Raw stevia, a sweetener that is gluten free and has zero calories, is used in place of sugar. This type of stevia, which is in the form of a granulated sweetener, is used when people are trying to reduce caloric intake. Raw stevia is used more than any other stevia product, as it most closely resembles the look, feel, and consistency of real sugar. Raw stevia can be used in coffee or tea as a sweetener. It can also be sparingly sprinkled on fruit and cereal. The key to using stevia in place of sugar is to keep in mind that 1 teaspoon of raw stevia is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of sugar.
When baking, raw stevia can be substituted for sugar in nearly all recipes. The only requisite to having the baked good turn out correctly is to estimate the proper equivalency ratios of raw stevia to sugar. If this is not done correctly, the cake or cookies or pastry made using the stevia will be too sweet and can even tend toward having an unpleasant bitter aftertaste. There are some varieties of stevia that are designed to measure the same as sugar. Not all stevia is made this way, however, so when substituting stevia for sugar it is important to read all packaging labels very carefully to avoid errors in substitution.
For those counting calories, reducing fat and sugar intake is an important step. Combining stevia with low-fat items such as cream cheese or low-fat yogurt can help create sweet, low-calorie icings and toppings for a variety of sweet desserts. This raw sugar substitute can be used when making salad dressings. It can also be used when canning and making preserves. Quick breads, brownies, and bar cookies also can contain raw stevia in place of the sugar required in their recipes. Before making any recipe, it is advisable to consult a conversion chart for the stevia product that is being used so that the correct amount of stevia is added in place of sugar. Following this simple guideline will help ensure that the raw stevia is a sweet and pleasant addition to anything that it is combined with.
Japan is the largest consumer of stevia. It is commonly used in many Japanese dishes in place of sugar. It is used in making traditional Japanese pickles. Ice cream, bread, and soft drinks throughout Asia and South America use raw stevia as an ingredient when sweetening sugar-free items foods. Raw stevia is a popular sugar substitute in many places throughout the world.