Friday, August 3, 2012

Canning With Stevia

I know I haven't been around here much. Somehow life happens without much blogging these days!


This photo gives you an idea of what kept me busy today - salsa, pickled peppers, and corn relish. Right now I'm hot and tired but I know we'll enjoy the taste of summer this winter.

While working at the kitchen, I thought I should write a little bit about canning with stevia.

I have found stevia a challenge to use in baking. Stevia is far sweeter than sugar. One teaspoon of stevia replaces a cup of sugar. In baking, the lack of bulk in the stevia completely changes the texture of the product.

But I have had good success using stevia in drinks and canning. Here the bulk does not affect the texture of the product. I have discerned a slight aftertaste in lemonade or iced tea but in canning, my experiments have been completely successful.

For canning fruit, I mix two teaspoons of stevia in a gallon of water. This makes a mild sweet syrup to pour over the fruit in jars. I have never had anyone distinguish any aftertaste in the fruit canned with stevia.

Last year I replaced half of the sugar in my ketchup recipe with stevia. Since that was successful, I may get the courage to try all stevia this year.

Today, I use stevia in my corn relish. The recipe called for two cups of sugar which I replaced with two teaspoons of stevia. The relish was so good I could have eaten it straight out of the jar!

Just a note, I use pure stevia with no added fillers. I purchase mine through Berlin Seed.

I always hated how many extra bags of sugar I had to purchase in the summer over canning season. I'm thrilled to have found an alternative.

Do any of you use stevia in canning?

31 comments :

  1. This is fantastic Gina! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with stevia! I'm inspired to try it in my canning endeavors as well. I didn't see Berlin Seed come up in a search. Do they not have an internet presence?

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    Replies
    1. Quinn-
      Berlin Seed is owned by Amish and they don't have a website or an email address. I wrote about the company here http://homejoys.blogspot.com/2010/01/baker-creek-and-berlin-seeds.html and shared their phone number. I have had found good fast service from them by phone.
      Gina

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  2. Could you share your corn relish recipe? This looks like something I could like to try. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Sure! I'll try to type it up later today!
      Gina

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  3. This is interesting, Gina! Do you know if it affects the safety? I thought sugar helped the preserving part - making thing safe to can?

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    1. Jami-
      From the research I have done, stevia is safe for canning. Some people say that the flavor is affected and recommend adding some lemon juice to help the flavor. I haven't had a problem with flavor in my fruit, but in the case of my corn relish, it already contains a lot of vinegar.

      Most other sugar substitutes (such as NutraSweet - not that you would use it) are not recommended for canning because they are not stable with high heat and long shelf-life.

      I also have not used stevia with pectin such as in jams. I think it is possible but I haven't done the research yet.

      Hope that helps.
      Gina

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    2. I have heard that stevia is safe to can but after opening and refrigerating it. Since there are no preserving properties with stevia, you need to eat up the fruit before it spoils.

      Delete
  4. I am canning too :) I have not used stevia before.. I am always leery of things of this kinda nature... but its good to know I am not the only insane woman out there canning in the hot summer.. HA HA HA

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  5. Could you post your corn relish recipe?? I'd love to try some. And we have lots of corn this year, so a good time to try it. And I wanna try the stevia as well. Thanks for posting your results, gives me courage to try!!

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  6. This is something I might have to try! My sis uses splenda, have you ever used that?

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    Replies
    1. I have heard of using splenda for canning but have never tried it.
      Gina

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  7. Would love receipes on making jam with stevia, I am diabetic, miss making jam and eating also, would love to know how freezer jam taste and if affects consistency.Also oother receipes.

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    1. I have read a little bit about making jams with stevia but never tried it. Apparently it is possible to makes jams with stevia and pectin. But jams that are thickened only with sugar can not be made with stevia as the sugar is needed for proper preserving.

      If you do some research and try it out - let me know how it works!
      Gina

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  8. Hi Gina, it looks like you're having a fun and productive summer! I'm trying to catch up on some blog reading, and this was such a timely post. Yes, I'm doing some test batches of canning with stevia this year. I'm really excited about it, if it works. My husband tasted some pie filling I did and he did not detect the after taste at all, which was good news. I've been using stevia in drinks for a couple years now and have started working it into baking, so I've actually become immune to any after taste and no longer taste it, if that makes any sense. It's just getting the ratios right that takes some practice. I also did a batch of freezer pickles and plan on using it in my chow chow, which is the last canning I do every year. Anyway, thanks for sharing your success with it. It's encouraging to hear about it.

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  9. Going to try Stevia today when I can up apple juice. Processed 100 lbs of apples with steam juicer!

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  10. I am so thankful to have found your blog! I am working on recipes for canning without the dreaded sugar. I tried one making blackberry jam with apple juice concentrate and the Pomona pectin. But it is still not what I wanted. Now I use Stevia for my sweetner of choice in all other things. I have several different forms. You have encouraged me in this post to try it for canning, which I am in the middle of now. I am going to try it in my next batch of berry jams. Stevia is the only sweetner I feel I can trust, at least so far. Thanks again.

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  11. I have picked my Concord grapes and am now ready to start making my jelly. I have some really nice Stevia plants and am ready to pick the leaves to use them for the sweetener. Does anyone have any idea how many leaves to use to sweeten a batch of jelly, using no sugar? It will probably be trial and error this time around, and I will post my findings. Unless I hear back otherwise, I am going to steep the leaves and boil the liquid down to make a sweet syrup for the jelly. Will probably have to add more no sugar added pectin to help with the jelling process. Well, here goes.....!!!!! Carol

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  12. Can I use fresh stevia in my canning tomatoes? I have two huge plants.

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    Replies
    1. I have not experience using fresh stevia so I really have no idea how to use it in canning.
      Gina

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  13. Due to needing the liquidity sugar gives a product - do you think one could use a combination of sugar and stevia? I am making applesauce and thought about using 1 c sugar along with 1 tsp of stevia. What do you think? Thanks!

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    1. I often use part sugar and part stevia. For example, a recipe that calls for 2 cups of sugar, I'll use 1 cup of sugar and 1 tsp pure stevia powder. I have been pleased with the results. Just don't use too much stevia because that stuff is powerful!
      Gina

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  14. Hi Gina; I'm from Melbourne Australia and I have been growing stevia for a few months but haven't used it in anything apart from green smoothies.

    Could you tell me how you use stevia?

    Do you use it from the plant? And if so, how do you process it before including it into your recipes.

    I have just preserved some nectarines and used brown sugar to make a syrup and totally forgot i had stevia growing or even considered it. It would have made the preserved fruit a lot healthier.

    Regards
    Christophe

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    Replies
    1. I use stevia powder. It is already processed into a powder. I'm not sure how you would use the leaves in canning but I am guessing that someone somewhere has tried it. Maybe try googling it and see what you find!
      Gina

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  15. Are you using Stevia extract powder or the Stevia that has xylitol or another bonding agent, like Truvia or Stevia in the raw?

    Thanks for a great post! Can't wait to try it!

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    Replies
    1. I am using stevia extract powder that contains no fillers. I buy it from Berlin Seed.
      Gina

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  16. Wow. I entered a long reply and it disappeared. It is almost two years from the original post and I wondered how only Stevia worked in Ketchup. Also is your Ketchup recipe from the "more with less" cookbook? I have that somewhere and tried it once but substituted something. It wasn't a big hit but I could tell that without the substitution it would have been great. I've been putting up green beans this week, but will be getting tomatoes next. :-)

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    1. Sylvia-
      I never got up the courage to use only stevia in ketchup. I figured it needed some sugar to "get right." I am using a recipe from a friend. I don't know how it compares with More with Less.
      Gina

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  17. Gina -- is the stevia powder you are using a white, refined powder or a green powder that is just ground up dried leaves? I have heard that the refined powder is not a healthy alternative but most recipes I have found call for the white powder. I would like to can some things without all the sugar, like bread and butter pickles and relishes. Any chance you could post the corn relish recipe? Thanks for the article!

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    1. Liz
      I am using the white refined powder. I know it is not to be as good as the green powder but I figure that it is still better than all that sugar that I used to can with!
      Gina

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  18. I was trying to find a way to use stevia leaves and stumbled onto this delightful blog. I am just learning the joys of gardening and food preservation for winter and I can't believe I had not done this sooner in my life!
    Thanks for doing this blog! Going to check out more of it!!!
    Best Wishes!
    Sonny

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  19. I'm going to try Stevia powder with Watermelon pickle canning today. Thanks for the info.

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