There are times when I want something sweet and don’t want to increase my blood sugar level or caloric intake. That’s when I reach for stevia, an herb 300 times as sweet as table sugar, with a glycemic index (GI) of 0.
I consider stevia to be the optimal healthy sweetener. Why? Stevia in and of itself is not particularly nutritious. It is the fact that stevia’s sweetness allows me to reduce the amount of sugar that I consume overall that makes it a healthy choice for me.
I have found that reducing my intake of even natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and fruit to be extremely helpful in alleviating the symptoms of the autoimmune disorders that I deal with. This makes sense given that even natural sugars can cause inflammation, and is why I have put together my Keto Diet Recipes page with loads of sugar-free recipes.
Artificial sweeteners may seem to be a good alternative in assisting with the reduction of sugar and caloric intake. Since most are relatively new to market and their ingredients can be somewhat frightening, I stay away from them. My sugar-free recipes are all natural and use stevia as their sweetener.
Stevia is a fantastic option when it comes to sweeteners because it is low-glycemic, low-carbohydrate, and plant derived. Stevia has been used for over 1500 years by the native peoples of present day Brazil and Paraguay. Further, it has been widely used in Japan since the 1970’s. In Japan, stevia use is so prolific that it accounts for 40% of the sweetener market and is an ingredient in everything from soft drinks to candy.
In the U.S., the sugar lobby has long fought to ban this miracle sweetener, and to a large part its campaign has been successful. Stevia has also gotten a bad rap due to its use in sweeteners such as Truvia, which in fact are less than 1% stevia.
Stevia comes in various forms. It is widely available as a tincture or powder. You can also purchase the herb itself from an organic gardening store and grow it in your garden or windowsill as we do.
The only drawback to stevia is that it sometimes has a slightly bitter, licoricey aftertaste. I find this to be the case with the tincture, the powder, and the leaves that we harvest and dry for use at home.
Because of this, I prefer to pair stevia with strong flavors such as mint, chocolate, cinnamon, or lemon which are remarkable in hiding its odd after taste. I love using stevia in tea, dandelion coffee, and homemade lemonade.
Below are all of my recipes that use stevia! Some use it in combination with other sweeteners, while others are completely sugar-free. To view only my sugar-free recipes go here.
This is the stevia product that I use in my recipes.