My original post about stevia stirred up a lot of good comments, with most people being in favor of stevia and outraged at the FDA for banning it from sugar isle of grocery stores. With this post I thought I would share some tips for baking with stevia because it is a little different to work with then sugar.
At first, baking with Stevia instead of sugar may be seen as a challenge because most conventional recipes list sugar as the sweetening ingredient. However, it’s easy to convert the measurements and begin using Stevia in all of your recipes–even Grandma’s old-fashioned cookies! You’ll find that cookies, cakes, and breads taste just as yummy and sweet but without the hundreds of extra calories. Stevia can be safely heated up to 400 degrees, so it can be used for any type of cooking.
Substituting sugar with Stevia
For baking, most will find that using the liquid extract is easiest, but you can also use the powder. Cooking with Stevia is not always an exact science, as different Stevia products tend to have different levels of sweetness and taste. Once you find your favorite brand, substituting will become effortless and automatic. Typically, you should replace 1 cup of sugar for 1 teaspoon of liquid Stevia, or 1/2 teaspoon of Stevia extract powder. Remember, with Stevia less is more. You may want to start with an even less amount and then taste, adding a little more at a time.
It’s important to note that since sugar was providing a good bulk of the recipe that you will need to make up for that with some other liquid. You can get creative and use what you think will go best with the recipe, perhaps applesauce in muffins, yogurt or orange juice in cookies or you may decide to just add some water instead. For every 1 cup of sugar a recipe calls for, use 1/3 cup of a substituting liquid. Remember, this is in addition to the Stevia.
Because of the increased popularity with using Stevia on an everyday basis, there are plenty of online recipe sites that are solely devoted to sharing recipes that use Stevia instead of sugar. This website has half a dozen tasty stevia recipes.
For the beginning Stevia user these sites might be a great place to start, as they take the guesswork out of cooking. Then, once the familiarity sets in, Stevia bakers may decide to create their own recipes or convert their old family favorites from sugar to stevia.
Cooking with Stevia usually starts with trial and error but ends with satisfaction knowing that sweet treats and snacks don’t have to be calorie-laden and unhealthy anymore. From Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies to banana nut bread to birthday cakes, once you’ve become accustomed to cooking with Stevia, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to start using this 100% all-natural, zero calorie sweetener.