Stevia sugar is growing in popularity as a plant-based, calorie-free alternative. Many people prefer artificial sweeteners like sucrose and aspartame as it is extracted from plants instead of making lab. It has little to no carbs and does not quickly spy on your blood sugar, which makes it popular among those with diabetes or poor blood sugar control. Nevertheless, it may have some flaws. Here we have mentioned how you can use stevia in cooking.
What is stevia?
Stevia leaves have been enjoyed for their sweetness as well as have been used as an herbal medicine for the treatment of high blood sugar for hundreds of years. The leaves of the stevia plant can be used on their own in hot or cold drinks or as herbal teas. The leaves are dried to form a powder, which will be used in baking one teaspoon of this powder is about the same sweetness as one cup of sugar. Stevia-based sweeteners are available in products including yogurt, chocolate etc.
Stevia’s GI scores 0 without any calories, sugar, or carbohydrates. Stevia was only approved for sale in the EU in 2012 and was expected to prove to be a naturally occurring, low-calorie sweet for diabetics.
The FDA has only approved stevia as a safe form for use. Don’t buy them if you see unrefined stevia extract at local food stores. The FDA says there is insufficient information about their potential effects on your health, including kidney and cardiovascular problems.
Cooking With Stevia
You can cook with it. Each brand has its own stevia ratio to sugar, so check the package before measuring the sweetness. It can cause a bitter aftertaste if you use it too much. Baking with stevia might be difficult. It does not give the right texture to cakes, cookies and bread as it does not have the same chemical properties as sugar. Try experimenting with pure proportions or additional ingredients. For example, cake paste adding whipped egg whites to a cake batter or extra baking powder and baking soda to a quick bread dough will help them rise. So before using this you need to be careful about the stevia amount for baking.
In experiments, pure stevia extract has no effect on blood glucose levels and may even improve the body’s ability to metabolize glucose. Studies that try to illustrate stevia’s ability to improve insulin sensitivity and benefits diabetes have shown some promise, but it’s not too early to make a firm decision. However, many stevia-based sweeteners are mixed with other sugars and artificial sweeteners to enhance the taste as pure stevia extract has a bitter aftertaste.
By mixing them with other sweeteners such as dextrose, maltodextrin and sucrose, some stevia products are able to raise blood glucose levels. It is therefore important to read the labels on products claimed to be Stevia. Other studies have shown that stevia may be effective in the treatment of hypertension and management of type 2 diabetes and is recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties. When not mixed with other sweets, stevia has no calories, so it can be beneficial for weight loss and sugar substitute seekers.