Stevia is generally considered a healthier sweetener than regular white sugar. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Stevia has been said to have many health benefits:

  • It controls cravings and helps moderate weight gain
  • It can be used during pregnancy
  • It’s known to be beneficial to the pancreas
  • It doesn’t contribute to tooth decay
  • It can reduce high blood pressure
  • It helps with digestion

Unlike most artificial sweeteners, stevia doesn’t break down, and it can withstand both high cooking temperatures and freezing temperatures. It’s also compatible with salt, organic acids, and natural sweeteners such as barley malt, honey, fructose, and sorbitol. Stevia can be used safely and effectively as a substitute for sugar in virtually all recipes. Careful, though—stevia is 200 times sweeter than sugar, so conversion can be very delicate.

It’s available in either powder or liquid form and even comes in various flavors. Liquid is easier to use for baking because it can be measured more easily.

Follow this conversion chart:

  • 1 cup sugar = 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 1 cup sugar = 1 teaspoon liquid stevia
  • 1 tablespoon sugar = 1/2 teaspoon stevia
  • 1 tablespoon sugar = 6 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 teaspoon sugar = A pinch of stevia
  • 1 teaspoon sugar = 2 drops liquid stevia

In order to make up for the volume lost through replacing a cup of sugar with such a small amount of stevia, add unsweetened applesauce, fruit purée, canned pumpkin, fruit juice, or yogurt, depending on which would taste right with your recipe. For every cup of sugar replaced by stevia, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of any of the aforementioned ingredients.

Tip

Stevia can be purchased online or in grocery stores.