How do you use it?
I have one. It probably should be more in the sun than it is. I throw it in fruit salads and smoothies if I want to bump up the sweet instead of honey. I have been thinking of adding the fresh leaves to cut the bitterness of tomato paste.
Thanks wantonamara. Do you use the fresh leaves, or do you use dried? I read on one website to harvest the leaves when the temperature drops, but before a frost because that's when they are sweetest.
I have grown them, but since I don't like sweets I've never used them. I do know that there are some cookbooks out there for Stevia Stevia rebaudiana recipes. Cindy with the Herb Cottage suggests:
Stevia can be dried or frozen for use or another way to preserve Stevia for later use is to make a strong "tea" or infusion. Take a couple handfuls of leaves in about 2 cups of water, simmer for 20 minutes or so, then leave to cool. Strain out the leaves and store this sweet liquid in the fridge for up to a month or so. Use it to sweeten winter drinks and baking. If you make more than you think you'll use up in about a month, freeze some to thaw and use later.
And the http://www.stevia.com/Stevia_Article.aspx?Id=2269 states:
A liquid extract can be made from the whole Stevia leaves or from the green herbal Stevia powder. Simply combine a measured portion of Stevia leaves or herbal powder with pure USP grain alcohol (Brand, or Scotch will also do) and let the mixture sit for 24 hours. Filter the liquid from the leaves or powder residue and dilute to taste using pure water. Note that the alcohol content can be reduced by very slowly heating (not boiling) the extract and allowing the alcohol to evaporate off. A pure water extract can be similarly prepared, but will not extract quite as much of the sweet glycosides as will the alcohol. Either liquid extract can be cooked down and concentrated into a syrup.
I'm thinking Stevia + Mint + Rum = Garden Mojito!!!
Thanks to both of you. I think I'll go pick a few leaves and boil them like tea leaves.
ltcollins, I wish I didn't like sweets. I'm on a sugar free diet right now and it's really hard to watch other people drink soda while I drink water. Maybe this will help get me over the edge.
I've never been found of sweets; however, I do have an occasional Godiva chocolate. I keep a glass of iced water on my desk all day long. Adding fresh fruit and/or fresh herbs to it really helps my thirst and tastes better than just plane old tap water! You could just add a fresh stevia leaf to your water and see how you like it.