Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, and whole foods ingredients are sometimes confusing. Everyone knows what carrots are. But what about arrowroot starch, coconut oil, umeboshi vinegar, or miso? Here is a growing glossary of ingredients that may be slightly off the beaten path.
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An herb with a naturally sweet-flavored leaf. Whole stevia leaf is available ground (green powder with a grassy, sweet flavor), or the extract is made into a white powder and a liquid. It is roughly 16x sweeter than sugar, so you use much less, and is zero calorie, zero glycemic, zero carb, zero sugar. There are a wide variety of brands on the market, and there are liquids available with different flavors added. I like SweetLeaf brand powder and liquid. Different brands have slightly different sugar substitute conversions, so check with your manufacturer to determine the appropriate amount to add to a recipe. When adding to a dish or a recipe, start with a small amount and don't get carried away - too much tastes metallic and soapy! For a great what's what on stevia, check out this great post by fellow blogger and stevia expert Ricki Heller from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs.