows that a lot of sugar goes into making cakes, pies and cookies. If you want to bake all sorts of sweet treats that are also very healthy you should consider to bake. This is a sugar substitute that is made from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana, a plant native to the tropical and subtropical forests of the Americas. It has no calories or little side effects and it also does not breakdown if exposed to extreme heat.
A person suffering from diabetes or obesity will have a very restricted diet with no scope for sweets unless he or she starts using this sugar substitute. As a result, lots of health conscious people have started baking.
The following tips will enable you to make the best use of this sweetener while baking:
1. Use liquid Stevia to ensure it mixes well. It is available in powder and liquid form (tablets are unsuitable for cooking unless you dissolve them first. Liquid Stevia mixes well with wet ingredients, enabling that the product is uniformly sweet.
2. Be careful with the amount when you use. This product is far sweeter than sugar and should therefore be used in the correct amounts. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar then you could use 1 ½ tsp of Stevia powder or 2 ½ tsp of liquid. The conversion amount varies according to the specific brand that you use. Always check on the back of the bottle regarding the conversion rate.
3. Replace the volume of substituted sugar with another product. Sugar adds a lot of bulk to a baked product and not just sweetness. If you just use a couple teaspoons of Stevia powder or liquid in place of an entire cup of sugar the batter or mixture will not have the right consistency. This will adversely affect the quality of the baked product. Applesauce, pumpkin puree or even yogurt could be mixed to the batter in order to give it the right texture and bulk.
4. You might even have to add a small quantity of sugar the mixture in order to get the desired brown look that only sugar can give when it caramelizes.
More and more people will take on cooking and baking with Stevia as the popularity of this natural and healthy sweetener spreads. You might have some difficulty at the outset but you will quickly.
Stevia is beneficial for diabetics, children, and people who want a healthier lifestyle in general. The benefits for diabetics are clear. It is safe for those with diabetes, and can be used as a substitute for sugar without issue. People with diabetes often consume artificial sweeteners, which contain aspartame. Stevia sweetens just as well and doesn’t have dangerous side effects.
Any Side Effects
This plant grows wild in parts of Paraguay and Brazil. It’s been used by the native people of South America for years as a digestive aid and topical ointment. The herb became popular in the United States during the 1980s, but was banned in 1991 because it was considered a threat to the sale of aspartame. After studies were done showing the safety of Stevia, the FDA reclassified it to be allowed as a food supplement, but not a sweetener. However, it still stands as an unproved food additive, making it hard to use Stevia to its full extent.
It harvested from the Stevia Plant comes in many different forms. Stevia powder is one of these, which can range in color from green to white. Some powder may be hard to work with as is, and can be mixed with liquid to form a concentrated solution that’s easier to work with. Brown liquid extract is also available.
Where to get
It is usually available in powder or liquid form at natural food stores. Once it becomes more accepted in the consumer society, it will be available at your local supermarket or grocery store. You can also make an extract from whole Stevia leaves.