It has taken me some time, but I have finally decided to give Stevia a go in a bid to reduce my husband’s sugar intake. He adores cakes and biscuits and takes a packed lunch each day, so it’s quite a concern the amount of sugar he’s consuming, especially after I watched “That Sugar Film”.
I’ve always known that sugar is more damaging to our bodies than anything else, but it really is hitting home as more and more media coverage is being given to the dangers of sugar consumption. I don’t advocate giving up sugar completely, like Sarah Wilson, but I do want to reduce the sugar in our diets.
Pure stevia is actually quite bitter tasting, even though it is sweet as there are other compounds in the plant that contribute to theaftertaste. Plus, in order to use the product in cooking, it needs to be bulked out a little so people don’t use too much. Manufacturers use erythritol, a sugar alcohol derived from starch. The process also occurs in naturally in plants. Erythritol is found naturally in small amounts in grapes, melons, mushrooms, and fermented foods such as wine, beer, cheese, and soy sauce. It has far, far fewer calories than other sugar alcohols – xylitol, for instance. Research shows that although some people may have digestive issues with excess consumption, for the most part it is considered
There are many different brands of stevia on the market, perhaps the most recognisable being Natvia. I have been using the Sugarless brand, Stevia Organic, but I do notice that Natvia contains a fraction more steviol glucosides, the sweet extract derived from the stevia plant.
I’ve successfully made cakes with 1/4 to 1/2 of the sugar in a recipe and replaced the rest with stevia. It depends on the recipe as to how much sugar I reduce. A banana cake, for instance needs only 1/4 of the amount, whereas a lemon cake would need 1/2.
The amount of stevia according to the directions on the tin is 1:2, so if the recipe calls for a cup of sugar, I would use 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup stevia. I would suggest starting with that, then reducing the stevia and sugar from there.
I’ll post a couple of my recipes as examples. and link to this post.