We know that refined sugar is not an ideal food for us…
Is there anything we can use instead?
Honey and maple syrup come to mind first. They are so delicious and far better choices than refined sugars like corn syrup!
And yet, for those of us who need to keep our blood sugar stable or who are watching our weight, they are a far cry from low-glycemic.
Thankfully, whole-herb stevia extract is a natural sweetener that won't impact blood glucose levels!
Choose Stevia Products Carefully
Even a natural food like stevia can fall prey to modern methods of food production. Namely, taking good things out and adding cheap, unhealthy fillers and chemicals in their place!
A whole host of stevia brands include unnecessary ingredients like maltodextrin. If maltodextrin comes first on the ingredients list, you're essentially getting maltodextrin with a touch of stevia. Not very natural, is it?
Maltodextrin also ranks higher on the glycemic index, so it can actually spike blood sugar. Then, why is it added to a sugar-free product?
It's a cheap, corn-based filler that enables less stevia to be used.
My son is very sensitive to food additives, and maltodextrin sends him out to orbit Pluto!
But, Isn't Stevia Bitter?
It can be… But what if I told you that you can make your own liquid stevia concentrate that isn't bitter? Yes, there's a simple and effective remedy to the bitterness that many people taste when they consume stevia!
If you grow your own stevia, this water-fermented stevia extract is an incredibly economical way to enjoy natural, sugar-free sweetness, too.
Makes approx. 3 cups.
- ¾ cup cut, dried stevia herb
- 3 cups filtered water
- Heat water to just under boiling.
- Add dried stevia to a quart-sized Mason jar.
- Pour water over stevia, stirring to make sure all the herb is covered.
- Cover the jar with a cloth and leave out on the counter for 2 to 3 hours, then refrigerate for the remaining 45 to 46 hours.
- Strain and store in the refrigerator.
Use The Whole Stevia Herb
The whole stevia herb makes a dark, tea-like concentrate with an herbal, almost green flavor. I love it for sweetening iced or hot tea. I tried it in a smoothie once, and although delicious, I prefer the milder flavor of the stevia powder concentrate. If you grow your own stevia, this is more economical than using the powder, however.
4 Tips For Using & Enjoying Your DIY Whole-Herb Stevia Extract
As with any new sweetener, you may have to experiment a little to get the taste and sweetness you most enjoy. Keep in mind these few tips and you'll soon be good to go!
#1 — Start Small
Water-fermented stevia is very concentrated, so start small and add more if necessary. Too much is still too much! While way less bitter than most conventional stevia products, it can still be strong.
#2 — Use More Of The Whole Herb Concentrate
Compared with other stevia products, I need to use a bit more of this whole herb extract to obtain the sweetness I desire.
You can also increase the amount of whole herb when making your water-fermented stevia extract to offset this difference.
#3 — It Has A Watery Consistency
Depending on what you want to sweeten, the additional liquid may make the end result too thin. Adjust as necessary!
#4 — Ideas To Enjoy Whole-Herb Stevia Extract
In addition to sweetening your morning tea or smoothies, try using stevia in…
- homemade popsicles
- yogurt or yogurt pops
- muffins and sweet breads
- cake frosting
- fruit sauces
- homemade “jello”
- anything Trim Healthy Mama!
Have you tried making your own stevia extract? What's your favorite way to use it?
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