6 Tips to Really Love Stevia

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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.

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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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189 Comments

    1. I just read this and I’m excited to try the freezing tip. Adrianne let’s make a protein powder supplement that doesn’t taste like stevia or sucralose ***t.

  1. Thank you for the article ??
    It really help when someone has gone through what your going through.
    I currently got a stevia from a brand called better stevia, it white powder and totally pure.
    I think I used too much, and I really don’t like how it taste, I’ve stopped all sugar for a long time and now trying to go low gi diet.
    I am going to experiment with it and see if I get used to the taste. I think I will.
    The tip of keeping the dessert in the fridge is a pro tip. Thank you

  2. …..Candida where? I was onboard until you mentioned candida. Unless you ate talking about a vaginal YEAST INFECTION your body does become rife with candida, especially not your digestive tract like your stomach. You clearly have been watching those pseudo science crap where everything is CANDIDA … do you use jilly juice too LOL . Coconut sugar is good as a sugar to avoid blood sugar spikes. Stop thinking your body is riddled with candida it isn’t and it sure isn’t from eating sugar.

    1. Hi there

      Sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. I left a lot of comments alone where I needed to do more research and this was one of them.
      Anyhow, I never heard of jilly juice.
      And you might wish to check out these studies:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4863630/
      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31215785/
      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10357735/. (that one shows that some of the subjects were affected by diet—and note that these are HEALTHY subjects so those who end up with candida growth are not healthy…so that is part of the issue here. )

      Hope that helps. Happy to interact more if you’d like.

  3. Have you heard of the brand Pure Via? it’s manufactured in thailand it says in the box, im from the philippines and it does say there’s Sucralose included in it as an ingredient. does that make it Splenda and Stevia too? ive read bad reviews on splenda and sucralose. and found stevia one of the least to have negative comments ,reviews

    1. I have heard of it. I don’t see that it has sucralose, however. I didn’t look at all of their products but the ones I looked at didn’t have it.

      Splenda isn’t just Sucrolose–it’s sucralose w/ other ingredients. Splenda has dextrins added which can add to the carb load especially if you use a lot of it!

  4. Hi, I haven’t noticed that it is bitter, what makes me recoil is the smell of the leaves. They have an spoiled milk smell to me. I haven’t seen anyone mention this, so maybe it’s just me??
    I also want to like it, and am disappointed that it makes me feel nauseas.

  5. This article is sooooo bad… Takes forever to get to the steps (can’t believe I read all that “prologue”) to later find out the tips are dumb. Maybe I could consider the freezing one a top but at least do a little research

    1. Hello Estrella. So sorry that you feel that way. I just got a comment about how helpful this was by another reader. Have you tried all of them? Perhaps you would get a nice surprise. Thanks for reading. I personally didn’t write the post, but the gal who wrote it is a sweet person. I think if you had criticism to make you could have been a little kinder. Thank you again.

      1. There is always at least one grump…no matter what the topic.
        I thank you for the interesting, well-written and informative article.

  6. These are all pretty (expletive removed by blog owner), you are basically saying to just be patient and buy the more expensive stuff. Any retard could figure this stuff out.

    1. Hi John. Thanks for reading.

      I think you must have not read the post slowly enough.

      There were other tips mentioned including freezing and cutting, etc. Perhaps you should go back and check it out.

      Your use of the word “retard” is not a good choice. I would ask that you refrain from using that and expletives in the future should you choose to comment here again. Thank you kindly.

  7. Thanks for posting. I’ve been looking for a less bitter Stevia. I wanted to learn about Nu stevia and read it contains maltodextrin. maltodextrin has a high glycemic index, spikes blood sugars plus made from corn, rice or wheat. If someone is trying to get healthy and away from processed may want to research Nu Stevia more before using.

    1. Hi there – NuNaturals has a pure stevia as well. I too tend to stay away from maltodextrin. Thanks for reading!

  8. I really wish I could like Stevia, it is not the bitter that gets me though, but that I cannot taste any sweet at all. I do taste the bitter, but anything I add it to (or even by itself) tastes unsweetened. I have tried different kinds of salts (besides table salt) and such to try and see if something would help it bind to my taste buds different or something… nothing.

      1. My husband is a huge fan of stevia. I have tried, but I haven’t been able to get by the bitterness. I will have to try the one you mentioned above. You gave me the courage to try one of the Red Rose teas that has stevia in it. I added some honey, my sweetener of choice, and it is now palatable. Thanks for your tips.

        1. I hope it works well for you–please do let me know. I am going to have to go back and add a few more brands that I like! Which are you going to try?

  9. I was looking for opinions about what temperature is best to bake stevia desserts. I know if it’s cooked with too high heat it changes the taste and the stevia is bitter. I think 350 is too high but I’m trying to find confirmation.

  10. Stevia has one of the worst, most lingering aftertastes of all the non sugar sweeteners. I don’t know why anyone bothers with it.

    1. I’m sorry you feel that way. I love it and use it regularly. Have you tried any of these tips? And have you used several different brands?

  11. I grow stevia and dry the leaves then ground them. Its a plant and stevia packets from the store can not ever taste right with out adding something else.

  12. Thanks so much for the “freeze it” tip! I thought I had a completely inedible cheesecake. Freezing it really did weaken that aftertaste.

    1. Thanks. Sorry it wasn’t my writing, but what are you asking for? Fewer words and no funny talk?

    1. Hi there! So this wasn’t my post originally but another blogger wrote it and she has since stopped writing. Some of these tips are dead on good advice. Have you tried any of them?

  13. Thanks for this article! I bought a bunch of stevia when I started a keto diet, but today is the first day I’ve had it in a cup of coffee, and 1 1/2 hours later, my tongue is still hating it. But I will persevere and use your tips and tricks. I’m glad I’m not alone in this newbie stevia experience!

    1. Less is more! I feel that I’ve had to experiment a bit to get the right amount of Sweetleaf drops in my bulletproof coffee. Either way it’s still something you have to get use to over time. I’ve always been a Splenda lover and even prefer it over real sugar. Since starting keto I’ve tried very hard to give it up. Goodluck everyone!