Have you seen the Stevia plant on our produce and wondered to yourself “Oh, so that’s what the granulated sugar substitute comes from?” Well, you are not alone!
What is Stevia?
The number one thing you need to remember is that Stevia is a plant, commonly known as candyleaf, sweetleaf, or sugarleaf. Stevia is a known sugar substitute approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is commonly used to sweeten foods, drinks, medicines, vitamins, and more. The stevia leaves are 30 times sweeter than sugar cane in the unprocessed form. Stevia can be used just like sugar, with a bit of conversion, 3/4 teaspoon of stevia powder is equal to 2 teaspoons of sugar. It is a small, typically seasonal, plant. We say typically seasonal because our Redifarms farmers can grow Stevia all year long with our hydroponic technology.
Bought it! Now What?
The biggest question we get in the Farm Stand is, “Stevia? What do you do with it?” We are so glad you asked, we would love to share our stevia experience with you! Stevia is versatile, which surprises most people, being that most people only ever see it in a packet at a diner or restaurant.
Once you have purchased your stevia from our Farm Stand, here are three ways of enjoying the produce to the best of its abilities:
- Powdered: After washing and taking the leaves off the stems, you can place the leaves on a cookie tray, and dehydrate them in the oven at a low and slow 250 until they are dried out. Then you can place the leaves in a food processor or spice grinder and pulse them until a fine powder is formed. This can be used in place of sugar wherever it may be used.
- Fresh: You can use the fresh Stevia leaves to sweeten loose leaf tea, simply break the fresh leaves down to the size of your tea mix and add in. Steep to your liking and you will find that the sweetness in the leaves mixes in with the tea for a balanced sweetness with no added calories.
- Simple Syrup: Steep 1 cup of broken-up leaves or 1 cup of stevia powdered leaves into 4 cups of boiling water until the powder is dissolved or if steeping the leaves, about 10 minutes for the leaves to give all their sweetness. Once dissolved, remove from heat, and let cool. Strain, if you are using the steeping method, and place into a storage container. This syrup should last about one week in the fridge.