Substituting Stevia for Sugar in Cooking and Baking

Let’s say you’ve decided to substitute stevia for the sugar in some of your favorite recipes. How do you determine the amount to use? Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact answer for several reasons. Very sour foods like cranberries and lemons need more sweetener than a pie baked with apples or pears, which are naturally sweet. Then there’s personal preference. Some people like their foods sweeter than others. There’s also a cultural difference. As a rule, Americans like their foods sweet.

To complicate matters even further, there are a number of different companies that make stevia. The quality, flavor, and sweetness varies from product to product. Your best option is to try a few different brands and choose the one you like best. Some companies combine pure stevia powder with maltodextrin or another filler. While such products are still sweet, they don’t compare in strength to the pure powder.

Although different stevia products offer different levels of sweetness, we have provided approximate stevia equivalencies. When substituting stevia for sugar, use the following chart to determine proper amounts. Remember, these equivalents are approximate.

When you need only the smallest amount of sweetener to flavor a cup of tea or coffee, for example, you may find the stevia powder a little difficult to adjust. Even the tiny amount you may gather onto the point of a dinner knife might make that cup of tea or coffee too sweet. For this reason, we recommend turning the powder into a “working solution.”

Dissolve one teaspoon of white powder in three tablespoons of filtered water. Pour the solution into a dropper-style bottle and refrigerate. You can also buy ready-made stevia liquid concentrate from your local health food store.