A natural, calorie-free sugar substitute stevia is approximately 250-300 times sweeter than regular sugar. This ultra-sweet and beneficial plant originated in South America. However, it has been used in many countries as a natural plant-based sweetener for many years. Using stevia as a sugar alternative can cut calories and also the use of stevia leaves in diabetes can be very helpful. Stevie leaves are sweeter and more beneficial than stevia products. Also, many stevia products have other substitutes. So obviously stevia leaves are better to consume than any stevia-based product available in the market. So, here are some uses of stevia leaves and ways to use stevia leaves in cooking.
● Use Fresh Leaves
There is much use of stevia leaves. Use fresh stevia leaves in beverages such as tea, lemonade, coffee as a sugar alternative. If you are a herbal tea lover, you can add a few fresh stevia leaves and mint leaves to make it more refreshing. You can also add some fresh stevia leaves to beverages, food, or sauce as an edible sweet garnish element. Fresh stevia leaves are less sweeter than dried leaves, but they are much sweeter than regular sugar. It is better to taste test your beverages before serving to make sure you don’t over sweeten them.
● Dried Stevia
If you don’t like to have stevia leaves directly in your food, you can make a powdered sweetener from dry stevia leaves. Things you will need:
– Blender/ food processor/ coffee grinder
– Airtight container
Bundle and hang some fresh stevia leaves upside down in a warm and dry place until the leaves are completely dry. Then add those dry leaves to a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder at medium to high speed for a minimum of 20-30 seconds. Finally, store your powdered sweetener in an airtight container. You can add this powder sugar to almost every recipe that calls for a sweetener. But always make adjustments in the amount used because it is sweeter than fresh stevia leaves and regular sugar. Approximately, 2 tablespoons of stevia powder equal 1.5 cups of sugar. Make Stevia Syrup You can also make a syrup from dry stevia leaves.
Things you will need to make stevia syrup-
– Measuring cups
– Airtight container
Add one cup of warm water to one to one and a half cup of fresh finely chopped stevia leaves. Then put the mixture in an airtight container for 24 hours in a dry and warm place. After 24 hours just strain the leaves from the mixture and your stevia syrup is ready. If you want more concentrated syrup, you can cook the strained mixture on low heat for 20-30 minutes. The best thing about the syrup is it can last for several years if you kept it in an airtight container in your refrigerator. You can add this syrup for sweetening beverages like tea, coffee, sauces, etc.
Here are some tips to use stevia:
1. Use powdered stevia to make a low-calorie dessert. Also, keep in mind that stevia is much sweeter than regular sugar, so you won’t need much.
2. If you are making a brownie, cake or muffin just replace 1-2/3 ounces of sweet chocolate with 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate and add a few drops of liquid stevia to make it healthier.
3. You can make applesauce with liquid stevia. Peel and chop some apples. Then puree the apples with a few drops of liquid stevia. You can add cinnamon powder to make it tastier.
Lastly, Stevia and stevia leaves are very beneficial for our health. In this article, we mentioned some best uses of stevia leaves. Hope it will be helpful.