Stevia can be a helpful addition to your betr eating when a sweet craving hits. At betr we recommend organic liquid stevia as the best option. One drop is quite concentrated and a bottle will last a very long time! But what is stevia and why do we utilize it on the betr program?
The sweetness of stevia comes from the leaves, which produce the steviol glycosides – the natural sweeteners of the plant. The leaf extract of the stevia plant contains at least 10 steviol glycosides in different concentrations which offer that lovely sweet experience.
In order for stevia leaf extracts to be used in food, these extracts must strictly adhere to established specifications of identification and purity established by national and global food safety authorities. These specifications clearly outline the process and which food grade alcohols have been included in safety evaluations and are accepted for use in the extraction of steviol glycosides.
Stevia extracts are removed from the leaves of the stevia plant by traditional water/alcohol extraction methods which do not alter the composition of the plant’s sweet compounds. The process involves steeping the dried leaves of the stevia plant in water, filtering and separating the liquid from the leaves and stems, and further purifying the remaining plant extract with either water or food grade alcohol. Stevia extracts are exactly the same compound outside the leaf as they are found in the leaf. The goal of this process is to extract and purify the natural substances (steviol glycosides) from the leaves of the plant. The result is a natural product which contains at least 95 % steviol glycoside and is 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar.
Stevia is versatile in use and is suited to sweetening desserts, drinks and pastries. This sweetness is guilt-free because stevia leaf extracts (despite their immense sweetening power) do not contribute calories (therefore do not raise blood glucose levels) and do not cause tooth decay. These qualities make this natural sweetener an attractive alternative to other artificial sweeteners. So enjoy some added to your morning coffee or tea to replace sugary syrups.
Try some of our recipes that include stevia and enjoy!