The Stevia Plant is an all-natural sweetener which has been said to be 20-30 times sweeter than your everyday table sugar (granulated sugar cane). This sweet leaf plant, originating in South America, is linked to lowering calorie in-take, reducing weight, reducing tooth decay, and even lowering high blood pressure1. Many are flocking to its natural sweet appeal and find it is a healthier way to consume sugar without the guilt.
With the ever growing trend of healthy eating it seems the healthier items are far more expensive than the less healthy items. Here is where your Stevia seeds jump in to save your pockets…and your health. Grow your own sugar!!
It is best to sow your Stevia Seeds indoors during the winter and plant outdoors in the spring or in its own flower pot. It will usually take the seedlings 85 days to mature and fully grow up to 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide. Small seedlings such as these can be planted indoors using a small germinating kit then transported into a flower pot when it has sprouted at least 2 leaves.
For best results, place 1 seedling in each soil pocket in your plant tray, water, then cover with the bio dome top. Keep the seedlings in an area that is close to the sun or under a grow light at 70-75 degrees. The germination process usually takes 1-2 weeks. Keep these seedlings moist as they are used to a tropical environment, but don’t overwater them. When your Stevia leaves are fully mature (after 85 days), be sure to rinse them off before use.
Did you know you could make your own Stevia Extract? Simply wash your stevia leaves and let them sit out to dry completely. Once dried, place them in a 4 oz. glass mason jar then soak them in Vodka. The Vodka should completely submerge the leaves. Close the lid and let them sit for at least 24 hours not to exceed 48 hours. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and gently heat without boiling for 30 minutes. Take a cheesecloth and strain the Stevia Extract into a bottle of your choice. Store your new Stevia Extract in the refrigerator until ready to use. This extract is good for 3 months.
1Disclaimer: Any representative of Kandy’s Cakes & Pastries has not been licensed as a nutritionist. Be sure to consult with your physician on stevia’s actual methods of lowering calorie in-take, reducing weight, reducing tooth decay, and lowering high blood pressure as cases may vary.
Photo Credit: Featured Image from www.thenutritionalsource.com