There's a sneaky way to get your sweets without the sugar. Bake them yourself using noncaloric sweeteners such as stevia. Stevia extracts come from the plant Stevia rebaudiana and are 30 times sweeter than table sugar. That means you can replace granulated, white sugar with only a few drops or packets of stevia. Refined stevia preparations are "generally recognized as safe" by the Food and Drug Administration, but whole-leaf stevia and crude stevia extracts are not. Although stevia is noncaloric, baked goods still have plenty of calories. Eat baked goods in moderation to protect not only your waistline but also your health.
Choose recipes with an oven setting less than 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Stevia breaks down in temperatures above 400 degrees, which would ruin your baked goods. Fortunately, most cookies, cakes, breads and pies are baked at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Substitute 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia, 1/2 teaspoon of stevia extract powder or approximately 20 packets of granular stevia in place of 1 cup of regular white sugar. Experiment with the amount of stevia to adjust the sweetness of baked goods to your tastes.
Add 1/3 cup of liquid for every 1 cup of sugar replaced by stevia. Good options include yogurt, apple sauce, fruit juice, egg whites and apple butter. The liquid makes up for the space that would have otherwise been occupied by the volume of white sugar. This step will keep your baked goods from falling flat.
Mix 12 drops of liquid stevia with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to substitute 1 ounce of semisweet chocolate. Or mix 12 drops of liquid stevia with 1 ounce of melted, unsweetened chocolate to make an equivalent of 1 2/3 ounce of semisweet chocolate.
- Stevia may cause side effects including nausea and the feeling of being overly full in some individuals.
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