Vista Now Foods Special Promotion

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too in 2022

A recent survey of nearly 10,000 Canadians suggests that “more than half of us are turning to food for comfort during COVID-19… and almost three in five (58%) reported undesired weight changes.” (National Post, April 2021) Indeed, reaching for sweet treats during times of stress is quite relatable. So if we can “have our cake and eat it too,” then why not? Stevia is a delightful and safe natural sweetener that can transform calorie-laden comfort foods into healthy but still delicious treats.

About Stevia.

Stevia is an herb that grows wild as a small shrub in Paraguay and Brazil. For centuries, natives in South America have enjoyed one particular variety, stevia rebaudiana, to sweeten beverages. Stevia rebaudiana contains a unique sweet compound known as rebaudioside A (Reb A). Today, stevia is enjoyed all over the globe (in liquid, powder or pill form) as a safe alternative to other non-caloric but synthetic sweeteners.

All Stevia’s are not created equal.

Some Stevia is made from whole-leaf water or alcohol extracts, while others are isolated extracts of Reb A. All varieties offer plenty of sweetness. However, one drawback of stevia can be its bitter aftertaste. Luckily, an innovative company, NOW® Health Group (, has engineered BetterStevia® with an improved taste profile. BetterStevia® is made using enzymes to add a sugar (glucose) molecule to the existing sweetness particles. BetterStevia® still maintains the same non-caloric properties. A little goes a long way. Add pure stevia directly to your tongue to get an appreciation for its profound sweetness. Stevia can be up to 100 times sweeter than sugar. Since our sweetness threshold varies, consider the suggested serving size for stevia as a ballpark. Another tip is to combine stevia with other sweet ingredients like banana, cinnamon, dark chocolate or carob powder. If you find the aftertaste of stevia to be bitter, adding salt can mask this flavour. This is typically a non-issue with NOW® BetterStevia® products.

Baking with Stevia.

If you want to replace sugar with stevia, you will need an equivalency chart: When replacing sugar with stevia in baked goods, one must compensate for the bulking property of sugar by substituting 1 cup of sugar with about 1/3 cup of a bulking agent such as egg whites, apple sauce, fruit puree or yogurt. Next, add stevia to taste or by using the equivalency chart.

Easy Stevia recipes.

Using stevia to simply flavour existing recipes (like oatmeal or protein shakes), beverages (like sparkling water, tea or coffee), or meals is fun and straightforward. Here are some ideas:

Now enjoy!

Thalia Charney

MA, Holistic Nutrition and Wellness Coach Nutrition and Health Education Manager, NOW Foods Canada.

Thalia has a lifelong passion for all things nutrition and healthy living. With over 30 years in the health industry, her formal training, as well as personal and professional experience, form a strong basis for her speaking and education. Her experience includes an eclectic background in herbal medicine, nutrition, essential oils, green living, meditation, vegetarian cooking, and working as a wellness coach, fitness instructor and personal trainer. Thalia is also the author of “The Confident Shopper: The Guide to Food Labels and Fables,” “The Expert Patient: Health is Not a Spectator Sport,” and The 3-Minute Liquid Meal Blueprint.

References Koyama, E., et al. 2003. In vitro metabolism of the glycosidic sweeteners, Stevia mixture and enzymatically modified stevia in human intestinal microflora. Food Chem. Toxicol. 41, 359-374. High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) Characterization of the Enzymatic Glycosylation of Stevia rebaudiana: A comparison of Enzyme Treated and Non-Enzyme Treated Stevia Extracts. Waszkuc, T., et al. Poster presented at the 2009 AOAC Int. Annual Meeting (Sept. 12-16, 2009), Philadelphia, PA. High-Resolution TOF LC/MS Characterization of the Enzymatic Glycosylation of Stevia rebaudiana: A comparison of Natural and Enzyme-Treated Stevia Extracts.” Emmel, K., et al. Poster presented at the 57th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics (May 31-June 4, 2009), Philadelphia, PA.