Know Your Stevia–It’s not all alike

Stevia is a no-carbohydrate sweetener that, unlike sugar alcohols such as sucralose, appears not to cause any insulin response in the body.  (Some people react to sugar alcohols as if they were sugar).  But different brands and formulations of stevia vary widely in how they taste.  There is concentrated powder, diluted powder, plain liquid, and flavored liquid.  The various brands and types also taste different to different people.

Whole Foods House Brand Stevia Liquid Drops

The brand we like the best is the Whole Foods house brand liquid, either plain or vanilla-flavored.  Stevia first tastes sweet but has a bitter aftertaste, and when used in plain foods (unflavored whipped cream; tea) the aftertaste is unpleasant.  You can mask the aftertaste by including a flavor that disguises it:  peppermint oil or chocolate in whipped cream, for example.  Juliana uses the vanilla creme-flavored stevia in tea because the vanilla dampens the bitter aftertaste.

Stevia is not widely available in end market products in the United States, but a friend of ours who just visited from France told us that Stevia-sweetened products are everywhere there.  For example, all the coffee and seltzer water flavorings are available sweetened with Stevia.

If you’ve tried Stevia in the past and thought you didn’t like it, try a different kind.  And try some of Juliana’s low-carb dessert recipes.