Flipping to sugar free nutrition for health issues like PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, and digestive problems, among other issues, can seem impossible. This is especially true for those who have a sweet tooth. While many sugar-free sweeteners are just as bad or worse for you as sugar, stevia can actually be a good alternative. To pick out a good brand, make sure to read the ingredients. Many brands put all kinds of additives in their formula.
The issue with stevia is that for many people, it actually has a bitter or too sweet aftertaste. I really disliked it when I first tried it. Well, it turns out that it’s a bit of an acquired taste!
The other issue is that unlike most sweeteners, stevia doesn’t stand very well on its own. There is work that needs to be done to make it taste better in recipes. Since I’ve played around with the sugar free sweetener for a while, I’ve discovered different ways to make it taste better.
Start with protein powder
Many sugar free protein powders are sweetened with Stevia. These formulas are put together to create a product that is as tasty as possible. Of course, some brands succeed at that better than others do. I really like the Vega Sport Performance chocolate powder. Some of their other products are far too sweet, but this one is amazing. The Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins+ vanilla powder is another good one. It blends really nicely with all kinds of flavours. These powders will help you better adjust to the stevia taste.
Add other tastes
Combining a few of the basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami) actually makes stevia a bajillion times more enjoyable. I haven’t tried combining umami and sweet so I can’t attest to this one, but by including other tastes, stevia tastes so much better.
So how do you do that? If I’m making overnight oats, I add sea salt or pink Himalayan salt (it’s tasty, it contains all kinds of minerals, and I have low blood pressure). For acidity, I add a bit of pure lemon juice because the flavour is subtle. Then, I may add cocoa for bitterness. And finally, the stevia will take care of the sweetness.
Use liquid stevia
Most people who have experimented with stevia agree that using it in its liquid form is the tastiest. So, save yourself the trouble and don’t bother trying the powdered form. I like the NOW brand liquid stevia. It has less of that unpleasant aftertaste than the powdered form does.
Combine it with xylitol
The two sweeteners seem to work really well together. I specifically recommend xylitol because it is also technically sugar free. However, those simply looking to reduce sugar instead of completely eliminating it may find that maple syrup, molasses, or coconut sugar has the same effect.
A word of caution when using xylitol: since it’s an alcohol sugar, our bodies can’t break it down. As a result, eating large quantities of it can create a laxative effect. I also generally don’t recommend it for those who have known digestive issues.
Which other tricks have you discovered to improve the taste of stevia?