The Stevia Herb Sweetener

stevia-coffee

I bought this stevia plant from Cavite State University. According to the gardener, it is sweet and can be used in coffee, tea, and even juices. In other words, it is a sugar substitute. Maybe a healthier sugar substitute because it is a herb. I tasted a few green leaves. The flavor is sweet, bitter and grassy. The same goes thru for dried leaves.


stevia-plant

I bought two potted plant for 200 pesos. It was a good deal considering the price of white sugar continue to rise. Imagine having a sugar plant in your garden. You don’t need to buy sugar for your daily needs. Plus, it is natural and healthy.

I allowed the plant to grow for three months before the actual testing. It is natural so I want to try it in its natural form. I got a mug of hot water, put a half teaspoon of coffee, put some fresh leavesĀ  and allowed it to stand for few minutes. Then I tried the dried leaf version. The results were not good. The bitterness and grassiness of leaves just added up to my coffee. The taste and smell disgusted me.

stevia-coffee

Wikipedia said, rebaudioside A has the least bitterness of all the sweet compounds in the stevia plant. To produce rebaudioside A commercially, stevia plants are dried and subjected to a water extraction process. This crude extract contains about 50% rebaudioside A and is refined using ethanol, methanol, crystallization and separation technologies to separate the various glycoside molecules in the extract. This allows the manufacturer to isolate pure rebaudioside A.

In order to use stevia, it must undergo chemical extraction process. What is the difference between stevia and white sugar? Is it a better sugar alternative?

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updates

I have an article regarding low-carb sugar for diabetics. Stevia was included, click in to see its health benefits.