Stevia leaf is my natural sweetener of choice. Why? Because it’s just a herb with a sweet taste that requires no processing whatsoever. In Peru where stevia grows abundantly, it was traditionally used to treat diabetes. It’s now growing in popularity as a way to prevent diabetes by offering up a healthy substitute for refined sugar. Stevia has a glycemic index of zero, which means no blood sugar spike and NO CRASH. Interestingly, it is thought to actually have blood sugar level stabilising properties. Maybe, just like within the doctrine of signatures, this leaf, with a taste 300 times sweeter than sugar, holds a little clue from Mother Nature that stevia is a medical plant worth noting.

  1. The #1 way to love Stevia is to only use the actual dried Stevia leaf. Not the horrible white processed version of the plant, which is too sweet and can leave a horrible taste, almost bitter., The Powdered leaf is fine too, but it’s just so strong that the margin for error (i.e. over use) is high. Simply use the nice little dried up green leaves. Don’t even think of using the clear liquid drops.

  2. Work with the taste. I used to find it tasted like aspartame, a flavour I have always despised. But when you get the measure right and learn a few other tricks, it becomes a brilliant sweetener and culinary aid with no icky taste at all.

  3. Mix it up. It’s just so sweet; 300 times more than sugar so use it to create amazing synergies with other sweeteners. Blend it with other natural sweeteners that have beautiful strong flavours like honey, maple syrup, date sugar and yacón. As long as you can get the balance right, combining stevia with other sweeteners will boost the sweet factor while retaining the gorgeous flavour or the additional sweeteners.

  4. Make simple syrups to sweeten your smoothies. Steep up some herbs or fruit with Stevia, strain and then keep refrigerated as the liquid sweetening agent for you morning smoothies.

  5. Experiment. If you love your mortar and pestle, see what magic pastes you can create by adding just a few leaves into you exotic marinades and pastes…I love ginger, dried chili, coriander seed and stevia base w/ tamari and lime juice for a sweet and hot grilled veggie marinade

  6. Chew it. A quick chew of some dried leaves will fill your mouth with a sweet coating that can immediately relive a strong sugar craving.

  7. Madhura. This is the Sanskrit work for the sweet Rasa (or taste). Ayurveda teaches that the sweet taste pacifies Vata imbalances. Symptoms of Vata imbalance in the mind are worry, over-thinking, anxiety, insomnia and lack of concentration. Drinking sweet tasting teas at night can assist in calming these upsetting emotions. What you don’t want thought, is a sugar rush which is why making Stevia sweetened teas a perfect choice for bedtime.

  8. Ease digestion. In Peru and other South American countries, stevia has been used in teas to aid digestion by stimulating the pancreas. It is also used as a remedy for heartburn. Mixing stevia with other digestive herbs like coriander, ginger or mint make a great digestive brew.

  9. Make your own antibacterial toothpaste. Stevia leaf has shown to have antibacterial properties. Use the powdered unprocessed leaf to add a nice sweet taste to your homemade toothpaste. My recipe is: coconut oil, baking soda, MSM powder, sea salt, neem powder, ground stevia leaf and a drop of essential oil such as peppermint, cinnamon, fennel.

  10. The #10 reason to love Stevia is this recipe for this healing brew:

    This potent synergistic tea brings healing on multiple levels and has a hypnotic and exotic flavour.

  • 1/2 cm of fresh grated Turmeric root, the Ayurvedic panacea.

  • Grate it straight into the mug

  • A pinch of dried Rose Petals. Heart-opening-compassion-building petals.

  • 2-3 tiny little dried Stevia leaves

Steep all together and strain if you can be bothered or just allow the solids to sink to the bottom and drink gently