A Super Sweet Winner!
The winner is Stevia! It comes from a plant that grows in South America, and was first consumed as a supplement, rather than a sweetener. This substitute is about 300 times sweeter than sugar! It is potent in very tiny quantities, has zero calories, and is low-carbohydrate.
Stevia works well in hot beverages like coffee or tea. It is also perfect for sweetening cold foods, such as plain yogurt, salad dressing, or grapefruit. Remember to start with a small amount so the extreme sweetness does not take over the taste of the food. Stevia does not cause havoc with blood glucose, making it an attractive and healthy natural sweetener for anyone — especially those who need to watch their carbohydrate intake and love the sweet taste of sugar.
Too much Stevia may leave some people with a bitter after taste. Plus, the extra sweet taste takes some getting used to. You will need to learn the sugar equivalents and how to mix Stevia into recipes — hot and cold. For your measuring pleasure, check out the chart below and start experimenting on your own.
When substituting Stevia for sugar in your own recipes, it helps to know how much Stevia equals the same amount of sugar.
Native Indians of the Guarani Tribe in Paraguay are known to have used Stevia leaves as a sweetener since pre-Columbian times — way before UNHEALTHY artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet and Low appeared on the market.