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When it comes to zero calorie natural sweetener stevia is one of my first choices. It isn’t difficult but it need some tricks. Therefore I’ll be showing you How to Use Stevia in Baking, so keep reading.
Let’s start saying what is Stevia, also called Stevia rebaudiana, is a plant from a member of the chrysanthemum family, a subgroup of the Asteraceae family (ragweed family). This plant is about 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Also, it doesn’t spike blood sugar, so it is safe to use if you are diabetic. Therefore if you are on a low carb diet or ketogenic diet.
Stevia has almost no calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, this aspect may be appealing.
Even though stevia is safe for people with diabetes, they are brands that contain dextrose or maltodextrin among the ingredients. Consequently, you should treat it with caution. Dextrose is glucose, and maltodextrin is a starch. These ingredients add small amounts of carbs and calories, as a result, sugar alcohols may also slightly tip the carb count.
A major downside is the taste. Stevia has a mild taste that ends up in a slightly bitter aftertaste. Some people enjoy it, like myself, but it’s a turn-off for others. Although if you mixed with erythritol you won’t taste the bitterness. In addition to this, some people can experience some digestive problems, such as bloating and diarrhoea when using sugar alcohols like maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol and erythritol, the former one is the safest of all.
STEVIA, HOW TO USE IT
Stevia can be used in place of table sugar, in your food and beverages. 1/8 tsp of stevia powder is equal to about one teaspoon of table sugar.
There are many different ways to use stevia as a sugar substitute:
- Add to any drink you like hot or cold such as coffee, tea, infusions, lemonade, smoothies, protein shakes, yogurt, kefir and so on
- Sprinkled on hot or cold cereal like oatmeal, porridge or overnight oats
- Substitute in baking like muffins, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, tartlets, cinnamon rolls, sweetbreads etc
- Stir it in sauces such as sweet chilli sauce, jam, marmalade, cranberry sauce, tamarind chilli sauce, bbq marinate sauce,
Some stevia brands, such as NuNaturals, can replace table sugar teaspoon for teaspoon (as in sweetened beverages, sauces and bakes). However, its content in maltodextrin is high amounts.
HOW TO USE STEVIA IN BAKING
You can bake with stevia, however, it may give cakes and cookies a bitter aftertaste, so I would recommend mixing it with erythritol.
Other brands aren’t made specifically for baking, as Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Natural Stevia Sweetener, consequently you’ll need to use less. In addition, you should add extra liquid or a bulking ingredient such as applesauce, pumpkin puree or mashed bananas to your recipe to make up for the lost sugar. It may take some trial and error to get the texture and level of sweetness you like.
Let’s see a great example for bulking up Stevia. In this case, you will need to replace 1 cup of sugar with 1/3 cup of bulk (yogurt, applesauce, natural fruit juice, fruit puree, egg Whites, never tried the last one).
So Let’s say the first option, you plan to use apple sauce as your bulking agent when baking with Stevia. In this occasion, you would use 1 tsp liquid or powdered Stevia plus 1/3 cup apple sauce to equal 1 cup of sugar. The second option, If you’re already making something that contains a bulking agent, for instance, banana bread, you would use 1 tsp powdered/liquid Stevia plus an extra 1/3 cup banana puree to reach a cup of sugar in the recipe.
WHAT CAN’T YOU DO WITH STEVIA?
Stevia does not caramelize as sugar does, for instance, Meringues may also be difficult since Stevia does not brown or crystallize as sugar does, so the best sugar substitute, in this case, is powdered erythritol.
The bulking agent you use might not substitute for the browning power of sugar either. So if browning is important to the texture and taste of the finished good, you may need to leave half of the sugar in the recipe.
When baking with stevia all comes to trial and error, not all the stevia liquids are made the same for instance they might taste different. As a consequence, there is no precise chart guide or formula to convert the recipes, but I highly suggest reading the guidelines on the packaging of the stevia. But for future reference only, you can follow this conversion chart guide:
STEVIA AMOUNT CONVERSION CHART*
|Sugar||Stevia Powdered extract||Stevia liquid concentrate|
|1 cup||1 teaspoon||1 teaspoon|
|1 tablespoon||1/4 teaspoon||6 to 9 drops|
|1 teaspooon||a pinch to 1/16 teaspoon||2 to 4 drops|
If you are cooking/baking something that is already sweet, these guidelines should work just fine.
However, if your recipe contains sour ingredients, such as lemons, lime, rhubarb or cherry tart, you may need to add a bit more Stevia. Just be careful in adding more Stevia by starting with ½ tsp of the liquid and adding gradually until you reach the desired sweetness.
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Disclaimer: This post is based on my research, what I did through the internet, and my personal experience and opinion. The above is for general information only and not medical advice. My intent is not to force you to change your food habits and lifestyle. I am just showing you my food habits. I am just a health passionate. Always consult your doctor before making any big changes in your health/lifestyle. If you like the post then considers sharing it with others fit and healthy lifestyle enthusiast on social media.