Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm growing stevia

I'm experimenting with growing my own stevia this summer.  I use some artificial sweeteners as they help keep my blood sugar stable.  The cheapest ones in the store are so chemically, and bad for us. Stevia and agave (the better sweeteners and they're natural) are a tad expensive.  So I picked up a stevia plant at the garden center at Home Depot.  My plan is to pinch back the leaves several times this summer, dry them and run them through my coffee grinder (which is never even used for coffee -- see this post in the archives  Coffee grinders: good for more than just coffee ).

I'll keep you posted how this experiment unfolds. Anyone have any experience growing stevia, or ideas on how to make the leaves into something useable in fall and winter? (sending out an S.O.S.) Please comment if you do.

Update 6/14 -- I pinched off the top several leaves on each branch to dehydrate yesterday. Stevia is like other herbs, you have the best flavor before it blooms. I'm growing the stevia in a pot on our deck, where it will be a bit warmer. For the most part, stevia is an annual. It will come back in only the warmest regions of the US (like so. Cal, and Florida). I'm going to move my pot indoors this fall and see if it can over winter that way.

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