Stevia is a sweetener extracted from the leaves of plant species Stevia rebaudiana, native to Brazil and Paraguay.
It has no calories and 200 times sweeter than sugar in the same concentration.
The legal status of stevia as a food additive or dietary supplement varies from country to country. In the United States, Stevia glycoside extracts are recognized as safe since 2008 and allowed as ingredients in food, but stevia leaf and crude extracts do not have GRAS or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in food. The European Union approved stevia additives in 2011, while Japanese have widely used stevia as a sweetener for decades.
How to use stevia as a sugar substitute:
- In coffee or tea
- In homemade lemonade
- Sprinkled on cereal, unsweetened yogurt, smoothie
- When baking although it may give cakes and cookies a licorice aftertaste