If you have a sweet tooth, you enjoy taking anything sweet, be it a type of food or beverage.
Unfortunately, this sugar we love to consume in foods and drinks is harmful to our health. It causes unnecessary weight gain and increases our chances of suffering from Diabetes.
That’s why many of us are turning to low-calorie and no-calorie sweeteners to reduce our sugar intake. An example is Stevia.
This sugar substitute is usually used by many people as a coffee sweetener. What exactly is it?
What is Stevia?
Stevia is a popular no-calorie sweetener that’s used by many people as a sugar substitute in coffee. It’s been used in places like Asia and South America to sweeten drinks for ages.
This sweetener is extremely sweet, and you only need small amounts to sweeten any food item. It is available on grocery store shelves or health food stores in liquid or powder form.
Stevia sweetener is produced from the leaves of the Stevia herb which is also known as sweetleaf. It is a perennial herb with green leaves and small white flowers that grows in warm areas.
The leaves of the Stevia herb are used to make sweeteners because they are said to be 30 times sweeter than sugar. They have a sweet flavor and hint of bitter aftertaste that enhances the taste of beverages such as tea, lemonade, and coffee.
Stevia sweeteners are especially popular among coffee drinkers. Some examples are Truvia, SPLENDA, and SweetLeaf, among others.
Stevia leaves are also used in beverages and foods in their fresh and dry form. 2 teaspoons of Stevia powder are equal to a cup of sugar.
Instead of purchasing stevia sweeteners (which can be expensive), you can use Stevia leaves to sweeten your coffee. That will help you save money and avoid the processed additives in these products.
Here is how to use stevia leaves to sweeten coffee.
4 Ways to Use Stevia Leaves When Sweetening Coffee
You can use fresh stevia leaves to sweeten your coffee if you grow them in your garden. 5 -6 leaves are enoughto sweeten a beverage.
How to Use Fresh Stevia Leaves as a Coffee Sweetener.
5-6 fresh stevia leaves
Strong black brewed coffee
- Wash the stevia leaves and drop them into a mug of hot brewed coffee.
- Strain out the stevia leaves and enjoy your naturally sweetened coffee.
How to Use Dry Stevia Powder to Sweeten Coffee
If you grow many stevia herbs in your garden, you may dry these leaves for future use. Dry stevia leaves sweeten beverages just as well as fresh ones. Here’s how to make and use them.
- Start by hanging a stalk of stevia leaves upside down to dry in a cool, dry place for 5 -7 days.
- Once the leaves on the stalk are dry, grind them in a mortar, and you have some fresh stevia powder to sweeten your coffee.
- A teaspoon of Stevia powder equals 10 tsp of sugar. Use this powder in moderation to sweeten your coffee.
How to Use Stevia Syrup to Sweeten your Coffee
You can also use stevia powder to make stevia syrup for your coffee. Here’s how.
- Boil 3 cups of water and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of dry Stevia leaf powder.
- Reduce the heat and let the powder simmer until the water has reduced to a syrupy consistency.
- Use a sieve to strain out the dry stevia leaves and store the syrup in a tightly closed air-tight container.
- Stevia syrup can be added to coffee and other beverages such as lemonade or smoothies.
- Stevia has a slight aftertaste; you can eliminate it by adding a bit of agave nectar or lime juice to it.
That’s three ways to use stevia leaves to sweeten coffee and other beverages. Stevia had a licorice flavor that many people love. It is also used by Diabetics as an alternative to sugar.
Although most Stevia products on the shelves are FDA-approved, stevia leaves are not. Those approved have stevia mentioned in their list of ingredients as Stevia rebaudiana, or Stevia extract.
Make sure you consult your doctor before using them as a sweetener in any beverage.
Stevia leaves are available online or from organic farms. You can also grow them at home and dry them for your personal use.