One of Australia’s leading chefs, Jared Ingersoll puts the spotlight on a sweet little herb called stevia with these delicious breakfast recipes.

Otherwise known as the “sweet leaf”, stevia is a plant native to South America that’s been cultivated by indigenous cultures for hundreds of years. Today, stevia is celebrated as an all-natural sweetener that possesses zero-kilojoules. But it’s not just the health benefits that excite Ingersoll about the plant.

“People rave about stevia being a sugar substitute. And yes, the whole zero-kilojoules thing is awesome and is obviously going to have benefits for people, but as a chef, where I see stevia’s incredible virtues is actually more from a flavour perspective,” he said.

“It’s actually very different to sugar – it doesn’t caramelise, the viscosity is different and it does very interesting things to the palate. For example, in terms of flavour notes, the sweetness is quite lean and ethereal. And then more subtle notes present themselves – there’s these slight lingering liquorice, tannic and citric hints. That’s why I love cooking with stevia, because it augments foods’ flavours in really unique, unexpected ways.”




Charred peach-infused iced tea with stevia
Images by Katie Barget 

Charred peach-infused iced tea with stevia (serves 4-6)

Ingredients

3 ripe peaches
500ml cold water
1 lemon, skin on sliced thin 
1-2 sprigs of mint
30g black tea
Stevia to taste

Preparation

Cut peach in half, and on a very hot char grill pan or plate, grill the cut side of the peach until well coloured. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

In a large jug, combine the mint, tea and cold water, then add the peaches and allow to sit overnight.

Just before serving, taste and adjust the sweetness with stevia.





Stevia Recipes - speck and eggs
Images by Katie Barget 



Poached speck with poached eggs and peas (Serves 4-6 people) 

Ingredients

1 kg smoked speck

Knob of ginger

300ml soy sauce

1 bunch green onion

2 litres of water

1 tablespoon dry shrimp

3 teaspoons of stevia or to taste
200g frozen peas

30g butter

4 tablespoons of toasted breadcrumbs
2 poached eggs per person

Preparation

Start preparing your masterstock by placing water, soy, ginger, dry shrimp in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.

Place your speck into a deep roasting dish, cover with the masterstock and then place into a moderate oven for about 1 hour or until the speck is soft (when tested with a knife).

Remove from the oven and serve straight away or cool in the liquid.

To make the crushed peas, boil in well-salted water until the peas are tender, remove, and while still hot mash with butter, salt and pepper. Place to one side and keep warm while you poach your eggs and portion your speck.

Arrange a piece of speck onto each plate, then place next to it a dollop of peas. Top with 2 poached eggs and then sprinkle over toasted breadcrumbs.






Stevia Recipies - Tuiles
Images by Katie Barget     


Stevia tuiles 

Ingredients

80g rolled oats

6g stevia

60g coconut oil (melted but cool)

140g egg whites

1 vanilla bean, split through the middle and seeds scraped out
140g pepitas (green kernels from pumpkin seeds)

70g sesame seeds

70g sunflower seeds

Preparation

Place the rolled oats into a food processor and grind until a fine powder. Then in a bowl, combine with stevia.

Make a well in the centre of the oats and add coconut oil, lightly beaten egg whites and the vanilla bean. Mix everything together really well.

Add pepitas, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, and mix again. Leave the mixture to rest for at least 30 mins.

On a heavy cookie tray, place down a non-stick sheet or grease-proof paper that has been lightly oiled.

Place small teaspoon-size dollops of the tuile mix about 3-4cm apart, then cook in a pre-heated 180° oven for about 13 mins, or until they are golden and crisp.

Let the tuile cool for about 10 mins before removing from the tray.

Finish cooling on a wire rack.
 

Note: You may have to cook this mixture in batches.


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