If you would like to know more about stevia, here is a wonderfully informative article from Real Food Forager.
I've used lots of dried, whole stevia plant (here it is in a rhubarb sauce) in some of my cooking and tea-mixing. I love it with hibiscus so there's no need for agave. However I've not used the liquid form a lot because it costs quite a bit! $11 for one ounce bottle? All it is water (or glycerin), preservative, and stevia! I just cringe about spending $11 for what is basically 4 tablespoons of an herbal infusion.
So what's a frugal herbalista to do? Why, make her own!
I used vegetable glycerin because it has a shelf life of 14-24 months. You can feel free to use water (shorter shelf life) or alcohol (but cook it off). I wanted something that would last longer than an herb infusion but not involve cooking (which can decrease the sweetness). This is a lot like my coconut extract recipe.
Vanilla Flavored Liquid Stevia
1 c glycerin
1/2 c warm filtered water
1/2 c dried stevia leaves or 1 c fresh stevia leaves
1 1/2 vanilla beans (omit if you like and add fresh grated coconut, orange peel, mint leaves or any flavor you desire), split
1. Combine all ingredients in a sterilized glass jar.
2. Shake vigorously throughout the day to keep herbs steeped.
3. Strain at 2-3 days. Longer and the stevia will be bitter.
4. Store in dropper bottle for easy convenience.
This recipe makes a little over 6 ounces. I kept a 4 oz dropper bottle for myself and gave away a 2 oz dropper bottle.
Liquid Stevia Conversions in Baking
If the ingredient calls for sugar, you can easily replace it with liquid stevia and a bulk substitute. Bulk substitutes can be applesauce, yogurt, mashed beans or vegetables.
1 cup sugar = 1 tsp liquid stevia + 1/3 c bulk substitute
1 tsp sugar = 2 drops liquid stevia
1 T sugar = 6 drops liquid stevia
However I have no guarantees how this will work for your individual recipe. My best advice is to start off with substituting only half the sugar with stevia and then work your way up from there. The bulk substitutes will also change the taste of the recipe.
Of course, there are a lot of recipes out there that use liquid stevia.
Chocolate Covered Katie has some great stevia-sweetened recipes as well as Elana's Pantry recently posted some fig bars.
Question of the Day:
What's your go-to sweetener?
I love honey - the taste, supporting the local bee keepers, the anti-allergy effects, and the smell.
Maple Syrup comes in close second. I don't use it a lot but it has a flavor all on it's own.
This is featured at Wellness Weekends, Allergy-free Wednesdays, etc..
I buy my herbs from