Monday

Growing Stevia

I bought a stevia plant last year and managed to overwinter it in the house. It's a little bedraggled for the stay, but I think it will live. (The picture is of last year's growth.)

I didn't get a good harvest last year because I was afraid of it! Not the plant itself, but I was afraid that if I cut too much of it, it would die. Wrong. I was supposed to cut it back a lot more than I did. I have to remember to read up on these different plants before trying to actually grow them.

Anyway, I did dry some of it and found that in its "raw" stage, it's a lot different from the white stevia powder bought from the store. For one thing, it's not as strong and for another, it works best if you steep it the same as you would tea. As I like it in hot tea, I finally figured out that I can steep it in the tea at the same time.

It takes some getting used to because, while it's very sweet, it doesn't taste like sugar. It's kind of funny that I never noticed that sugar has a taste until I tried stevia, but if you try a soft drink that's sweetened with sugar and then one with HFCS, the difference is obvious. It's like that with stevia - a lot lighter than sugar and a whole lot better than HFCS. Better for us, too, by far.

I might have to get another plant because this year I want to really harvest it!

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