We keep hearing the theme avoid sugar, avoid sugar. But what if you just can’t, what if you just need your fix? Another option is stevia. Stevia, a natural derived herb of the sunflower family that doesn’t effect the blood sugar levels like sugar. Also known as a diabetic friendly sweetener, it has a slow onset and a longer lasting taste than sugar. Stevia has 300 times the sweetness of sugar, so you don’t need much. If you over do this sweetener, you have past the point of no return. It can either be bitter or take on a licorice taste. The Guarani peoples for centuries used stevia medicinally as a cardiac stimulant to treat obesity, hypertension, heartburn and to help lower uric acid levels.
Much of our recipes call for stevia. While not ideal for baking, stevia is great for sweetening drinks. If you are a diet soda drinker, this sweetener is for you. Stevia is available in powder and liquid form. It is available in the baking, bulk and wellness aisles.
Tanvir, Ashraf (24 May 2005). “Sugar Leav – A new breed of ‘sweetener'”. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council. Retrieved 2 January 2009.