You don’t need refined and artificial sugars to satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead, say goodbye to unhealthy sweeteners and use natural alternatives to sweeten your coffee and tea, baked goods, and desserts. In addition to adding flavor to your sweets, treats, and drinks, these five natural sweeteners contain vitamins, minerals, and health benefits. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that!
Stevia is a sweet-tasting natural herb that is used in tea, coffee, and desserts. Rodale News explains that this no-calorie sweetener is extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant and comes in both powdered and liquid form. Live Science notes that stevia may help lower your blood pressure. Fit Day adds that stevia stimulates the production and release of insulin in the pancreas, which can help treat type 2 diabetes. This natural sweetener also contains several nutrients, including phosphorus, calcium, proteins, vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and sodium, according to Fit Day.
When baking with stevia, Livestrong suggests replacing every cup of sugar your recipe calls for with either 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia, ⅓ to ½ teaspoon stevia extract powder, 1 tablespoon concentrated stevia liquid, or 18 to 24 individual serving packets. Make sure you follow these measurements and don’t do a direct substitution; stevia is much sweeter than sugar, so you don’t need nearly as much. Something to keep in mind with stevia: Fooducate warns that you shouldn’t assume a product is natural just because it lists stevia as an ingredient. Products that include stevia may contain artificial ingredients, as well, so make sure you always read the labels. Whenever possible, get stevia in powder form instead of liquid. Fooducate notes that stevia’s powder form is typically less processed.