Tablets? Powder? Liquid?
Now that you’re aiming for better health and have decided to replace sugar with stevia, which type of the product will best suit your needs?
When looking for a stevia product, where do you begin? Are they all the same? Is the liquid superior to the powder? What about the tablets? Does it measure out like sugar? If you’ve decided to make changes to your diet by using stevia instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners, these are just a few of the questions you might be asking yourself.
Now that you know the benefits of stevia, is there a greater benefit within the product itself, depending on the type you use?
What NOT to Buy
The first thing to look at when shopping for stevia is the label. What you do NOT want to see is “maltodextrin”. Maltodextrin is a manufactured carbohydrate with an extremely high glycemic index, which means it raises your insulin levels. It is often sold as a product for weight lifters to “bulk up”. One of the pluses of stevia is its low glycemic index. Using stevia that has an added carbohydrate that will raise your sugar level is defeating your purpose.
Stevia can be used in powder, liquid or tablet form. The powder is available in measurable containers, or in individual packets. If you will be baking or cooking with stevia, the measurable powder would be the easiest to use, while the packets are handy for taking with you to add to coffee or tea, or simply to have on hand when away from home. Stevia tablets are the preferred method for some, as they have the ease of portability. They dissolve easily in hot or cold water, although all stevia products can boast the same trait. The dried stevia leaves do NOT dissolve in water and therefore are not recommended for drinks, but rather for brewing teas or adding sweetness and flavor to sauces while cooking.
Use With Caution
Remember that stevia is multiple times sweeter than sugar, so a recipe that calls for ½ cup of sugar would NOT use ½ cup of stevia. The usual conversion would be ½ teaspoon of liquid or powdered stevia for ½ cup of table sugar called for in a recipe. Consult the package of your stevia product to note the conversion that is recommended for the type you are using. The key when cooking with stevia is to add the stevia a little at a time and taste test. Different brands of stevia have different strengths of sweetness, as the degree of sweetness in the product depends upon the type of extraction used on the plant.
As with most types of product when trying something new experimentation is key. We learn what we like by trial and error. Just remember that by adding stevia to your diet you are on your way to better health.