Stevia: The Only Natural Sugar Substitute

This one goes out to everyone who has a sweet tooth that they’re constantly fighting.

No matter how much you know a high-sugar diet isn’t great for you, it’s hard to resist sweets after a long day. There are substitutes out there like aspartame, but none of them grow naturally in the world like Stevia does. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with artificial sweeteners, but Stevia is the only sugar substitute you can grow on your own.

Stevia Plants

Tastes Great

Like other sugar substitutes, Stevia is much sweeter than sugar (about 300 times sweeter). This means that you won’t have to use much at all, even though it doesn’t really matter anyways since it has zero calories. Stevia also doesn’t come with the nasty aftertaste that many artificial sweeteners come with, although certain brands of stevia sweetener may include additives that cause an aftertaste.

This brings me to an important point — keep an eye on the brand of stevia you’re buying. Some of the potential additives can make stevia have a bad aftertaste, and some stevia products are really blended with artificial sweeteners, which might ruin your reason for picking stevia in the first place. One good brand that I’ve personally found is SweetLeaf.

Grow Your Own

Now, there are all sorts of stevia extracts you can buy to add to your coffee, for baking or just to snack on. The best thing about stevia, though, is that you can grow it yourself. Once you have your own stevia plant around, you can literally just rip off a little piece of leaf anytime for a sweet snack.

Since getting your own plants going from seed to sweetener can take a while, you can begin by buying some starter plants. If you have a green thumb, though, stevia seeds are pretty cheap online. Regardless of how you get going, here’s a place that can walk you through the growing process.

Stevia Sweet Drops

Whether you prefer extracts or the plant itself, stevia could help change your diet. One of my favorite ways to use stevia is the sweet drops, which are liquid extracts of sweet stevia you can easily add to drinks. They range from cola flavor to mint to many tastes in between. If you add some to sparkling water, you can make your own soda with zero calories (not to mention it’s much cheaper).

So go get some stevia! Whether you go with powdered, liquid or plant versions of the sweetener, you’ll soon find that eating healthier doesn’t have to mean eating blander.

Updated: May 25, 2016 — 7:45 pm

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