Truvia is a calorie-free sugar substitute, and its main ingredient is derived from the stevia leaf. Sold in grocery stores, it is one of the most popular sugar alternatives. While it works well as a sweetener for coffee or sprinkling over a grapefruit, you can also use Truvia in baking. The catch is that it may require a little bit of calculation on your part, depending on which Truvia sweetener you use.
- Substitution: Sugar or other sugar replacements
- Shelf Life: 3 years
- Important Nutritional Info: Gluten-free
What Is Truvia?
Truvia is a sugar substitute made from three ingredients: erythritol (a sugar alcohol food additive), stevia leaf extract, and natural flavors. Stevia leaf extract comes from the sweet leaves of the stevia plant, a member of the chrysanthemum family. The plant is native to South America and is grown primarily in China.
To extract the natural sweetness of the plant, the leaves are harvested and then dried. Once dried, the leaves steep in hot water. The steeping liquid is filtered, purified, and then dried. The end result of this process is a form of crystalized stevia leaf extract. While it is a calorie-free sugar substitute, Truvia is over 200 times sweeter than sugar.
Truvia produces several alternative sugar products in granulated, powdered, and liquid forms.
- Truvia Sweet Complete Granulated All-Purpose Sweetener: This calorie-free granulated sweetener can be used just like white granulated sugar, including in baked goods.
- Truvia Sweet Complete Brown: This calorie-free substitute for brown sugar includes molasses.
- Truvia Sweet Complete Confectioners' Sweetener: Use this calorie-free sweetener to replace confectioners' sugar. It includes cornstarch.
- Truvia Cane Sugar Blend: Formerly known as "Baking Blend," this was Truvia's first granulated sugar alternative specifically designed for baking. It includes a small amount of natural sugar to maintain the sweet flavor, texture, and color in baked goods and 75 percent fewer calories.
- Truvia Brown Sugar Blend: The other original Truvia baking sugar alternative, this product includes some natural sugar and molasses to replicate brown sugar's taste and effects. It also has 75 percent fewer calories than brown sugar.
Truvia can be used anywhere sugar is used, though you may need to use less in some applications. The original Truvia sweeteners are ideal for coffee, yogurt, fruit, and similar foods that you want to sweeten. The liquid forms are best reserved for beverages and are good for cold drinks because you don't have to worry about dissolving the crystals. Truvia sells specific versions for baking, and the all-purpose "Sweet Complete" sweeteners can be used for baking or as an everyday sweetener.
How to Cook With Truvia
When using Truvia instead of sugar, you may need to convert the measurement, depending on the product you're using:
- With the Sweet Complete sweeteners, there is no need for conversion. Simply replace the recipe's sugar cup-for-cup.
- When using the white or brown Baking Blend, the ratio is two-to-one. For example, if the recipe uses 1/2 cup of sugar, you add just 1/4 cup of the baking blend.
- For the original Truvia granulated sweetener, use 3/4 teaspoon to replace two teaspoons of sugar.
- For liquid Truvia, use 1/4 teaspoon as a substitute for two teaspoons of sugar.
The manufacturer of Truvia says that for best results, leave at least 1/4 cup of natural sugar in your recipe. Real sugar plays an important role other than providing sweetness when you bake with it. Keeping some regular sugar in the recipe will help with browning, spreading, and lends to the overall structure of the finished baked good. After adding regular sugar to your recipe, you can replace the remaining sugar with Truvia.
What Does Truvia Taste Like?
On its own, Truvia has a very sweet taste. Some people find it to be mildly bitter or have a lingering sweet or artificial aftertaste. When Truvia is dissolved in liquid, the taste is less apparent since the Truvia dissolves and results in a sweet taste. When berries are dipped in Truvia, the taste of Truvia may be slightly artificial. In baked items with Truvia, the texture of the food item can change to be more gritty or dense and a lingering sweetness may remain.
Since Truvia is a sugar substitute, sugar can also be swapped for Truvia. Other stevia-based sweeteners include Stevia in the Raw, Splenda Naturals Stevia, and other organic brands. While these are generally suitable substitutes for one another, the formula differences may affect the taste, texture, and browning of the finished food, especially in baked goods.
You can use Truvia in any recipe that includes sugar as long as you keep the necessary conversions in mind for the particular Truvia product you're using. There are also several recipes that specifically call for a stevia sweetener where Truvia would be a good option.
Where to Buy Truvia
Truvia is sold in most major grocery stores. You can find it in the baking aisle near the sugar. It comes in plastic pouches, big containers, and individual packets in packs ranging from 30 to 400 counts. Warehouse club stores sell larger quantities if you prefer to buy it in bulk.
Store Truvia in a cool, dark place away from moisture. The product has a three-year shelf life from the date of manufacture.