While I’m not an expert on stevia, I do use it. Not a lot, because we don’t eat many sweets, although, there are some things which absolutely need to be sweetened. (For more information on stevia, Click Here.)
The most frequent problem for people, who first use stevia, is that they add too much. When that happens, the slightly licorice flavor of stevia will overpower the food. Start with a little and add slowly.
I like hot cocoa in the winter and lemonade (see recipe below) in the summer. Lemonade and hot chocolate need a sweetener. It took me a while, but I finally came up with recipes for both that we like. In addition to lemonade in the summer, I especially enjoy drinking peach iced tea. When I add a packet of stevia extract, it turns out perfectly.
Cooking with Stevia
Having a stevia cookbook is helpful, because you can’t simply trade stevia for sugar in most recipes. The molecular structures of sucrose and Stevioside are different. When sugar is heated it will caramelize, stevia does not. This is important in cookies, fudge, etc. Stevia does not act as fuel for yeast in baking as sugar does, so it’s helpful to have recipes that will turn out like you expect.
I have a Vitamix (a high-performance blender) which I use numerous times a day. This is my most-used small appliance! Even though the Vitamix comes with a cookbook, I have come up with my own recipe for sugarless soft-serve fruited ice cream. Strawberry/banana is our favorite.
Soft-Serve Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
2 frozen peeled bananas
4 cups frozen organic fruit (strawberries, peaches, mangoes, etc.)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
2 packets organic stevia extract
I find the ice cream blends easier if I let the frozen fruit sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, so the fruit isn’t rock hard, before blending. Place all ingredients in the Vitamix and blend until four mounds appear on the top of the mixture. Use the Vitamix tamper to push down the ingredients. This takes only a minute to accomplish in the Vitamix. Serve immediately.
This is for one serving. It’s easy to adjust, because one lemon equals one serving.
Juice of 1 lemon*
1 packet organic stevia extract
1 cup water
Mix all ingredients; add crushed ice and serve.
*In a hurry? Don’t have time to juice lemons? I sometimes use Lakewood Organic Pure Lemon not from concentrate. Two tablespoons equals the juice from one lemon. This will expedite the process when you make lemonade.
For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.