If you’ve ever wondered what stevia actually is, it’s a pretty common question and you’re not off-base to wonder about its origins. Stevia is well-known as a sugar alternative, but what goes inside every pouch can sometimes be a mystery. Turns out, stevia has been around for more than 1,500 years, and was used in Paraguay in a variety of ways like freshening breath and sweetening teas. Stevia is an herb with extra-sweet leaves that happen to have a very low glycemic index, making stevia the perfect option for anyone needing to balance blood sugar levels. Read on to learn what makes this sugar sub such a great option for a range of diets.
How to Use Stevia
Stevia is a beloved sugar substitute for a reason—it’s so versatile! For the most part, you can use it anywhere you’d enjoy a spoonful of regular sugar (especially in drinks), but because of the high concentration of sweetness in the leaves, start with less than you think you need and work your way up. You can always make something sweeter if you need to! When it comes to baking with sugar, don’t make the mistake of using a 1:1 sub with regular sugar or your muffins and cakes will end up overly sweet. Instead, for every 1 cup of sugar in your recipe, replace it with either 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia, or ½ teaspoon of powdered stevia.
Top Stevia Brands
When it comes to stevia, several brands make varieties worth trying.
Founded in the 1980s by Dr. James A. May, SweetLeaf offers organic stevia grown by Latin and South American farmers. All its ingredients are sourced from family-owned farms, and the brand works closely with agricultural scientists to continue making advancements in farming techniques.
Wholesome is one of our members’ favorite sweetener brands. Not only do they offer a range of liquid and powdered options (like turbinado sugar, agave, and molasses), but every product is non-GMO, fair trade, and organic.
Our Thrive Market non-GMO stevia is low-glycemic and has zero calories—perfect for helping to maintain all your diet goals. And unlike conventional brands that often use flavor additives to mask stevia’s natural bitterness, we use a special organic stevia extract uniquely formulated for the perfect sweetness.
Try these top stevia products for all of your sweetening needs.
Sweetleaf Sweet Drops Liquid Stevia
Made with purified water and organic stevia leaf extract, this liquid sweetener is gluten-free, zero calorie, and carb-free. These drops will be right at home anywhere you normally reach for a sugar packet.
Thrive Market Organic Liquid Stevia
Need an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try this 4-ounce bottle of liquid stevia. It has zero calories and no bitter aftertaste, either. Since a little goes such a long way, you can rely on this bottle for up to 908 servings!
SweetLeaf Sweet Drops Chocolate
Instantly perk up your coffee, milk, smoothies, or hot cocoa with stevia drops flavored with chocolate extract. It’s an easy way to enjoy chocolate’s decadent flavor without the added calories and carbs.
Organic Stevia Options
We have plenty of organic stevia options to sweeten up your day.
Wholesome Organic Stevia
Say so long to sugar packets and replace them with this 4-ounce jar that’ll sweeten your recipes without adding calories. Wholesome’s sweetener is Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
Thrive Market Organic Stevia
Stick a box of 75 stevia packs on your counter to easily grab and go. Our non-GMO, plant-based powder is ready for coffee, baked goods, smoothies, and more. A little goes a long way, and it dissolves easily into both hot and cold liquids.
SweetLeaf Organic Stevia Packets
Take control of your beverages on the go. Just stash one of these organic stevia packets in your purse to instantly sweeten restaurant drinks without reaching for sugar.
How to Use Stevia
From breakfast to dessert, here are some easy ways to incorporate stevia into your meal planning.
The Best Alternative Sweeteners
From stevia to coconut sugar, read up on some of the most popular alternative sweeteners, plus get tips for using them in your favorite dishes.
Vanilla Bean Dessert Hummus Recipe
Not only are we turning this popular daytime snack into an evening indulgence, but we’re using stevia to do it. Serve it at your next dinner party for a more wholesome ending to the meal.
Try Our Favorite Protein Smoothie for Busy Mornings
Drinking a protein smoothie is a great way to get some nutrients into your system before heading out the door. This recipe is reminiscent of a favorite sweet treat, but we make it with collagen peptides, coconut milk, orange juice, and liquid stevia.