Choosing stevia products

Choosing Stevia Products for Recipes

 

 

by Jeffrey Goettemoeller, author of

Stevia Sweet Recipes: Sugar-free–Naturally! 

and Growing & Using Stevia

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There are hundreds of species of the genus Stevia native to North andSouth America. Only one species, rebaudiana, tastes sweet enough to be called “sweet leaf” in Brazil and Paraguay where it grows wild. Amazingly, Stevia sweetens with virtually zero calories, is non-glycemic, and inhibits bacteria that cause tooth decay. All this makes it a great natural alternative to artificial sweeteners and sugar.

 

Recipes

 

Recipes in Stevia Sweet Recipes and Growing and Using Stevia were carefully designed and tested to help your stevia dishes taste great the first time. One of the nice things about Stevia is that, unlike aspartame, it is heat-stable. This means it works in almost any type of dish when the recipe is properly designed. Additionally, dry stevia products have a long shelf life at room temperature.

Certain issues do present a challenge when cooking with stevia. First, very little is required due to its tremendous sweetness. Bulk that would normally be provided by sugar must instead be supplied by other dry ingredients. Also, some way must be found to distribute stevia evenly through the other ingredients. Another challenge is the slight taste of stevia itself. This is not a problem if the ingredients are adjusted and selected so they interact harmoniously with the stevia.Green Stevia Powder has a stronger taste than does Stevia Extract Powder.

 

Stevia Products

 

Stevia Extract Powder

 

Pure Stevia Extract Powder is your best choice for most recipes. Almost all of the recipes in Stevia Sweet Recipes list it as an option. The white powder is an extract of the sweet glycosides in the stevia plant. Because of their unique structure, these glycosides don’t contribute calories to the diet. The main glycoside is called stevioside.Stevia Extract Powder contains 85-95% stevioside. The percentage should be listed on the label. You’ll want to find a pure stevia product, with no maltodextrin or other fillers. These fillers may not be tolerated by those who must avoid easily metabolized carbohydrates, and the pure Stevia Extract Powder is almost always a better buy in terms of sweetening power for your money. The fillers usually do not dissolve easily either. Our recipes use the pure extract with no fillers.

            Conversion rateStevia extract Powder is 200 to 300 times sweeter than cane sugar. One teaspoon has roughly the same sweetening power as 1 cup granulated cane sugar, though the conversion rate varies depending on the ingredients it is combined with. This is one of the main variables we had to nail down when developing recipes.

 

Green Stevia Powder

 

Green Stevia Powder is dried stevia leaf which has been finely ground. Many of our recipes list it as an option. It seems to work best with beverages, as well as pineapple, kiwi, and some pies. Green Stevia Powder contains the full range of nutrients found in stevia, but does present some additional challenges, with its green color and licorice-like taste. We use it only in those recipes where it works well. One nice thing about Green Stevia Powder is that you can make it yourself by grinding dried leaves in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder with metal blades. You can even use home-grown stevia this way! You can find 20 Green Stevia recipes in my book,Growing and Using Stevia.

Conversion rate:  A good rule of thumb is to use 3-4 teaspoons of Green Stevia Powder in place of 1 cup  cane sugar. Here again, the conversion rate varies according to the recipe.

 

Liquid Stevia Extract

 

While liquid extract is not used in Stevia Sweet Recipes, it is convenient for sweetening beverages. Most liquid extracts have an alcohol base to extend shelf life, though a water extract may be made by bring fresh or dried stevia leaves to a boil, simmering, and straining, or by stirring Stevia Extract Powder into water to taste. Water extracts have a limited shelf life and should be stored in the refrigerator.

 

Jeffrey Goettemoeller;  Phone: (660) 528-0768    

web site: www.prairieoakpublishing.com

 

Stevia Sweet Recipes publisher:

Square One Publishers; Order Phone: (877) 900-BOOK(2665)