Many customers ask us about the Organic Stevia RebA sold on our shop: what it is, what it does, how to use it. Here's a short guide on everything you need to know on this great alternative to sugar.
Known in South America for thousands of years and used as a sweetener in medicines and teas, Stevia is still extracted today from the leaves of the plant called Stevia rebaudiana.
It contains a high percentage of steviol glycoside (stevioside) and rebaudiana A, C, D and F. The stevioside contributes to a liquorish aftertaste while RebA has no liquorish or aftertaste.
The filtration and purification process of the stevia extract affect the quality, characteristics, concentration and taste. The best part of the stevia leaf is the Rebaudiana A, which is what makes it more expensive.
A frist extraction is made by soaking the leaves for a day or more in water. Through this first process, a substance called stevioside is extracted. During a second process, the RebA is then extracted. While the stevioside have up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar, the RebA has over 350 times the sweetness of sugar, however no effect on blood glucose and no liquorice aftertaste.
In terms of pureness, the percentage usually reported on the product, e.g. 97%, is the net extract of the impurity of the plant (clorofill, parts of the plant, etc) that are impossible to eliminate from the process. Pureness above 97% it is very likely to be obtained through a chemical and industrial process.
To clarify, these impurities will not compromise the quality nor the taste of the Stevia.
The Stevia RebA sold in our shop is grown in Tuscany, by Sant'Egle. Everything they do is 100% certified organic, vegan, following a biodynamic growth cycle. Their farm is also one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit.
How to use it? Well, being a sugar substitute has a number of applications. Coffee, tea, cakes, jam, shakes, anything you can think of. Be mindful in your baking though: sugar has a role in the volume not only in the taste. Here's a quick and simple recipe for you.
Butter cookies with Stevia, thanks to our friend at Sant'Egle.
100g Butter at room temperature
90 drops of liquid Organic Stevia RebA
10 drops of organic liquid Vanilla
Mix the butter with the stevia. Add the egg, flour, vanilla and lemon zest (also a little bit of water if the dough is too thick). Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Remove from the fridge, then roll the dough flat, 1.5/2cm thick. Cut with your favourite cookie shape.
Place on a baking paper, then bake in the oven at 200°C for 15 minutes, or till brown.
Enjoy with a cup of tea and some Sant'Egle Stevia Apricot Jam.