Stevia can be added to foods and beverages to give them a sweet taste. It’s non-glycemic (won’t raise your blood sugar), calorie-free, and much much sweeter than refined white sugar — so you only need a small amount. Some find stevia slightly bitter, but given time your taste buds adapt — you’ll grow to love it. You can buy commercially processed granules, crystals, liquid, and powder. You can also grow your own stevia plant! The sweetness is in the leaves, so you can use a fresh leaf in a cup of tea, or harvest and dry the leaves to make your own powder or liquid. Here’s how:
1. Harvest leaves from a stevia plant.
2. Dry leaves in full sun for 1 hour or until dry, or dry them in a Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster Food Dehydrator at 115º F for 45 minutes or until dry, or according to your dehydrator instructions for drying herbs.
3. Crush the dried leaves using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. Store away from light at room temperature and in a Grant Howard Glass Spice Jar or other airtight jar for up to 1 year or until it looses its potency.
1. Place 2 tablespoon fresh stevia powder (above recipe) in a bowl.
2. Add 1/2 cup warm filtered water and let sit for 24 hours.
3. Strain through a cheesecloth or coffee filter, catching the liquid in a small glass jar or container, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Stores refrigerated for up to 1 month.
Makes a varying amount of powder (depending on how many leaves were used), and 1/2 cup liquid.