I grow it during the summer months. Then i pull the leaves and dehydrate them and put them in a coffee grinder to make into a powder. Truthfully, you only need 1/8 of tsp to sweeten. anything over that will give a bitter aftertaste. I also love it. a pinch in my raw chocolate and it is great.
you can google green stevia powder and buy it. One of the sites I looked at has 4OZ for 4.25. 4oz can last years.
You might also like to try SweetLeaf brand. It is processed with water, not chemicals, and is blended with inulin, a non-digestible fiber, and doesn't seem to have the aftertaste that other blends do. Seems to function as a mild appetite suppresant as well (the inulin I mean). Use it in small doses, though; your instestinal flora CAN digest the fiber in inulin. I'll leave the rest to your imagination....
Fitness Minutes: (17,714)
434 3/5/13 8:22 A
Appreciate the information contained in the previous posts about Stevia. Didn't realize the powder packets are not the way to go in using Stevia.... Thanks to all who took the time to post. Curious though, for those of you growing it, how will you use it?
Adore stevia! I have been using it for ten years! Yes, ten years!! When it was called a food not a sweetener. I adore it, have never experienced any adverse affects what-so-ever and it's curbed my sweets tooth because well, it is sweet! ha ha. I definitely recommend it - but you need to get STEVIA EXTRACT 100% - no dextrose or fillers added.
Fitness Minutes: (4,677)
3/4/13 10:28 A
no. Staying away from sugar 99% of the time. I used to crave sweet rolls...backed off from them altogether.
I have been using Stevia since 2005. When they approved it for a sweetener instead of a food additive, they came out with the Truvia and such. I couldn't understand when they said it could be used in the same ration as you would use sugar, so I started looking at the ingredients. Truvia and most of those products are mostly Erithritol and some are Dextrose for the first ingredient. The erithritol is a sugar alcohol, I believe, and probably why many people are not finding the "stevia" sweet enough. There are some stevia products at health food stores that have fiber in them, too, which would make them less sweet. The Sweet Leaf liquid, which is the one I get, is really sweet. When it would take me a couple packets of sugar to sweeten a cup of tea in the past, it takes about 5 drops of the stevia.
I have been trying to find the best of the crystal/powder stevia that could be used in cooking/baking (combined with part sugar if necessary). They used to have one that was a sugar-stevia combo that was great for baking, but they went out of business.
Fitness Minutes: (41,238)
2,702 3/1/13 12:37 P
OMG, I'm so glad you posted this! I had an unexplainable rash back around Thanksgiving. It lasted for weeks. It would stop and then start again and I had no idea what was causing it. Doc put me on all kinds of horrendous drugs to fight it off, but it kept coming back.
Then I recently discovered that some Crystal Light's drinks use stevia instead of splenda now. (Not all, but some.) I was drinking LOT of crystal light then. I wonder if that was the issue? If it comes back, now I know what to check. Thanks!
For those who find it not sweet enough-try getting Sweet Leaf brand stevia instead of Truvia. It mixes better. I can use one packet of Sweet Leaf for an entire pot of coffee.
Very interesting. I had a small bowl of tart berries, and I poured two Stevia packets over them and mixed them up and expected it to taste....well, like sugar. No such luck. It's taken me some time to learn to like it, but I put it in my oatmeal now and it's okay, and I need to avoid simple sugars, so it works for me. Never knew it was related to ragweed, but it is a plant, so..... makes sense.
Also, let me point out that saccharin is NOT carcinogenic in humans. It can cause a type of cancer in male rats because of a weird combination of high urine pH and some prostate hormone that combine to form crystals which cause tears in the lining of the bladder, and then the rat body overproduces cells to repair the tears, and the extra cells become cancerous. Humans don't have the high urine pH, NOR the prostate hormone, NOR the type of cells that overproduced. Humans can't get that type of cancer no matter what they eat or drink. Saccharin only causes rat cancer.
I grew stevia also but never figured out how to use it. The plant is similar to ragweed now that you mention it. I use Truvia occasionally but also use organic less processed sugar. The brand is Florida Crystals. I don't have a problem with real cane sugar. 1 tsp is 15 calories. What I do have a problen with is what they refer to "sugar" in processed foods usually corn.
Personally I think you have to use twice as much of stevia to get the sweetness and at the high price it is at , it is not a good value. I'm still hunting for a safe, affordable tasty sweetener.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
143 2/28/13 5:27 P
Stevia is related to the daisy and mum family as with ragweed so anyone sensitive/allergic to those plants should avoid it. Otherwise, I have heard of no other problems since it is not artificial. If it can be used safely, sure why not! Sugar is found in many plants such as cane sugar and beet sugar and even corn, than contain about 10 calories per serving. I wish a same type of calorie free Fat could be found for cooking, frying, baking!
Fitness Minutes: (14,921)
9,705 2/28/13 4:54 P
Stevia isn't an artificial sweetener. :) It IS highly processed in its Truvia form, but it's not an artificial sweetener like aspartame or splenda.
I've got some growing on my back porch! Until they are ready, I'm using Stevia in the Raw (fewest ingredients of the stuff I can get in the grocery store.) I love it! I don't like artificial sweeteners at all, and am trying to cut down on the number of ingredients in my foods.
But yes, if you have an allergy to that family of plants, I can see how it would have a reaction! Pays to know what's in your food. ;)
Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 2/28/2013 (17:09)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
2/28/13 4:19 P
I checked all of them out and I am sticking to sweet and low. Vicky
I have reactions to all artificial sweetners except the carcenogenic saccharin. On special occasions I use honey otherwise I just skip the sugar or sweetner. Blackstrap molasses has some nutrients in it if you can tolerate the strong taste.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
143 2/28/13 2:17 P
I recently began using Stevia as a sweetener,taste ok but not really sweet. After about a week my mouth began itching and a I got a itchy rash. I shrugged it off, I did go to the dentist and switched brands of soap so thought that was the cause. After a couple of weeks it wasn't going away so I made a doctors appointment. I mentioned the dentist and soap, but somehow after we began talking about losing weight, I mentioned I was using Stevia..He smiled and said thats it! Stop using it! I have a Ragweed allergy and he told me Stevia can have the same effects in people with Ragweed and other plant allergies! Who'd have thought! After a few days without using it, I was much better! So telling those with plant allergies to be careful. Stevia is a wonderful product, but not for all of us.
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