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I recently bought stevia seeds to try growing this sugar-replacement that is touted as a very healthful alternative (200-300 times as sweet but 0 calories? Wow). Does anyone have actual experience using stevia leaves? How do you prepare the leaves at harvest, and how would you use it, for example, in baking?

I love the idea of growing my own healthier alternative to sugar. I have read online that only a 1/2 teaspoon of ground dried stevia leaves can substitute for a whole cup of sugar...!

Do you suppose ground stevia could be used in place of sugar to make red wine (even if it turns out burgandy/brown due to the green ground stevia, imagine an ultra-low-cal red wine!!!)
 

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I have only tried stevia leaves once, crumbled in tea. I thought it had a strange and unpleasant aftertaste. YMMV. I don't like the commercial stevia drops or granules, either and for the same reason.

I am sure it cannot be subbed for sugar in wine, because the sugar is the substrate the yeast feeds on to make those lovely alcohol molecules.
 

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Stevia doesn't ferment so not used on that end to make wine but some are experimenting with using it to back sweeten if one wants a sweeter wine and not worry about it fermenting in the bottle. Ones I've tried have had an unpleasant after taste and a thin mouthfeel.

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I recently bought stevia seeds to try growing this sugar-replacement that is touted as a very healthful alternative (200-300 times as sweet but 0 calories? Wow). Does anyone have actual experience using stevia leaves? How do you prepare the leaves at harvest, and how would you use it, for example, in baking?

I love the idea of growing my own healthier alternative to sugar. I have read online that only a 1/2 teaspoon of ground dried stevia leaves can substitute for a whole cup of sugar...!

Do you suppose ground stevia could be used in place of sugar to make red wine (even if it turns out burgandy/brown due to the green ground stevia, imagine an ultra-low-cal red wine!!!)
If you are worried about sugar being bad for you...I would stay away from wine...

I don't eat or drink anything that has stevia in it...hate the taste.
Good luck.
 

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Honey would give a different flavor. I have never tried it, though I do not care for mead... Is there a reason you do not want to use sugar? There is no difference in the sugar content between the two.
 

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If your worried about the calorie content for diet reasons, and not the sugar content for diabetic reasons, your plain out of luck. Alcohol itself is the source of the calories, not the sugars.
The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories.
Vodka for example has a high alcohol content, 0 sugar content, yet still has over 200 calories per 100ml. It's nutrition table is full of 0's. Zero carbs, zero fiber, zero sugar.
Red wine generally has half or a third the alcohol content of vodka, yet it only has about 70 calories per 100ml. And it's nutrition table has numbers in it, like 4 carbs, 4g sugars etc.
Calories don't -only- come from -just- sugar.
Calories are generated by content/ingredients, not the nutrition table values.

There's calculators online that you can look into, but it works out to be :
serving size in ml(ie 750ml) X alcohol content(ie 10=10%) / 1000 = # of units of alcohol.
There is 56 calories per unit. # units X 56 = calories generated by alcohol content per serving
150ml of 15% alcohol = 126 calories.
150ml of 10% alcohol of any kind = 84 calories
150ml of 5% alcohol = 42 calories
150ml of 1% alcohol = 8.4 calories.
150ml of 0.5%(non-alcohol beer etc) = 4.2 calories.

And that's how you get Low Alcohol Wines(5%ish), that have alot of sugar listed(25g or more), that has -less- calories than other 15% wines.

If your relying on any nutrition table you might find on a bottle or listed by the manufactuer etc online, the sugar listed is the residual sugar left behind from the brewing process. The nutrition table with it's %'s only list chemical compositions basically. When it comes to the calorie count, you can still have items that have no carbs listed, no sugars listed, no fiber, etc, but are still packed with hundreds of calories per serving.
Calories are the -energy- count, of the total contents of the serving. How much -energy- it provides your body. To much energy and your body can't use it so it converts to fat for storage.
It actually has -nothing- to do with the nutrition table values - at all.

To put things in perspective. 1 g of sugar = 4 calories.
That's right, only 4 calories. 25g of sugar only equals 100 calories.
Looking at the sugar content on the label will never accurately reflect calorie content.
 
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