Stevia: you probably have heard of it or even used it, but what exactly is it, what is it good for and why should you have it in your cupboard?
Lees in het NederlandsIn short: stevia is a sugar substitute. Residents of the United States are already quite familiar with the substitute, while for most Europeans stevia is still a grey area. That’s because until December 2011, European governments banned Stevia to protect its sugar industry. For those to whom stevia is still a bit unclear, here’s a short overview on this natural sweetener.
Stevia is an extract from the petals of the stevia herb, which is native to south and central America. In these area’s, the extract has a long history of medicinal use, in the treatment of depression and promoting weight loss.Sweet leaf/leaf from the stevia herb
Benefits of stevia
- Highly concentrated – Stevia extract is 200 times sweeter than table sugar in the same concentration; a drop of stevia is usually enough to sweeten a cup of coffee.
- Low carb – Unlike table sugar, stevia is very low in carbohydrates. The sweet leaf therefore has very little influence on the blood sugar level.
- Low calorie – Stevia could help bring back obesity rates, as it has zero calories, unlike table sugar.
- Nutrient dense – Unlike table sugar, stevia extract is unprocessed, leaving the extract full of rich nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Uses of stevia
Stevia comes in many forms, from tablets and powder to liquid. The extract can be used in many ways: for baking, in your coffee or tea and to sweeten desserts. Stevia is highly concentrated, so you’ll only need a few drops when using Stevia in liquid form.
The downside about stevia is that there have been people that reported a bitter after taste. I therefore recommend using (USDA-certified and non-GMO) Sweet Leaf stevia with a flavor.
Stevia as we know it for commercial use is an extract from the petals of the stevia herb. The extract is 200 times sweeter than the same amount of table sugar. It is low carb, has zero calories and is nutrient dense. Stevia is therefore a perfect, healthy sugar substitute.
What do you use to sweeten your food?
Follow me on