Stevia is a no-calorie sweetener that is made from the leaves of a plant, Stevia rebaudiana, which is native to South America. Stevia is a sweetener that doesn’t affect the blood sugar, which is a good sugar alternative for people who have diabetes, candida, or any other health conditions that require a free or low-sugar diet. There are different types of stevia on the market, and some are healthier than others.
The best and most natural way to consume stevia is by simply using the leaves of the plant. The leaves can be added to sweeten any type of beverage, or can be dried and manually turned into a powder. Stevia is a plant that can be easily grown in your backyard, but the plant or the leaves may also be found at your farmer’s market or your health food store. The leaves get about 30 to 40 times sweeter than white sugar.
If you choose to get a store-bought option, there are two types of stevia you can get: powdered stevia and liquid stevia. If you choose the powdered form, it’s best if the powder is green and organic, because the white powder is more processed. The liquid version is more concentrated, being about 200 times sweeter than white sugar, and comes either in a base of alcohol or an alcohol-free version. You only need a few drops – if you add too much, the taste will be bitter.
If you can’t get a stevia plant or if you can’t find stevia leaves, I recommend these store-bought products. I chose them taking in consideration the quality of the product, the ingredients, and the processing method. In my opinion, they are the best alternatives out there but as every sweetener, they should be consumed in moderation.
My top 5 favorite store-bought stevia:
- Sweetleaf Stevia – Powder or liquid stevia
- Pure Liquid Alcohol Free NuStevia, NuNatural – Liquid stevia
- Stevia Liquid Concentrate, Body Ecology – Liquid stevia
- Stevia Leaf Powder, Organic Traditions – Green powder stevia
- Better Stevia, NOW Foods – White powder stevia (if you have to choose a white powder)