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Wednesday, 07/15/15 - Growing, Drying, Storing and Using Stevia Herb!

The Seward Garden in Spicewood Texas

This photo was after I took some cuttings - this year our Stevia plants have grown about 3' tall!  

Stevia leaves found special place in the culture of native Guarani tribes of Paraguay since centuries. Recent scientific trials firmly establish that this sweet-leaf herb has, in fact, many health benefiting plant-derived phyto-chemical compounds that help control blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure in addition to its use as natural sweetener. Together with the rise in demand for low-calorie food alternatives, stevia has drawn the attention of health conscious fitness lovers all over the planet. Read more here - http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/stevia-plant.html

How we grow, dry, store and use Stevia –

I love using organic Stevia herb in place of sugar. We never use artificial sweeteners.  In fact, did you know that using them can actually cause you to gain weight?  We buy our Stevia plants at Natural Gardener early in the Spring.  Ours are in a sunny area.  We keep them watered.  This year’s crop has done really well with all the rain we’ve had.  Pick a leaf and eat it like candy!   

I cut them off when they grow about 2’ or so and tie in bundles using some cooking string and hang to dry in our garage where it’s nice and hot. It only takes a few days for them to dry. 

Then I take a sheet pan cover with paper towels and remove the dried leaves onto the paper towel. 

Discard the stems and pour the leaves into my Nutri Bullet and grind up. 

This is how it comes out after grinding it up in the Nutri Bullet

Then I pour it into a clean jar to store.   

It doesn’t take much to sweeten your recipes, drinks, sauces, etc. My jar doesn't take long to get used up either!  I use it all the time now because quite frankly I've just gotten so used to using Stevia and love it!  Really tames a sweet tooth too! 

Some of the way’s I use Stevia:

Tea and Coffee and other drinks like cocktails

I juice up a bag of lemons and pour that into a jar with some filtered water and add a tablespoon (as much as you like) into the jar and use this for our water and cocktails. My favorite is potato vodka with some lemon mixture and Topo Chico mineral water! 

Salad dressings and vinaigrettes.

Homemade mayo and other sauces for a little sweetness

Barbeque sauce ( I also use local honey in my BBQ sauce)

Sprinkle on anything you’d like to get a little sweet on!  Pancakes, strawberries and other berries, veggies, sausage… Let your sweet tooth go wild it’s natural good stuff! 

Have fun!

Sue Seward
Gluten Free Lady & Happy Homesteader!




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