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prepare stevia herb using stevia leaves
stevia work out well for you? Then making your own stevia herb is easy
if you're using the stevia leaves correctly! After drying stevia and
crunching the dried leaves, the herb is ready for you to sprinkle on
your favorite food! Sounds
drying, fully-grown stevia leaves are about two inches long and three
quarters of an inch wide. They have blunt lobs and are covered in a
fine white down. When chewing on a freshly cut leaf, the sweet taste of
the stevia herb immediately becomes apparent.
To start, cut the leaves off the stevia plant by their stems. You can
do this all year round, but for the fullest possible taste, a September
harvest is generally recommended. Cut the plant all the way down to
leave only a small part
of the stems just above ground sticking out, allowing the
stevia plant to grow back!
Once you have the leaves, if you want to save some time, you can dry
them using your basic kitchen oven: 20 minutes on 140°F (60°C) should
do the trick. There's no need to try and rush it, since temperature is
of secondary importance
when drying stevia leaves! One or two hours in a dehydrator on 100°F
(40°C) might be better. Dehydrators are expensive, but if you have one
in your kitchen already, that will get the job done just fine. But the
absolute best (and natural) way to dry your stevia leaves is by using sunlight...
you're looking to make liquid stevia
extract, however, it's better to use fresh stevia leaves...
more sunlight the plant is exposed to, the sweeter the taste will be!
Granted, this process takes more time, but if you're patient, it will
pay off in the end. Simply place the leaves in direct sunlight,
sure they are exposed to a sufficient amount of air flow, and they
should be dry in less than a day. If you live in a somewhat colder
climate, you can set the leaves to dry in a dry but airy room, and they
will be fully dried after a few days.
Don't dry the leaves for too long,
because the longer you dry
them, the more
of their sweet taste they will lose, and the more the stevioside levels
will decrease! So how can you tell when the leaves are sufficiently
dry? Human judgement reigns: depending on the drying method you're
using, check the leaves every so often by gently rubbing them between
your fingers. If they feel completely dry, and the stems break off
easily, they are ready to go!
When the leaves are dry,
remove the stems because they do not
contain the sweetness. Leaves
only, people! Then simply grind the dried
stevia leaves as small as you can using either your hands, or - if you
want to avoid a sticky mess - mortar and pestle or a simple spice mill.
You could even use a coffee grinder. Hmm, can you smell that sweetness
already as you're pulverizing the leaves into delicious stevia herb?
can now either use the fresh herb right away to sweeten the best stevia
recipes, or you can store it in an airtight container in your
rack for later use. The shelf
life is excellent: stevia herb won't ferment
or mould and can be stored for many years if so desired.
want to go through the trouble of drying your own stevia leaves? There
are plenty of options of acquiring some stevia
It's perfect for sweetening both your dishes and your beverages.
to Growing stevia