6 Tips to Really Love Stevia

Don't Like Stevia? Here are 6 Surprising Tips to help you Change Your Mind!

I’ve been eating stevia for a long time now – ever since I knew that I had candida. I was quite the sugar-aholic but am now reformed from that habit and am glad to know that stevia is one of the more healthy sugar alternatives.

If you don’t LOVE stevia (and even if you do), then this is the post for you.  Even if you love stevia, the following tips are great ways to love it even more.  (Note – this post was written by Candace of Candida Free Candee, but her site is now offline so all links to her site have been removed.)

Are you a stevia lover?

Do you wish you were?

Do you wish you could enjoy all the pros of stevia without the palate-intruding cons?

Well look no further! Today I am going to share with you some tips and tricks that will help you enjoy each and every trip you take to Stevia-land! Read on to learn more.

When I first heard about Stevia, I was ecstatic. I thought it was a godsend to my candida-ridden body.

What is Stevia?

1.  Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant and can be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar (the typical range is 200-300).  As a result, depending on the recipe, stevia can be either simple, or pretty hard to use in recipes. Check out How to Use Stevia here.}

2.  Stevia is a zero calorie sweetener that does not contain any sugar or carbohydrates, nor does it feed candida.

3.  Easy on your digestion–stevia lacks the unpleasant tummy-lurching side effects that are a characteristic of some other non-candida feeding sweeteners (think sugar-alcohols, like xylitol).

4.  Stevia comes in many forms with varying amounts of processing. Among theses are: homemade extracts, liquid or powder extracts and ground stevia.

Homemade extracts, also known as “teas”, are made by steeping the leaves of the stevia plant, which can often be found at local greenhouses.

Liquid or powdered extracts are made by using either water or alcohol to extract two types of glycosides from the leaves of the stevia plant (Stevioside and rebaudioside A).  Here’s a super simple way to make Homemade Liquid Stevia–on the cheap.

Ground Leaves – The third process simply involves the grinding of dried stevia leaves into a green powder with no extraction process.

I remember taking that first bite of baking prepared with this new (to me) and exciting sweetener with delicious thoughts dancing through my head of treats that had been off-limits for so long.

Well, was I ever disappointed! My palette was bombarded with a strong, unpleasant flavor and bitter aftertaste. What had I just put in my mouth? I was thoroughly displeased, and quite defeated. Fighting candida exhausted me and ignoring my sweet cravings was getting to me.

Well, I thought, I’ll just have to live without sweets for a while longer. That turned out to be waay too tough, so much so that I thought I’d try stevia again, this time a different brand. And again it was gross. The only thing that irritated me more than the awful taste was that it seemed some people couldn’t taste it at all! I watched in awe as my father-in-law devoured half a plate of stevia brownies all the while raving about how good they were!

Well, I decided I was going to make myself enjoy stevia if it was the last thing I did. So everyday I ate a piece of the remaining brownies with the hopes that eventually I would not be able to taste it either.

Right? Wrong.

The experiment lasted a couple of weeks in which I saw no improvement. I knew I had to try a different approach if I was going to learn to love it.

I am now a huge stevia fan and you can find it in almost every dessert recipe I make. It took a little time and effort but it was well worth it, as stevia is now my sole sweetener and probably will be (other than fruit) for a long time. Yes, I like it that much. In honor of my affection for stevia, I put together some tips and tricks to help you go from hate to love painlessly, so you too can enjoy a refined, sugar-free lifestyle!

Tips to Love Stevia

1. Don’t go cold turkey.

I mean it. It seems like a good idea but it isn’t (for most people). This is the one valuable piece of information I gleaned from a desperate google search for which I literally typed “how to make yourself like stevia”.

Don’t one day decide to put it in everything, on everything and use only stevia until you love it. In my experience, you’ll hate every moment and feel the same way about it as you did at the start. You may be likely give up just like me with a bad taste–literally–in your mouth.

2. Get the good stuff.

Stevia extracts are not created equal. I have purchased my share of brands and while some are palatable, others just don’t make the cut. However, as you learn to like stevia you will likely be more tolerant of even the most unpalatable brands. Luckily, some are just delicious and a great place to start.

My personal favorite is new NuNaturals. Sadly, they had to change their formula, but I still enjoy it. I am however, always on the lookout for new options. Having said that, NuNaturals still has a smooth flavour with minimal to no aftertaste. What I do detect in aftertaste in the new formula is also pleasant, and after a few uses went away completely. This stevia has been a godsend to me!

Do a little experimenting. Try liquid and powder (I prefer liquid) and find what tastes the best on your palate. Some stores will let you return your purchase if you don’t like it–so be sure to ask!

One word of caution when choosing your stevia is to check the ingredients!

Some stevias (especially the baking mixes) have added fillers and ingredients, like maltodextrin, (which is not good for candida). And some, shockingly, even have sugar in them. Yes, straight up refined sugar. My poor mother-in-law slaved away on a birthday cake for me using a stevia baking mix with sugar in it. I felt just awful, but I just couldn’t eat it! The mixes with sugar might be an OK short term option if you’re learning to like stevia (see tip #4) but I believe there are better options for your overall health.

3. Be patient.

I’ve mentioned that most people find that stevia has a distinctive taste. Some find it slightly unpleasant, while others are oblivious. Just be aware that it can be an acquired taste, and the more you try it, the less you will taste it.

4. Start gradually and cut it to mask the flavor.

Ok, this is my secret trick. Until you are used to the flavour/aftertaste, depending on the brand you’ve chosen, cut the stevia.What I mean by this is don’t use stevia as the only sweetener in your recipe. Instead, use some stevia along with a bit of another sweetener like honey, maple syrup, fruit juice, coconut sugar, molasses, xylitol (if you have candida), whatever you like, but do try to use your healthiest option available.

The reason being is when stevia is mixed with another sweetener the taste is greatly reduced and often not even noticeable. This is also true when there is fruit in the recipe, like an apple crisp or oatmeal raisin cookies. The stevia is much less, if at all, noticeable.

Slowly, steadily, each subsequent time you prepare something, decrease the other choice sweetener and increase the stevia with the goal of cutting out the other sweetener completely over time. Trust me, you will reach a point where you will be using all stevia but cannot taste it anymore. Seriously.

5. Stay committed.

It may take a little time, a little experimentation and a little searching for the brand that works for you, but let me tell you, it will all be worth it when you pick up a “sugar” cookie, or a bite of ice cream sweetened only with stevia and you enjoy it as much as the “real” thing. So worth it, my friends, so worth it!

6. Freeze it.

If you added too much stevia to a recipe or if the taste is too strong don’t throw out your hard work, instead, freeze it for a day or two (letting it sit in the fridge works well too). I don’t know the science behind it but for some reason putting it in the freezer dissipates unpleasantness resulting from too much stevia. So glad I discovered this early on in my stevia-loving journey, as I would have wasted a whole lot of money tossing perfectly good food!

There you have it, my tips for teaching yourself to like stevia.

I hope you all will be enjoying some of my stevia-sweetened homemade Dairy-free fudgesicles and Sugar-Free Lemonade soon!

Do you like stevia? Have you tried any of these tips?

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

Comments

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  1. Sunnie Stonelake says:

    I can’t use the sugar alcohols. Messes with my stomach. To make the carob chips is it a necessary ingredient for bulk? I just use liquid stevia. Do you know if it will work? Thank you for any suggestions you have.

  2. I literally found this page by googling “How to make yourself like stevia” lol! I’ve found I tolerate it more than the other alternatives. So far the only drink I can stand it in is my Shakeology… and it still has that little aftertaste. Im going to try your tips!

  3. Carl Ricco says:

    Please read this, it’s very interesting. Candida is not bad, and 90% of people complaining about do not have anything wrong with them.,

    http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/12/10/we-all-have-candida-and-its-ok

  4. Could sugary/sweetened items be the cause of all your families ill health/special needs? As you seem addicted to it and I’ve read it has made people very ill…

  5. Miss desai says:

    Lovely infomative article dear. I have searched & asked everywhere and everyone but have not got ny answer. After read ur article i m sure u can help me.

    There are many brands & i have als ready some added ingridents in stevia r harmful too & most of the brands has bitter after taste.

    Dear plz suggest me some non bitter & safe Stevia brand, which is healthy & tasty .

    Thanks a lor

  6. 6th day on Stevia, I’m drinking coffee with it as I write this in agony. The taste is absolutely ruthless. I must stay strong. Thanks for your tips. Urgh.

  7. Thank you for this–I tried stevia years ago and disliked it but now have to use it and was struggling. I googled ‘stevia taste like tin’ and your post came up; I shouldn’t be surprised given the variety of topics you cover. Just this morning my 2-year old and I made your homemade glass cleaner!

  8. Hi, I was very pleased to find your article and the tip on freezing as I just made some lemon squares that would have sadly been tossed. Even though I followed the recipe (or maybe went a couple drops over with the liquid Stevia), it was quite bitter…and I guess overly sweet. All I could mostly taste was the bitter. Hoping the freezing will counteract some of this, I was wondering if I should leave it in there for a day or if the longer in there, the more it will decrease the bitterness? I assume it can only do so much. Thanks!

  9. Two types of stevia based on two ingredients of the plant.

    Stevioside (5–10%)
    Rebaudioside A (2–4% )

    Rebaudioside A based typically costs in retail 5x as much as table sugar in very small containers (like 10ml for 15 euro). The price is about 1/2 that of quality honey in terms of power but we are not competing on taste here I guess. It’s all about the calories.

    The cheap stuff (Stevioside based) typically costs in retail as much as table sugar in terms of power (like 50gr for 10 euro).

    The first one is approved in more countries and has no bitter aftertaste.
    The second one has a bitter aftertaste.

    Both types have about 300x power compared to sugar.

    If the dose is 1 to 5gr and not a tiny fraction of a gr/ml (like 0.01), most of it is filler for practicality and high profit.

  10. In my experience, erythritol is a much better sugar substitute than stevia. It tastes just like sugar though only 70% as sweet. It looks just like sugar. Though people often have gastrointestinal issues with other sugar alcohols, they rarely do with erythritol because it is absorbed before it reaches the colon and thus is not fermented there which would otherwise cause problems. Erythritol is also easy to cook with. Just make sure you get 100% pure erythritol. Some brands mix it with either stevia or fructooligosaccharides. Both of those just ruin the flavor.

    Another great option (though expensive) for situations where you might use molasses is Yacon syrup. Hard to find in stores but easy to purchase on the Internet.

    • I have heard of blends of eryth with xyl and stevia that are quite good – have you tried that?

      • I don’t think it is a good idea to blend xylitol with erythritol. Xylitol has more g.i. Tolerance problems. It is less expensive than erythritol which is why they do it but I’d rather pay a little more and not have cramps and diarrhea. I have had a blend of stevia and erythritol. It was awful. Bitter and not sugar like at all. I’d rather go without sweetener at all than put up with the taste of stevia.

        • I guess it depends on your issues. Some have issues w/ xylitol and others don’t. If you don’t I think it’s a good idea. One of my practitioners said she really liked mixing sweeteners so that if it is ever discovered that one of them has a serious problem, then you can feel better knowing you diluted the effects of all of them. I personally really love stevia, but in baked goods it needs to be mixed w/ something.

  11. 300X sweeter than sugar? Please! I wonder where this is derived from, For me it seems 1/10 as sweet if that. The aftertaste makes it even less sweet than that!

  12. I just LOVE Now Foods Better Stevia, and Truvia! Sweet leaf liquids has a more aftertaste than I would like. I really love the fact than Better Stevia doesn`t have alcohol in it. Also, stevia`s aftertaste is masked with certain foods: dark bitter chocolate, liquorice and anise