When it comes to cooking or baking, you can use stevia in practically anything that has sugar or a similar caloric sweetener like honey or maple syrup in it. It works well in drinks, smoothies, desserts, baked breads and even various sauces. Whether you decide to fully or partially replace the caloric sweetener in your recipes, you can keep the sweet tastes you love, but without all the calories.

Since stevia leaf extract is so much sweeter than sugar, it is not always a one-for-one substitution when using tabletop stevia in recipes. For example, if you need 1 cup of sugar in a recipe, you may actually need only ¼ cup or less of tabletop stevia to get the same level of sweetness. While the manufacturer’s conversion chart will always be a good place to start, there may be some initial trial and error to get your recipe to your liking, so play around and experiment a bit to find the ideal level of sweetness for you and your family.

It is also important to remember that tabletop stevia is different than sugar in many ways. While tabletop stevia provides sweetness, it lacks some of sugar’s other qualities, like helping to brown foods or adding a tender texture to baked goods. So some recipes may require a mix of sugar and stevia, or perhaps a mix of other caloric or non-caloric sweeteners, in order to ultimately get the taste and texture qualities you want in a recipe just right. This blending approach is a great way to help reduce total calories, while maintaining the functional benefits that other sweeteners bring to the table. Read more: Stevia at home