Stevia is one of my most cherished pantry items. Ever since I made the switch from healthier sweetener alternatives, such as honey, maple syrup, and agave, to stevia, I've felt a major difference, the reason being stevia has no glycemic index. Derived from a plant, stevia is more than 300 times sweeter than table sugar and thus requires much less to reach desired levels of sweetness. The following 5 ways to use stevia outline how a product devoid of a glycemic index can deliciously benefit you in unique and fun ways.
Yogurt is delicious all by itself, but if you are looking for a sweet dessert without resorting to something else creamy that may also bear the likes of eggs, sugar, flour, and butter, just add a packet of powdered stevia or a few drops of liquid stevia to your Greek yogurt for a creamy dessert that dually satisfies your sweet tooth.
2. Green Smoothies
When I first started chugging green juice and green smoothies (without fruit) on the reg, I could barely stomach them. Of course, as my diet became cleaner and my body adjusted, I developed a taste for them. However, I must say, stevia was my crutch for quite some time before I could take down green drinks in all their veggie glory. Add a few drops of liquid stevia to your green drinks and you will learn to love them.
Stevia powder is often used in baked goods, and that's no surprise - the powder replaces the required sugar component. This same line of thought extends to your morning oats. Despite their apparent health benefits, honey, maple syrup, and even banana still raise blood sugar levels and aren't the best replacement for sugar. A pack or two of stevia powder can sweeten your oats up without shooting your blood sugar levels through the roof. You could also add a few drops of liquid stevia in place of powder.
It may sound strange to add stevia to a salad, but it actually does quite the much-needed trick. Imagine a vinaigrette balanced by sweet honey - stevia offers the same complement. A few drops or one packet of stevia whisked into a lemon juice and olive oil base is all it takes for a perfectly satisfying salad.
5. Stir Fry Sweet & Sour Sauce
Sweet and sour sauce is often part of a stir fry concoction, but if you're one to watch the glycemic index of foods you consume, you may want to shun the sauce altogether. This is where stevia comes in. Add one tablespoon of oil, 1 chopped garlic clove and 1/4 cup of soy sauce to a wok over high heat. Once the garlic browns, add 3/4 cup of tomato paste and 1/3 cup of water. Stir until evenly combined. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 15 drops of liquid stevia, and 1 cup of finely chopped fresh pineapple. Voila!
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