Why Lucuma Powder Might Be A Better Option If You Don't Like Stevia

With the shunning of sugar, we've witnessed the rise in sweetener alternatives. Stevia has been at the forefront of this movement for quite some time. Being natural, zero calories, and offering no blood sugar spikes has made it the darling of sugar substitutes. Powders, drops, syrups, and extracts line the baking aisle, while soft drinks, gums, and candies made with stevia line the shelves. It's everywhere — but not everyone likes it.

Those that opt for sugar alternatives and have tried stevia-sweetened products and beverages may have noticed a slightly bitter aftertaste — and probably not enjoyed it. Our tongues house receptors for different tastes, including sweet and bitter. There is only one receptor for sweet tastes — yet 25 receptors for bitter. Stevia activates both, offering a pleasant sweetness on the palate followed by a not-so-pleasant lingering bitterness (via Business Insider).

If you fall into the camp of not enjoying stevia, there is a suitable alternative. What is lucuma powder, and why might it be a better option to battle that bitterness?

Lucuma powder vs. stevia leaf

Lucuma is a fruit found in South America, per Healthline. It is sweet with yellow, creamy flesh. It's flavor is often compared to sweet potato, with notes of maple and caramel. Lucuma does contain calories and affects blood sugar levels. But it has more nutrients and fiber than white table sugar and 75% less sugar than the run-of-the-mill sweet stuff.

Stevia is made from the leaves of the stevia plant, also native to South America. The taste is powerfully sweet — hundreds of times sweeter than regular white sugar. Because stevia is not absorbed in our intestine, it doesn't add any calories to the food we eat nor does it spike our blood sugar (via Food Insight).

If the intense sweetness followed by the bitterness of stevia is not for you, lucuma powder is an easy, flavorful, and healthy swap-in. It's made from dried, ground lucuma fruit and is more reminiscent in taste of brown sugar than white. It's easy to sub in any recipe by just doubling the amount of brown sugar that is called for. One cup of lucuma powder equals about half a cup of sugar. As an added bonus, you'll get all the extra vitamins and minerals that are absent in stevia and sugar, per MasterClass.