My favorite low glycemic natural sweetener is, without a doubt, Stevia.
Stevia comes in different forms (powder, liquid and tablets) and is completely calorie, carb, fat and cholesterol free. It is extracted from the leaves of “stevia rebaudiana”, a plant that is native to Paraguay and now grows in several tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but does not cause cavities, because it does not fuel the bacteria that cause tooth decay. It even inhibits the development of tooth plaque, which actually helps to prevent cavities!
Moreover, Stevia does not cause any spikes in your blood sugar level. Since it contains several nutrients such as chromium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc, it even helps to regulate your blood sugar. Therefore, it is the safest sweetener available for children, diabetics, people who suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure or Candida and quite frankly anyone who wants to keep his body healthy and still enjoy sweet desserts.
Stevia is also heat stable, so it can be used for cooking and baking as well as in tea and other hot drinks like chocolate milk. I wouldn’t recommend using it in coffee though, because the strong sweet taste of Stevia seems to clash with the bitterness of the coffee. You can also use it perfectly for frozen treats and desserts, because freezing does not reduce its sweet taste.
I like to use Stevia in every raw dish – savoury or sweet – that needs a hint of sweetener to perfectly balance out all the flavours. I also tend to replace a large amount of sweetener in raw desserts with Stevia. I almost never use it on its own, because it tends to overly dominate the dish when you use too much of it. However, combined with a small amount of richer sweeteners like maple syrup or date paste, it works wonderfully well. It makes the dessert healthier, lighter and more intensely sweet!
What is your favorite recipe with Stevia? Share your recipes and experiences by leaving a comment down below.