Healthy Holiday Baking with Stevia
Tis the season for baking . . . and over-indulgence. With holiday baking a long-standing tradition of the season, the consumption of sugar understandably spikes during the holidays. But the temporary delight of consuming sugary treats, can come with permanent side effects, including weight gain and unhealthy cravings.
The good news is that you don’t have to give up indulging on the sweet stuff around the holidays or ever, for that matter. Swapping stevia for sugar in your holiday recipes is the perfect solution to enjoy all the desserts you crave without the unhealthy side effects. Baking at home allows you to control the type and amount of sugar or sweetener you put into your desserts. You’ll be pleasantly surprised just how much you don’t need to add sugar to your holiday recipes to get the sweetness you crave.
What is Stevia?
Stevia extracts come from the plant Stevia rebaudiana and are generally 30 times sweeter than regular table sugar; a little goes a long way. That means you can swap granulated sugar in your holiday recipes with just a few drops of stevia.
What’s so great about that you ask? Stevia has no carbohydrates, calories or artificial ingredients! That’s a welcome holiday gift, and one your body will thank you for.
How to Make the Swap
Baking with stevia can take a little experimenting. Since stevia is so much sweeter than sugar, a direct substitution can not be made in recipes. Generally, one cup of regular white sugar can be replaced with approximately one teaspoon of liquid stevia, ½ teaspoon of stevia extract powder or approximately 20 packets of granular stevia. A little more or a little less can be used depending on individual palates.
If you are using the Stevita brand of stevia products, our conversion charts can help you make the swap.
Because only a small amount of stevia is needed to produce a sweet flavor compared to the amount of regular sugar, the other ingredients in your recipes must be adjusted to account for the lost bulk and prevent your baked goods from falling flat. For every cup of sugar you substituted, add 1/3 cup of liquid or bulk to balance it out. Applesauce, yogurt, fruit juice, eggwhites or even water are great choices to replace the lost bulk.
Watch the Temperature
When baking your holiday treats with stevia, you’ll want to keep an eye on the oven temperature. Recipes with an oven setting less than 400 degrees Fahrenheit should be used. Stevia breaks down in temperatures above 400 degrees and will ruin your desserts during the cooking process.
Adding alternative, flavorful ingredients to your holiday recipes decreases the need for added sugar, while adding a desirable flavor at the same time. Holiday spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as pumpkin, peanut butter and oats will help to make your healthier holiday desserts something truly special.
So what are you waiting for? Grab the stevia and your favorite holiday recipe, and start baking. The best part: you can definitely eat more than one of these holiday treats! Find recipes for stevia-sweetened cakes, cookies and more on our website.