Homemade Stevia Liquid

My fingers are so sweet. It’s like I’m made of plant-based candy. I’d let you try, but you’re not here. Plus, that’d be kinda really weird…I just don’t know you that well.

I’ve never used Stevia. Powder. Leaf. Extract. Liquid. None of it. That stuff is crazy expensive. Thanks to the impulsive decision to grow some this summer, I got to spend some time tonight rolling and tearing up stevia leaves, and now I know how sweet it is!

I’m sure it would have done much better had I trimmed it back (it was three long legs by the end of summer), or if it hadn’t been trying to grow out from under tomato jungle…but I still call it a success.

We took a handful of cuttings to try to root (no harm in trying, right?) and harvested the leaves yesterday. We got about 2 cups of lightly packed leaves!

Because I’m most interested in replacing our tea sugar with stevia, I decided to go for something in liquid form, rather than powder or dried leaves. I found several how-to’s for alcohol based extract, but wasn’t sold on it due to the short shelf life (you reduce it after it’s “steeped”, subsequently cooking off some of the preserving alcohol), which turns out to be 3 months on the shelf. With it being made with vodka and leaves, I really wasn’t sure if it would freeze to store it that way, so I decided to go for the water based liquid and just freeze cubes (2tsp and 1T portions). It’s still a bit big on the portion size (you only need about 1/8 as much liquid stevia as you need sugar), but freezing 1/4tsp portions seemed a little crazy. Plus, we calculate to replace all sugar with stevia in 1 gallon of sweet tea, we’d used 4tsp. For things with very small uses, I froze about 1/4C in a tupperware and plan to just thaw it out once hot tea season is in full swing, and just grab a drop or two when needed.

I used these directions to make my stevia liquid. VERY easy.

Use 1C water for every 1/2C stevia leaves (I had 2C leaves, so I used 4C water), and bring it to a light simmer. Turn off the water and add the leaves (I abused my leaves some before putting them into the pot, just like I would fresh herbs).

Let it sit for 30-40 minutes, then strain through strainer and cheesecloth. From there, I portioned into my ice cube trays and froze.

I think we’ll be starting at half-half to make the switch…we’ll see if Mr. Indulgent will continue to indulge :)

Have you tried stevia? What’s your favorite way to use it?

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2 Responses to Homemade Stevia Liquid

  1. Chris Koher says:

    This stevia sounds really interesting to me. I just may have to try it next summer. Did you start out with seeds or seedlings? Where did you get them?

    • Stephanie says:

      I read that seed germination is kinda finicky, so I went with seedlings. I ordered one from Burpee with my seeds, but it got destroyed in shipping :( I picked another plant up at Prairie Gardens and it did really well with no maintenance (it was literally lost under/inside tomato jungle). We’re going to try to just keep them in the coldhouses this winter, but we may have to bring them inside if it gets really cold. In GA you will probably be able to keep them outside year round.

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