6 Tips to Really Love Stevia

Do you think that stevia tastes bad? You're not alone. Find out why stevia tastes so bad and get 6 Tips to help you deal with stevia's bitter taste and start to really love it!

green stevia herb powder in a bowl

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 and to deal with the bitter stevia taste issue.

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 without the stevia taste problem that's oh so common! 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 in my tolerance of that bitter stevia taste. 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 and not find that stevia taste to be so problematic!

Why Does Stevia Taste So Bad?

Our taste buds have receptors that identify sweet, bitter (and also sour and salty) flavors. Interestingly, there is only one receptor that identifies sweet tastes, but there are 25 different receptors for bitter ones! One reason for stevia's bitter taste is that the stevia plant has chemical compounds that interact with both the sweet and bitter receptors, leading to its signature bitter aftertaste.

However, if you get quality stevia (and also follow the tips in this post), a lot of that bitterness can be mitigated.

collage of stevia plant with liquid stevia, stevia powder, and stevia tablets for a post about stevia taste

Tips to Fix the Stevia Taste Problem

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. 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.

Instead, start with a little bit of stevia and increase your use with time. Chances are, you'll grow to like the taste.

2. Buy a Good Brand

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.

Omica Organics

One FANTASTIC brand is Omica Organics. They do minimal processing and are all organic. And really little (if any) aftertaste.  The owner tells me that you should have a kind of orangey-flowery taste at the back of your mouth when trying stevia, not a metallic one. You can also find some of their products on Amazon, but buying direct is more helpful to me and avoids the big box stores, plus I have a great coupon code. If you'd like it please comment below or email adrienne@wholenewmom.com

Trim Healthy Mama

The Trim Healthy Mama sisters are also really really careful about sourcing. I LOVE that these ladies are so into research as I am. You can be sure that their stevia is top-notch as well.

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!

NuNaturals

My personal favorite used to be new NuNaturals. Sadly, they had to change their formula, but they still have a smooth flavor 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.

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. Combine with Other Sweeteners

This tip works really well.

Especially in baking, use stevia along with other sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, fruit juice, coconut sugar, molasses, xylitol, erythritol, erythritol / monk fruit blend, monk extract, allulose, bocha sweet, or some other option that works for your diet.

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 (the fruit being the other sweetener), like in a fruit crisp or a berry chia pudding. The stevia taste is much less, if at all, noticeable.

Slowly, steadily, each subsequent time you prepare something, decrease the other sweetener and increase the stevia with the goal of cutting out the other sweetener completely over time.

Trust me, you can really reach a point where you will be using all (or almost all) stevia but the taste won't bother you anymore.

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 stevia 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 taste.

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!

A Final Note about Stevia Safety

  • If you are concerned about the health claims made about stevia and you are wondering, "Is Stevia Safe?" then please read this post about "Is Stevia Bad for You?" -- it should help.
  • Another 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. 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.

Do you like stevia?
Have you tried any of these tips to overcome the stevia taste problem?

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183 Comments

      1. I purchased from Frontier Co-op. We did try to grow our own, but the Pacific NW is not an ideal climate for stevia.

        1. Nice! So you are buying the green powder or the dried leaves? I grew stevia a little bit here but it was in my tower garden and I kept not getting around to making the extract. I would like to though!

          1. Dried leaves. If you do grow it again, just dry the leaves and you can make the extract whenever you want. 😀

  1. My story is very brief but very encouraging. The first few times I tried stevia i was so disgusted by the bitter aftertaste that I thought I would NEVER ever be able to like stevia. I was almost about to throw away the bag of stevia (with maltodextrin) that I had just bought. But after I started learning more about how bad all of the other artificial sweeteners are, I thought to myself, "Oh no, next they're going to start telling us how bad stevia is." But when I realized how healthy stevia actually is, I started using it in my smoothies every morning, and the taste was barely even noticeable in the smoothies. Next I started putting it in my coffee, and after a few days of doing that I now actually like the taste. I try to think of it as a unique flavor, like that slight bitterness that some high quality beers have, and now in my mind that turns the distinct stevia flavor into something desirable! I think it also helps when you have eliminated 99% of white sugar from your diet for a few weeks, because that stops a lot of the sugar addiction related cravings for the white stuff. So if you are turned off from the taste of stevia, don't give up!

  2. Thank you for this information. I cannot tolerate sugar and have used pure Stevia for a few years. Unfortunately many of the brands of Stevia in stores are cut with other products and people don't realize this.

  3. The Trim Healthy Mama brand of stevia is the best that I’ve ever had. I’ve had others that I can’t handle, including the NuNaturals. THM is pricier, but tastes way more palatable

    1. I do really like it but I admit I haven't had it in awhile....I'm going to see if I have some in my pantry still..... I would love to do a taste test of that vs the Omica. There's another brand I'm looking at as well--I would like to figure out which is the most cost effective too b/c there appear to be varying strengths. Thanks!!

  4. I'm revisiting this article after I went to buy more NuNaturals from their website, and saw the packet formula changed. I'm so glad to see that you've researched other options!! 🙂 I'd greatly appreciate that coupon code! 🙂

    1. I hope to add more in the future - thanks and I just emailed you with the code. For others who are reading this, I'm able to share private codes and other things like that in this facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/171490083677560

      There's an opportunity to subscribe to email updates there too which is another place that I can share things I can't share elsewhere due to corporate policies :).

  5. Hi, great article...I amnreally going to try.
    I purchased alot.of NOW flavored
    Stevia sweetners as I had had success with a nonflavored product. WOW truely horrible.
    I don't tolerate truely artificial sweetners so Ibwill try some honey.
    I would greatly appreciate the discount codes you have. Eating has become so expensive and being on a special diet is becoming unreal.
    Blessings.

  6. tips and tricks for stopping stevia taste bitter - mix with honey, xylitol...etc? This is a disappointing post - my hopes were so high. If you have candida, honey, any type of glucose, fructose or xylitol is banned. You must know this. The next tip, "get used to the taste". This is not technically a tip! Ok, here is a tip from somebody who has done more research on the subject of mitigating the bitter taste of stevia - inulin. Check it out. Im not there yet, which is why i was hoping this post would have a great tip, to mitigate the taste of stevia. Has anybody else found a tip or trick, that doesn't involve alternative sugars like maple syrup {like, you would use stevia if you could use maple syrup :)} I have breast cancer and can only use stevia. Eventually there will be an answer its just somewhere hidden on the web 🙂

    1. Hello Robyn. I'm thinking it would be a good idea for you to go back and check out the post again--seems that you missed some content.

      1) First of all, xylitol isn't banned from all candida diets. Yes, it is from some, but not all especially since it's known to kill candida.

      This post has info about a great candida course and the author did a lot of study on candida and has been recommending candida for a long time. https://wholenewmom.com/candida-symptoms-explained/

      Here is a study about the antifungal activity of candida: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29422459/

      2) The next tip wasn't "get used to it" but instead "stay committed" which means to not give up and keep trying.

      3) There are other recommended sweeteners in the post besides maple syrup and honey and xylitol and I just added a few more as well.

      4) Yes some people do use maple syrup and stevia. Maybe they just want to cut their high carb sweetener use without eliminating it completely. I use some raw honey personally from time to tie.

      About inulin, I have seen an article about it, but not research, but I have seen research that oligofructose helps. https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/healthy-living/research-shows-ways-improve-stevia-flavor. I personally think that xylitol works great and I have seen another writer talk about this as well. Just because there isn't research on something doesn't mean it's not true.

      Hope the post is more of a help to you now and remember, there's a human on the other end of the screen--I appreciate kindness just as do most people. Thanks in advance.

  7. The biggest thing to remember is to not use the same amount of stevia as you would another sweetener.
    Some types say on the package you can use it in equal amounts as sugar in recipes, but it's just not true.
    It's way sweeter than sugar and the more you use, the stronger the aftertaste.
    Less is best, add a minimal amount then taste it, adding more a tiny bit at a time if needed.

  8. I find that most of the preprepared protein powders have too much stevia and it makes them too sweet. I also find that more distasteful than the bitterness. Any ideas on how to correct it other than freezing? Eg with salt or something else

    1. I really like putting a dash of salt in my shakes - just b/c salt makes all sweets taste better and for the added minerals.

  9. Does freezing the stevia before using it in something help the aftertaste? The only sweetener I can use at the moment is sucralose which I buy in liquid form. I know it's not the best for me and I'd really like to find something else as I'm a diabetic.

      1. Thank you. I'm going to order a bottle of the vanilla-favored stevia and see how it works. 🙂