Gardener, I’m not. I do try, honestly, I do. We don’t have a sprinkling system, so keeping my plants watered gets to be a bit much. This time, rather than go whole hog, I decided to start small.
We moved our four square garden containers (including the soil) from the front yard (originally intended for flowers and herbs: big flop) to the back where it would be easier to water. I transplanted the few straggly plants and bought a few new ones.
One of the plants I bought was Stevia. I read an article about making your own sweetener, so I thought I’d give it a go.
Of course, I was curious to see how sweet the plant was, so I chewed on a leaf. I was quite surprised.
Since the plant was so small there weren’t many stems to work with, but it was enough for my experiment.
1. Remove stems
2. Rinse off and allow to dry
3. Remove leaves from the stems
4. Allow to dry in the sun for about 8 hours
This will vary according to the area you live. Since I live in the south, the leaves were brittle in no time.
5. Break up into small pieces or pulverize into a powder
Using a coffee grinder was suggested for a fine powder, but I couldn’t find mine. I put the leaves through a sieve. It came out a bit more coarse, but that’s okay.
Home made stevia (l) compared to store bought stevia (r)
Here’s how the homemade looks compared to the one from the store compare.
The one from the store is white because of the way it’s processed. Don’t worry, there’s nothing harmful added.
6. Store in a cool, dry place.
So, there you have it- your very own home made stevia.