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Old 08-06-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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Using Stevia in Baking

I've been using stevia now for just over a year and I really like it as a substitute for table sugar. I use it in my coffee and iced tea, in cereal, hot and cold, but I have no experience in baking with it.

For those who are just discovering it (the stevia brand Truvia has recently been promoted in a national ad campaign.) It is a natural substance derived from the leaves of the stevia plant found in Central America. Ounce for ounce it is 300 times sweeter than table sugar (1 cup of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of stevia), has 0 calories and 0 harmful effects. It is perfect for diabetics!

I use the KAL brand and comes with a tiny scoop in the container (the size of a salt shaker yet has 990 servings!) The down side of baking with stevia, so I hear, is that is does not caramelize (turn brown), but has anyone had any bad baking experiences with it?

I do know that is has no aftertaste - as long as you don't use too much! With stevia, when in doubt, less is better.

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Old 08-06-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
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If you do not use MSG because there is a chance it is harmful to your health then you may want to rethink using stevia as it has had similar complaints that it is very bad for you. The FDA even labeled it as an unsafe food additive in 1991.

I personally do not have a problem with it. I have never used it, but I would have no problem trying it.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
If you do not use MSG because there is a chance it is harmful to your health then you may want to rethink using stevia as it has had similar complaints that it is very bad for you. The FDA even labeled it as an unsafe food additive in 1991.

I personally do not have a problem with it. I have never used it, but I would have no problem trying it.
December, 2008

"FDA Approves Stevia"

Good News! The FDA has finally approved Stevia for use as a sugar substitute.
After over a decade of economic special interests seeming to block the way (i.e., NutraSweet), the FDA has finally approved the healthy herb Stevia as a natural sweetener to add to foods and sodas.
In fact, the first Stevia-sweetened soft drink, "Sprite Green" by Coca-Cola, is on its way to stores.
Pepsi said its first Stevia product, SoBe Lifewater, should hit store shelves next week, and Trop50, a Stevia-sweetened light orange juice product, is due out in January.
Dr. Pepper Snapple, the No. 3 soft drink company, said on Thursday it will market Stevia within a few weeks.
We have recommended Stevia as a safe and healthy natural sweetener for decades even as the FDA, seemingly driven by someone heavily on the Nutrasweet payroll (though this is simply my impression, of course, without definite evidence) required the first and only book burning demanded by the U.S. government which just happened to be books recommending Stevia. Till now, the FDA would not allow Stevia to be added as a food sweetener. Instead, it could only be added as a "nutrient."
Stevia is a safe, healthy and calorie free natural sweetener. Expect the media to jump all over bizarre stories raising questions of its safety (which will be fed to the media by publicists for the sugar, Splenda and Nutrasweet trade groups trying to protect their market share). In the middle of their trying to scare you away from this healthy sweetener and back to their toxic ones, let yourself enjoy watching an example of American marketing hype in action. And indulge your sweet tooth ;-)"
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:06 PM   #4
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I never said they did not eventually approve it. I stand by what I said. They did label it as an unsafe food additive. I am just saying that based on what you said in the MSG thread
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Originally Posted by Arky
I still prefer to err on the side of caution when possible and not play Russian Roulette with my health or the health of my guests
you may want to reconsider stevia. Not trying to pick a fight here. Just pointing out that you were vehemently against one substance because there was questions over whether it is safe, but you have no problem using another whose safety is also in question. By all means use what you are comfortable with though.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:13 PM   #5
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No, there is no question about it being safe, being one of the most closely studied foods in the history of the world. There are even more studies concerning stevia than there are MSG. Europe has been using stevia for decades. It comes out squeeky clean for any harmful effects! And an important point is that it is a "natural" sweetner as opposed to a man made additive. It is a Godsend for us diabetics!
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:25 PM   #6
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1. There is plenty of question as to its safety. For the record, I think it is safe, but there is controversy surrounding it the same way there is controversy surrounding MSG.

2. I am not sure how you can be so sure there are more studies on stevia than MSG. I doubt your counted up the thousands of studies on each and compared the numbers.

3. Just as stevia has been used in Europe for decades, MSG has been used in Asia for decades, and I would presume by many more people, not to mention it has been used in America for decades too.

4. Just because something is natural does not mean it is harmless. Try sitting out in the sun for a few hours without sunscreen.

Again, I have no problem with people using stevia. I am happy there is something for diabetics to use.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:46 PM   #7
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[quote=GB;842870]Just because something is natural does not mean it is harmless. Try sitting out in the sun for a few hours without sunscreen.]

That's interesting that you should mention sitting out in the sun. I'm assuming you are referring to getting skin cancer due to excess sun exposure without protection. Well, it turns out that is exactly what doctors are now recommending, in moderation of course. Particularly for children!

Vitamin D deficiency common in U.S. children

CNN: 4:41 p.m. EDT, Mon August 3, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency common in U.S. children - CNN.com

One more quote from a Reuters story:
"Parents can help their children get enough vitamin D by making sure they spend at least 15 to 20 minutes in the sun without sunscreen."

I guess it all boils down to use all things in moderation.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I guess it all boils down to use all things in moderation.
Which is exactly the point that multiple people tried making about MSG. Yes, in moderation all of these things are essentially harmless.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:07 PM   #9
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So, in the meantime, check this out:
using stevia in baking - Google Search
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:58 PM   #10
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Always wanted to try this! Stevia is great.
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