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Cooking with stevia: guideline to sugar free success

Cooking with stevia can be a lot of fun. After all, you know you're doing something healthy, because you can see that not only are you working with an all natural product, you also need less of it. A lot less! In fact, less is certainly more when it comes to cooking or baking with stevia.

Be sure to take a look at the sugar to stevia conversion chart before you start on your journey. For most stevia recipes, just a simple conversion is enough, just replace the amount of sugar by the correct amount of stevia sweetener, and you're done!

But it's not always that easy. For those of you still wondering "What is stevia": the sweet leaf comes in many different forms, and for recipes that require only a small amount of sugar, it's almost impossible to measure the exact amount of stevioside because there is so little needed. 

That's why stevia also comes as a liquid extract, or in packet form, so that smaller amounts can be added more easily to your recipe.

cooking with stevia
If you plan on using powdered stevia, be sure to check the label for other substances. Avoid using stevia with food additives such as maltodextrin that may contain a lot of carbohydrates and calories, and when possible, try to stick to pure stevia-based products whenever you can.

Stevia improves the taste of strong-flavored food types, but its effect tends to dull when used in combination with other, delicately flavored ingredients.


Some other things to note, especially when you're baking with stevia, is that the sweetener doesn't ferment like sugar does, for example when you're considering  to try out one of our delicious sugar free cake recipes. So you'll have to add a certain amount of leaven, preferably baking powder, to the mix.


If you're cooking up some creme brulée for example, you're always going to need a small amount of sugar in order to get that crusty topping, because stevia doesn't caramelize. Using stevia for the custard itself is of course no problem. If you want to keep it completely sugar free, you can always use a different topping, such as nuts or fruit.

Also important if you intend to make canned fruit preserves or apple sauce-like purées, is that stevia in this form has a rather short shelf life (maximum one week in the refrigerator). If you intend to preserve it for longer than that, you should freeze it. In addition to the stevia sweetener, you will also need a gelling agent such as pectin for the syrupy effect.

Apart from these exceptions, baking or cooking with stevia in all its forms is a breeze. Stevia powder is soluble in water, pH neutral and remains stable in temperatures up to 200°C (392°F) which should be sufficient for most of your sweet recipes. It's time to sink your teeth into them, so have fun with it, and see you over at the recipes page!

If you want more resources on cooking with stevia, I can personally recommend the following books:

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