Varieties of Stevia

Stevia comes in many forms. Make your choice based on the amount of sweetness you want (white extract powders are the sweetest) and how well a particular recipe or beverage will be complemented by the licorice-like flavor of less-refined forms. Tip; You can’t replace sugar or honey on a cup-for-cup basis with stevia — the herb is much sweeter.

Fresh Stevia Leaves
This form of stevia is the herb in its most natural, unrefined state. A leaf picked from a stevia plant and chewed will impart an extremely sweet taste sensation reminiscent of licorice that lasts for quite a while.

For stevia to have a more practical application as a tea or sweetener, the leaves must be dried or put through an extraction process, which makes the sweet taste even more potent.

Dried Leaves
For more of the flavor and sweet constituents of the stevia leaf to be released, drying and crushing is necessary. A dried leaf is considerably sweeter than a fresh one, and is the form of stevia used in brewing herbal tea.

Dried stevia leaf may come in bulk or packaged like tea bags. You can also get it finely powdered. It has a greenish color and can be used in a wide variety of foods and beverages, including coffee, applesauce and hot cereals. You also can use it to make an herbal tea blend. Its distinctive flavor is reminiscent of licorice, which will blend very well with different aromatic spices, such as cinnamon and ginger.

Stevia Extracts
The form in which stevia is primarily used as a sweetener in Japan is that of a white powdered extract. In this form it is approximately 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar (by weight).

This white powder is an extract of the sweet glycosides (natural sweetening agents) in the stevia leaf.

Not all stevia extract powders are the same. The taste, sweetness and cost of the various white stevia powders will likely depend on their degree of refinement and the quality of the stevia plant used. You may find that some powders have more of an aftertaste.

Since extracted stevia powder is so intensely sweet, we recommend that it be used by the pinch (or drop if diluted in water). Once mixed, this solution should be stored in the refrigerator.

Liquid Concentrates
These come in several forms. There’s a syrupy black liquid (that results from boiling the leaves in water), which can enhance the flavor of many foods. Another type is made by steeping stevia leaves in distilled water or a mix of water and grain alcohol. You can also find a liquid made from the white powder concentrate mixed with water, and preserved with grapefruit seed extract.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandi October 15, 2014 at 1:58 am

I would like to know is Skinny girl liquid stevia with white clover honey is any good or just another cover up for processed crap?

Reply

James Crabtree July 19, 2014 at 12:44 am

People keep saying that the stevia they find in “the stores” all has dextrose. I question at what stores they are finding it. I personally don’t know of any grocery stores here in the states that sell it. Yes, they sell a dextrose/stevia blend. That isn’t stevia! That is a blend! And, yes, some so called health food stores will also sell blends along side the real thing. After all, folks should be able to make informed choices. But many sell what is advertised as (and the label says is) 100% pure stevia. I sincerely doubt that will all the legal attention given to stevia over the years the artificial sweetener folks will let anyone get away with a lie of that proportion.

Reply

JGG September 10, 2014 at 5:40 pm

look for ORGANIC icon and read labels for complete info look up Swansons

Reply

Dee May 25, 2014 at 5:12 pm

I am new to using Stevia and just bought my 1st bottle of SWEET LEAF ORGANIC STEVIA EXTRACT. The 1st recipe I want to make calls for 2 serving of PUR KAL STEVIA. Can anyone tell me exactly how much a “serving” is? I’d be ever so grateful & thank you.

Reply

ara sollo May 29, 2012 at 2:15 am

Please Someone tell Stevia manufacturing company that they are not telling the people the right information.
All Stevia products have DEXTROSE. And this is what they are selling to us. Dextrose is as sweet as sugar, it is a Glucose.
And it is true that Stevia is sweet but not to sweeten a cup of coffe unless you put a quarter of cup of dryed stevia. It will be like a soup, too thick.
It is not practical to dry it and use it. I have a Rebaudiana plant, i dryed it and got sweeter. Now the Question is. How much of the dryed leaves or crushed leaves shall i put in a cup of coffe or tea.? The answer will be,” a handful of leaves.
If you use the stevia from the market, remember it has a Dextrose.
Splenda, Has DXTROSE
Sweet n low, HAS DEXTROSE
Equal, HAS DEXTROSE
or other diet sweeteners. HAVE DEXTROSE. THER ARE SELLING TO US DEXTROSE, ALREADY SWEET AS SUGAR.

Reply

Don August 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm

You haven’t looked enough. I use a stevia that does not contain Dextrose. Look at Sweet Leaf Stevia.

Reply

Haleena N. January 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Not all Stevia contains added sugars or sweeteners. Look at this: http://www.nutraceutical.com/search/view_product.cfm?product_index=4459909
It’s PURE stevia extract!

Reply

Dr dilip jadhao October 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

It is not like that.
There are several companies which are using erythritol along with stevia extract (reb A) has very less calorie and having no side effect.

Reply

lynn91208 September 25, 2014 at 8:02 am

ara sollo —

There are SOME pure stevia powders out there, but not many. You must read the label. If you have Trader Joe’s where you live, they have one type with dextrose, and one that’s pure stevia. I can’t remember the name, but there are a few other companies that get it, and use only the leaf itself.

But you are right — so many of these, like Truvia — add dextrose or the like. You must read the label. Usually the packets have crap, but pouring powder maybe not. Read read read the label.

Reply

Gianni November 17, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I have used many types and brands of stevia. Some had Dextrose, many did not.
The last three brands of stevia I used were organic and had no Dextrose. And, less than 1/8 of a teaspoon makes my coffee or tea sweet. Your comments are misleading.

Reply

IDee December 12, 2011 at 2:41 am

I have used stevia for several years in 3 forms: powdered natural leaves, liquid extract and processed powder with fos added. I quit using the last form after reading that “processed” stevia is no better for you than processed sugar. I made the liquid extract from the powdered natural leaves for convenience. To save money, I now grow stevia, dry the leaves and crush them to make the extract for myself. I have asked several chefs and home economists about stevia over the years about using it for canning. One was able to tell me it is not a preservative and therefore cannot replace sugar for canning purposes. But, I would not hesitate to us it in small batches of freezer jams. I’ve put it in wine that is too dry for my taste and anything else that is not sweet enough for my liking. I am not diabetic, but know so many who are that now I wonder how I ever cooked without it! The main things to remember are that (1) stevia is NOT sugar, so don’t expect it to taste like sugar – it has its own taste, and (2) it is many times sweeter than sugar, so start off with one little drop and test it carefully until you find the right amount for your liking and you will give yourself a much better opportunity to enjoying the benefits of using it.

Reply

Amanda Nel October 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm

How safe is Stevia for Candidiase sufferers?

Reply

b.l.h. December 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm

My nutritionists said it is the only ‘sweetener’ she would recommend using for a Candida sufferer. She added that any form of sugar feeds the illness and artificial sweeteners are poisons.

Reply

Patty July 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I grow my own stevia. I simply steep the leaves in boiling hot water for a few minutes. I then strain the liquid and put the “syrup” in the ‘frig to use with my tea. I’be found that I can re-steep the leaves a few times with added cold water which also can be saved for “syrup”.
In canning, sugar is often used as a preservative. Stevia will not serve this purpose. I would guess it will not do much to keep texture or color in fruits as sugar does. I do a lot of canning and freezing. I do not use stevia for either.
I do not like it in coffee!

Reply

HILLMAN October 2, 2011 at 12:52 am

It is great in iced tea.
TIP: Always be careful not to buy the liquid Stevia from a manufacturer that uses sugar alcohols in it. . . sugar alcohols are not good for you.

I have heard that Stevia should not be used in baked goods, I wonder if that is true AND why it would be true.

Reply

Sally July 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I would like to use stevia leaves when making iced tea. What is the best way to do this? add the whole leaves to the tea & boiling water or dry the leaves, crush them then add to the brewed tea? Thanks in advance for advice.

Reply

Debbie October 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

We grow stevia and use it to sweeten almost everything. It is very easy to grow ,dry and process. Even a container gardner could keep a few plants.

Reply

Sandy June 22, 2011 at 2:49 am

Has anyone canned with stevia

Reply

HILLMAN October 2, 2011 at 12:56 am

It’s fine used in preserves and guilt-free too. I also make my own quick jam with it (using the Bullet blender).

Reply

Debbie October 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm

It works fine in freezer jam recipes. I use homemade green stevia powder in my freezer jam.

Reply

John David March 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Fortunately you do NOT add erythritol (a polyol) sweetener to your products. I was the first person to put info on the Internet that Erythritol
bothered my eyes (Aspartame & Sucralose do same). I get pains in the eyes within minutes if a product has Erythritol added to it.
Google Erythritol dangers or side effects and see for yourselves. Many people are reporting the same effect and other more
severe side effects. Although Erythritol may not be listed on the label, many stevia sweetented foods, beverages or snacks contain
it.

Reply

HILLMAN October 2, 2011 at 12:58 am

That’s quite a surprise! And I’ve never heard of someones eyes hurting from an ingredient. I buy mine only at the healthfood store and make sure it says pure Stevia, no additives. But thank you for the tip. . .

Reply

David Newby February 27, 2011 at 5:05 am

What I am finding at the stores has detrose. Are your products free from sugars.

Reply

Michelle Miller February 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm

What kind of stevia powder do you use in your chocolate chip recipe? All stevia is not equivalent! Please advise.

Reply

HILLMAN October 2, 2011 at 12:59 am

I use the pure dried leaf Stevia in my baking….

Reply

Bianca Ober March 15, 2014 at 6:32 am

First of all I would like to know if diabetics can use stevia as a sweetener if so
I am interésted in using stevia for baking which kind do You recomend..?

Reply

Sanjiv March 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

What do you mean by “type of element” ? Will you please explain.

Reply

Leave a Comment