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Stevia as a substitute for sugar

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by Ann1 on December 24, 2004 06:11 AM
Please, help!!! After hearing about the wonders of stevia, a natural sweetener, I was happy to find some seeds on the web.

I can find how to plant them, I'm sure. What I don't know is how to use the dried leaves? Can you cook with them? Is it possible to use stevia as a substitute for sugar in baked goods or can you only use it as a sweetener for cereal and foods that don't need a lot of sugar.

Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks. And Happy Holidays everyone. Hope you can almost relax.

by weezie13 on December 24, 2004 06:35 AM
Hi Ann,
I think you just use the leaves..
Like used fresh in iced teas and
you can dry the leaves and crush them up
(*and grind them up with like a pestle and mortar)
and just sprinkle them in....

I got to hear about this plant for the first time
this summer, peaked my interest in it too.

Good for diabetic's and for loosing weight...

I've heard the seeds aren't tooooo easy to come by, but they germinate quite easily once you find them...


* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Cricket on December 24, 2004 08:21 AM
Hi Ann,

The stevia I use is store-bought in powder or liquid form, so I couldn't answer about the cooking. I know because you use so much less than you would sugar, recipes must be adjusted but I haven't found a reliable source yet that can advise on that. Will keep you posted though if I do! [critic]
by Ann1 on December 24, 2004 09:08 AM
Thanks, Cricket and Weezie!!

I heard about stevia several years ago, but could find little on it. [dunno] I was under the impression it was still banned in the US but available world-wide, but that mystery plant contest in September gave me some newer info. The web info [critic] made it sound like the sugar industry and artificial sweetener mfgs were trying to keep it out, but hooray for the internet!

Believe it or not, when I started looking for stevia several weeks ago, several places were out--but Burpee's had it--15 seeds for $3.95 + shipping. I may have to use some of my Christmas money for some kind of grow-light arrangement to get some of my new wealth of seeds from [Cool] y'all and the [Smile] wonderful seed companies growing.

I guess we can all just take this step-by-step and learn it together--not that I'm going to do too much cooking. But both DH and I weigh way too much and I can't get him to use artificial sweetners. And we just learned he has another problem to add to his health problems and losing weight and eating right, including adding vitamins, is extremely important.

Most of the recipes I found use the prepared stevia though I did find the two conversion tables.

Cooking with Stevia Conversion Chart
This site gives conversion for sugar, artificial sweeteners and stevia products. There is information about steviosides and some other sides which can cause bitterness, but I need to get the basics sorted out first.

Stevia Canada Conversion Chart
This site has less information and includes various forms of stevia, including one that sounds like the mortar and pestle ground leaves.

I haven't been to a health food store since supermarkets now carry most of the whole foods I use--brown rice, bulghur, whole wheat flour, etc. and I order vitamins by email. And I shop very little in brick stores anymore.

Thanks again.
by Cricket on December 24, 2004 09:17 AM
Thanks for posting links to those sites, Ann. The brand of stevia I use suggests using 1/32 of a teaspoon to sweeten 1 cup of liquid. That works for me, but of course, everyone's tastes are different. I sometimes don't care for the aftertaste of stevia and still prefer honey as a sweetener for some things (like tea). I wonder how fresh stevia tastes? Please keep us posted on how you do with your seeds.
by thorns on January 13, 2005 07:37 AM
fresh stevia is very sweet, so you don't need much. it has a very true taste, but strong. Johnny's Seed in maine sent me a leaflet on the merits of stevia and reported it to be 400 times sweeter than sugar, that's a quote from them, not me. its easy to grow in new orleans, treat it like rosemary. i've not grown it from seed, though it roots easily from soft stem cuttings

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