Stevia in Cooking: How to Use It as a Sugar Substitute

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Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycosides (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside), which have up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar, are heat-stable, pH-stable, and not fermentable.

You can use stevia in cooking to replace sugar. It’s a natural sweetener that doesn’t affect blood sugar levels like sugar does, so it’s perfect for people with diabetes. Plus, it’s zero calories!

In this guide, I’ll show you how to use stevia in cooking and what to look for when buying it. Plus, I’ll share some of my favorite recipes using this natural sweetener.

How to cook with stevia

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Getting to Know Stevia: The Ideal Sugar Substitute

Stevia is a natural sugar substitute that comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It is an herbal sweetener that is primarily used as a healthier alternative to sugar. Stevia is available in various formats such as powder, concentrated liquid, and even leaves.

How Sweet is Stevia?

Stevia is incredibly sweet, and a little goes a long way. In fact, it is estimated to be 200-300 times sweeter than sugar. This means that a teaspoon of stevia can replace a whole cup of sugar. However, it is important to note that stevia has a slightly different taste than sugar, and some people may need to adjust to its flavor.

What are the Benefits of Using Stevia?

Using stevia as a sugar substitute has many benefits, including:

  • It is a natural sweetener that doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients.
  • It has zero calories, making it an ideal sugar substitute for those who are watching their weight or have diabetes.
  • It doesn’t affect blood sugar levels, making it a safe option for people with diabetes.
  • It has textural properties that make it an excellent option for baked goods and stews.

How Can I Use Stevia in Cooking?

Stevia can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Sprinkled over oatmeal or yogurt in the morning
  • Added to coffee or tea as a sweetener
  • Used in baking as a sugar substitute
  • Added to stews or sauces for a touch of sweetness

When using stevia in baking, it is important to note that it doesn’t have the same bulk as sugar, so it is recommended to add other ingredients to compensate for this. Additionally, stevia concentrate can be used to add sweetness without changing the texture of the recipe.

Stevia Production: From Plant to Sweetener

Stevia is a plant native to South America, and its leaves have been used for centuries as a natural sweetener. Today, stevia is grown in many countries around the world, including China, Paraguay, and the United States. The leaves are harvested by hand or machine and then dried in the sun or in a drying facility.

Extracting Stevia’s Sweetness

Once the leaves are dried, they are processed to extract the sweet compounds, called steviol glycosides. Here’s how it’s done:

  • The leaves are steeped in hot water to release the steviol glycosides.
  • The liquid is filtered to remove any impurities.
  • The steviol glycosides are separated from the water using a process called ion exchange or precipitation.
  • The resulting powder or liquid is the stevia sweetener that you can use instead of sugar in your baking.

Refining Stevia for Different Uses

Stevia sweetener can be used in many different forms, from liquid drops to granulated powder. To make these different forms, the stevia extract goes through additional processing steps:

  • For liquid drops, the stevia extract is mixed with water and other natural flavors to create a concentrated liquid sweetener.
  • For granulated powder, the stevia extract is mixed with a bulking agent, such as erythritol or inulin, to add volume and texture.
  • For baking blends, the stevia extract is combined with other natural sweeteners, such as monk fruit or xylitol, to create a product that measures like sugar and can be used in baking recipes.

The Benefits of Using Stevia Instead of Sugar

Stevia is a popular sugar substitute because it has several benefits over traditional sugar:

  • Stevia is much sweeter than sugar, so you can use less of it to achieve the same level of sweetness.
  • Stevia has zero calories and zero carbohydrates, making it a popular choice for people on low-carb or low-calorie diets.
  • Stevia doesn’t raise blood sugar levels, making it a good choice for people with diabetes or those trying to manage their blood sugar levels.

So, the next time you bake, consider using stevia instead of sugar for a healthier, low-calorie sweetener option.

Transform Your Foods with Stevia’s Flavor

Stevia is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener that is ideal for those trying to reduce their sugar intake. It works by adding sweetness to foods without the added calories. Stevia is commonly found in two formats: powder and liquid. The sweetness of stevia is based on personal preference, and it is important to check the conversions before using it in recipes. One teaspoon of stevia is equivalent to one cup of sugar. Stevita is a brand of stevia that is ranked as one of the best-tasting stevia products on the market.

Enhancing Flavors with Stevia

Stevia has properties that allow it to enhance flavors in addition to sweetening foods. It works best in combination with other lightly flavored ingredients. Stevia is also available in flavored formats, such as lemon or vanilla, which can add a variety of flavors to baked goods and other recipes. Stevia concentrate is a highly concentrated form of stevia that can be used in small amounts to sweeten stews, fryers, and other savory dishes.

Using Stevia in Baked Goods

Stevia can be used in baked goods, but it is important to note that it does not have the same textural properties as sugar. Stevia is primarily a sweetener and does not have the same capacity for adding volume or efficiency to baked goods. However, stevia can be used in combination with other alternatives to sugar to create delicious treats that are lower in calories. Peanut butter cookies and red velvet cake are just a few examples of baked goods that can be made with stevia.

Adding Stevia to Meals and Snacks

Stevia can also be used in savory dishes, such as cheese toast or lattice biscuits. It can also be used in meal prep, such as adding it to freezer meals or dinners. Stevia can transform the flavor of a meal or snack without adding any extra calories. Stevia can also be used to sweeten treats like peanut butter cookies or red velvet cake, allowing you to enjoy a sweet treat while staying on track with your health goals.

Stevia: A Variety of Forms for Your Cooking Needs

Stevia is a natural sweetener that is becoming increasingly popular as a sugar replacement in cooking and food. It is primarily found in the United States as a dietary supplement, but it is allowed as a sweetener in food and drug administration. Stevia is available in various formats, including:

  • Powder: This is the most common format of stevia and is ideal for replacing sugar in baked goods. It has textural properties that are similar to sugar and can be blended with other ingredients to add bulk.
  • Liquid: Liquid stevia is a concentrated form of the sweetener and is perfect for adding to drinks or stews. It is also used in cooking and baking, but it may require some experimentation to get the right amount.
  • Purified extracts: These are highly concentrated forms of stevia that are primarily used as a sugar replacement. They are often blended with other ingredients to improve their taste and texture.

Health Benefits of Stevia

Stevia is a natural sweetener that has several health benefits, including:

  • It is low in calories and does not raise blood sugar levels, making it an ideal sugar replacement for people with diabetes.
  • It is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals.
  • It may help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Can Stevia Be Used as a Sugar Substitute in Baking?

Stevia is a super sweet, natural sweetener that has become a popular alternative to sugar in recent years. It is made from the leaves of the stevia plant and is available in various forms, including liquid, powdered, and tablet. Stevia is a great choice for people who want to reduce their sugar intake without sacrificing sweetness.

Replacing Sugar with Stevia in Baked Recipes

Stevia can be used as a substitute for sugar in baked recipes, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a straight one-to-one replacement. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar, so you’ll need to use less of it to achieve the same level of sweetness. Typically, one cup of sugar can be replaced with one teaspoon of powdered stevia or half a teaspoon of liquid stevia.

Important Things to Remember When Baking with Stevia

When using stevia as a sugar substitute in baking, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Stevia is not a bulking agent, so you’ll need to add extra ingredients to make up for the lack of sugar. Commonly used bulking agents include bananas, fruit purees, and eggs.
  • Stevia is a staple in low-sugar and low-carb diets, but it’s important to note that the actual sugar content of your baked goods may not be significantly lower if you’re adding extra ingredients to make up for the lack of sugar.
  • Stevia can be slightly lighter in color and texture than sugar, so your baked goods may have a slightly different appearance and texture than they would if you were using sugar.
  • Stevia can have an unpleasant bitter aftertaste if not used in the right ratios. It’s recommended to start with small amounts and adjust as needed to find the right sweetness level for your recipe.

11 Sugar Replacements to Consider When Baking

If you’re trying to cut back on sugar or have dietary restrictions, sugar substitutes are a convenient means to create delicious recipes that meet your exact needs. They can also offer significant health benefits, such as reducing calorie intake and helping to control blood sugar levels.

General Rule for Replacing Sugar with Substitutes

When replacing sugar with substitutes, it’s crucial to measure properly to ensure the right volume and sweetness. Here’s a general rule to follow:

  • 1 cup of sugar = 1 teaspoon of powdered stevia or 1/3 to 1/2 cup of other sugar substitutes
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar = 1/4 teaspoon of powdered stevia or 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of other sugar substitutes
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar = a pinch of powdered stevia or 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons of other sugar substitutes

Get Creative: Add Bulk with Other Ingredients

One of the easiest ways to add bulk to your stevia-sweetened recipes is by including other ingredients. Apples and beets are two great choices that can help you add both sweetness and fiber to your dishes. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Apples: Fresh apples are a great choice because they’re easy to find and work with. Simply peel and chop them into small pieces, then add them to your recipe. They’ll add a slightly sweet flavor and a nice texture to your dish. If you want a more neutral flavor, you can also use unsweetened applesauce.
  • Beets: Beets are another great choice because they’re high in fiber and offer a unique flavor. You can use fresh beets, or you can buy them pre-cooked and packaged. Simply chop them into small pieces and add them to your recipe. They’ll add a slightly sweet and earthy flavor to your dish.

Using Other Sweeteners as a Bulk Alternative

If you want to change up the flavor of your stevia-sweetened dishes, you can also try using other sweeteners as a bulk alternative. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Cane sugar: If you’re not concerned about keeping your recipe low-carbohydrate, cane sugar is a great choice. It offers a familiar flavor and texture that many people love.
  • White sugar alternatives: If you want a low-carbohydrate alternative to white sugar, there are several products on the market that can help. Some popular options include erythritol, xylitol, and monk fruit extract. These sweeteners offer a similar flavor and texture to white sugar, but with fewer carbohydrates.
  • Honey and maple syrup: For a more natural sweetener, you can also try using honey or maple syrup. These sweeteners offer a unique flavor and can help add bulk to your recipes.

Important Notes on Safety and Benefits

When using other ingredients or sweeteners in your stevia-sweetened recipes, it’s important to follow a few basic guidelines:

  • Research any new products before you buy them. Make sure they’re safe and appropriate for your needs.
  • Note that some sweeteners may have a slightly different flavor or texture than regular sugar. Experiment to find the perfect balance for your recipe.
  • Keep in mind that stevia is an incredible alternative to regular sugar because it offers all the benefits of a sweetener without the negative effects on the body. Adding other ingredients or sweeteners can help you get the bulk you need without sacrificing the benefits of stevia.


So, there you have it- all you need to know about stevia and how to use it in cooking. It’s a great way to add some sweetness to your dishes without all the extra calories and carbs of sugar. Plus, it’s natural and has no artificial ingredients, so it’s a pretty healthy way to go. So, don’t be shy, give it a try!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.