What I've learned this past week through researching things further is that if you want to use stevia for baking, there are other (more processed) versions that produce better results. "Green leaf stevia", which is what we grew and have dried, is best for using in drinks. We discovered this when we added fresh stevia leaves to our mint leaves when making (cold) mint tea all summer- it was heaven. It's also excellent when the dried leaves (either whole or crushed) are used in hot tea- also delicious.
But, what website after website that I came across said was that the green leaf stevia can be seen in baked dishes (small green flecks) and can even be tasted (a mild licorice taste that we haven't noticed in drinks). Hm.
This left me a bit disappointed, but at the same time relieved that I didn't spend hours and ingredients trying to reinvent the stevia-in-baked-goods wheel. I'm sure it's not impossible, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it's not going to be the same regardless. If I'm going to decide to stop eating sweets (no one is saying that that's what I'm going to do), I think I'd rather just give it up all together than try to re-create something that I love, wasting time and ingredients, and then be disappointed.
Case in point: Last year when I had given up sugar for Lent, I purchased some brown rice syrup. The ingredients are organic brown rice and distilled water only. It looks like caramel topping and tastes like Werther's candies. I found a recipe for brownies that used no sugar- just brown rice syrup. How did they turn out? Well, they were dense, on the dry side and tasted kind of like very dark chocolate. Topped with fresh homemade vanilla ice cream, they'd be just fine, but that would defeat the purpose, I suppose. So, I'd prefer to go with out.
I did then come across these recipes (scroll down) using green leaf stevia, but I noted many were for drinks and the others just didn't appeal to me after my brownie experiment.
With documentaries coming out of the woodwork left and right telling us that what ails us is what we eat (like Forks Over Knives, thanks, Damian), the truth of the matter is that we (I) need to stop thinking that I can turn the bad stuff into good stuff and just get used to eating the good stuff. Only. Or mostly. Or somewhere in between.
Easier said than done.
In a nut shell, green leaf stevia is DIVINE for tea, both hot and cold and SO worth growing just for this purpose. If you want to grow it for other purposes, do some research and weigh the benefits of trying to use it as a substitute.
It might be easier just to change the way you eat:-). Pin It