Is there a big difference in the quality of Stevia Powder Extract?
200-300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia Powder has a slight licorice-like flavor that most of us with a sweet tooth, and all the children we have ever met, love. For some people who only like the taste of real sugar it may take a little getting used to, but it has such important medicinal value that it is well worth learning to love.Working with the white Stevia Powder (extract) is difficult, so we usually recommend creating a liquid concentrate from the white powder. We call this concentrate our Stevia Working Solution. To make it, dissolve 1 tsp. white stevia powder into 3 Tbsp. filtered water. The white powder may stick to the spoon but will soon
dissolve. Pour this concentrate into a small bottle with a dropper top and refrigerate it to increase its shelf life.
How does Stevia taste in comparison to white sugar?
I do use stevia and here's a conversion chart for the brand I use:
I have to say that I can always taste the difference, but usually stevia is good. If you get too much in something, it becomes bitter. It does have a moderate after taste to me as well.
You can bake with it and probably it's not as noticeable as when you try to sweeten say cocoa with it.
I'm going to assume you may be diabetic and concerned about the glycemic index, so you might want to consider something else to sweeten liquids, such as agave nectar:
Again, you can tell it's not sugar, but it has a very pleasant mild taste in my opinion--almost like a mild honey. With a GI of 27, about 1/3d that of honey, it's a lower impact on your system.
There are other possible substitutes as well, such as xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol, but you have to worry about potential GI distress in some cases.
For baking, probably stevia will make you happy, especially if there are lots of other flavours in what you're making.
For drinks, like cocoa, I suspect agave will be more pleasing with not a heavy GI hit.
What is the difference between splenda and stevia extract?
They have nothing in common at all--Splenda is an artificial chemical made in a laboratory, Stevia is a plant. Splenda is the brand name for a chemical called sucralose. Stevia is short for Stevia rebaudiana, also called sweetleaf. They have pretty different chemcial structures, but are both around 300 times sweeter than sugar. There is also concerns about both of their health risks, but Splenda is FDA approved as a food additive, whereas Stevia is only available for use as a dietary supplement. There's tons tons tons more information out there about them, but basically they don't have very much in common at all.
Why is stevia illegal for use as a sweetener in the USA?
it's banned as a food additive in products for sale, but not banned by individuals who have it and use it for their own private use. the reason is standard for the FDA ---politics, money, business interests.
why should one buy a sweetener from a company, when a person can grown their own for free?
Check this out: http://www.cargill.com/rebiana/ps_rebiana.htm
Apparently Coca-Cola and Cargill are making a new sweetener made from stevia but altering it a bit to get rid of the strong taste.
I don't know any recipes. I just use it in my coffee. My family hates the licorice taste so I don't bake with it.
Stevia is easy to care for. Feed it a light solution of water soluble tomato food about every two weeks. I use Expert Gardener at 1/2 strength and feed 1/2 gallon on a two week schedule. Use plain water between feedings if needed; they need to be somewhat dry between waterings so you may not need anything between feedings. Keep them in full sun to partial shade. Mine are in full sun most of the time, some shade in early fall due to the changing of seasons but not much. Harvest the leaves as needed or at maturity. If you allow the plant to bloom and produce seeds harvest the seeds when they reach the degree of dryness at which the seeds begin drifting away on the wind. The seed heads resemble very small dandelion seed heads and can be harvested by hand. Keep only the dark seeds; the light-colored seeds are not viable. You can then plant the seeds and increase your crop or share with family and friends. Sow the seeds on top of the soil with no or very little covering; they need light to germinated.
To extract the sweetness from the leaves you need to dry them completely and make them into a powder. I use a blender to reduce the leaves to powder then sift them through a flour sifter. I find that 1/16 teaspoon is enough for a cup of coffee. When you use the powder directly let the fluid (coffee, tea, etc.) sit for a few minutes then stir and enjoy. If you prefer you can steep the leaves in warm water to extract the sweetness then use the water. To do this steep 1/2 cup of leaves in warm water for at least 10 minutes, strain out the leaves and store the sweetened water in the refrigerator until needed. It will only keep for a couple of weeks so don't make more than you will use during that time.
Stevia is an excellent sweetener, especially for those who need to limit their sugar intake (such as diabetics) or want to taste sweetness without the few added calories of sugar or honey. There are several sites with excellent information about growing, harvesting and using Stevia, including many recipes for foods and desserts that you and your family will enjoy. Search for "Stevia Plants" and Stevia Recipes" on any good search engine and delve deeper into the many uses you find.
Good luck and enjoy!
There is SteviaLeaf Stevia Plus, is what its called and the ingredients are Inulin Fiber (F.O.S) -which is just a fiber many fruits and vegetables have- and Stevia leaf extract.
They have it at Whole Foods and I know the ingredients because they had stevia packet samples.
Hope I helped.
ask your fave nursery if they can order plants for you... that's how I got one.... (it died, too).....
What is Stevia, and is there a conversion chart to substitute this for processed sugar in recipes?
Stevia is an herb, so it is natural...and it seriously reduces your sugar intake!
Yes, it can be used in cooking and baking. The conversion depends if ytou're using the powder or liquid. Here is a conversion chart: