Understanding the different forms of stevia can be challenging. This post shares my experience in using all 4 forms as well as includes a conversion chart. This stevia conversion chart is based on using the Sweetleaf stevia brand. I've been cooking and baking with it for over 3 years and feel confident in sharing my personal conversion chart with you.
The liquid form of stevia is and has been my number one way to sweeten a recipe. Often because the flavors are fabulous, especially in a no bake recipe. When you only need a ¼ cup or less of "sugar" these would be what I would use. All these liquid flavored stevia's as well as the clear stevia by Sweetleaf do not contain alcohol. In their flavors they add vanilla extract, hazelnut extract, coconut or cocoa extract etc. to enhance the flavor. I find when a liquid contains the alcohol just like in imitation vanilla extract there is a aftertaste I am not a fan of. The NuNaturals Clear does have 20% pure grain alcohol in it, but they also have a an alcohol free liquid stevia. I do find the NuNaturals alcohol free liquid to be a bit sweeter in comparison to the Sweetleaf liquid stevia's.
Packets are wonderful to take on the go for easy traveling. Great to put in coffee and oatmeal. If you're baking though you may need to use quite a few to create a recipe needing at least a ½ cup of sugar. I won't use NuNaturals powdered packets of stevia is because it contains maltodextrin. Sweetleaf does not.
This is powdered stevia with inulin fiber. Inulin fiber is a natural occurring carbohydrate found in 36,000 species of plants. It's most common form comes from chicory. It has health benefits in that it helps increase calcium absorption. It does not raise blood sugar and is suitable for diabetics. Depending on how much inulin fiber is used in any stevia product you purchase it ranges from bland to subtle sweetness. Here in this product 1 tablespoon equals ½ cup of sugar. Many of my recipes refer to using this powdered stevia. I started using this one at the very beginning of my baking with stevia as I was uncertain I wanted to begin with the pure extract. Unless otherwise noted as pure extract you would NOT replace pure stevia extract with this powdered stevia that contains fiber. The two are not equal in strength as you will see below. This product could be used in exchange with packets of stevia as they are about equal in strength.
As I have gotten more confident in using stevia in my baked goods I am experimenting more and more with the pure extract and it will be noted and linked in every recipe which one I use. This is the pure stevia extract with no fiber. I have also used the organic pure extract from Trader Joes and it seems similar in strength to this Sweetleaf brand. It is very strong and very sweet. Unless needing at least a cup of sugar in a recipe I would not recommend even using the pure extract. Anything less than a cup and the liquid, packets or a powdered product should be used.
STEVIA BAKING BLENDS
Most baking blends on the market contain maltodextrin which is derived from corn in the United states. Some baking blends actually also contain sugar and stevia to attempts to reduce how much sugar is used. I've not found one blend I liked the ingredients on so therefore can not recommend any at this point. The only thing to note about baking blends is they do make baking easier because all you need to replace is the sugar in any recipe you want. It's certainly not the case with using the pure extract or any of the above stevia products I use. Stevia baking blends are NOT the same as the powdered stevia above and should not be used interchangeably.
A lot of time , effort, experimentation and cost goes into my recipes to share them with you as I rarely can make them once and call it a day. Life would be a whole lot easier if I could use a baking blend, but I honestly don't feel good about putting that in my body or my families bodies. You can read more about what to look for when purchasing stevia in this post, The 3 Best Stevia products.
*Please note on this conversion chart: I can not tell you if the brand you are using is going to be as sweet in comparison with the Sweetleaf brand. Some brands are stronger and some are less sweet than others all dependent on the way it is processed. Unfortunately I can only give you a guideline and you must be the judge to carefully using it when baking. If you find an aftertaste or bitterness it is either due to the additives in the product you purchased or not enough stevia was used in the recipe especially baking with unsweetened cocoa powder which tends to be bitter all by itself.
Although I am sharing my experience with using the Sweetleaf brand, I hope through this post you can at least get an understanding of the wide range of differences between the liquid, packets, powdered, pure extracts and baking blends of stevia to compare with the brands you may be using.