Thursday, October 9, 2014

Drying Stevia for a Natural Tea Sweetener

Stevia by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 2014-10-07_zps908c04c9.jpg

Drying Stevia for a Natural Tea Sweetener

Stevia is an amazingly sweet herb that is now being processed as a sugar substitute in such products as: "Truvia". 

The Stevia plant is very easy to grow and harvesting the leaves for use as a tea sweetener is just as simple as the growing process.

Before I go through the simple steps of dehydrating leaves for Winter Tea sweetening - I wanted to talk about the nutritional content of the Stevia leaf.
Stevia is non-caloric & is said to lower blood sugar because it decreases absorption of glucose in the gut.  Stevia is also full of antioxidants and might aid with heart conditions, water retention & even heartburn.  Stevia also contains many vitamins & minerals that are obviously not present in artificial sweeteners.  (remember - I am NOT a doctor and this is NOT medical advice - it is simply information from research that I did online - read my disclaimer at the end of this post). 

Stevia by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 005_zps058f1b3c.jpg
Begin by snipping each perfect leaf off of the stem (by perfect leaf I mean something has not been chewed by a squirrel or insect & a leaf that does not have a disease like blight).
Rinse the leaves & dry them (see picture above)
 After you have prepared the Stevia leaves simply spread them out on your dehydrating trays (see picture below)

Stevia by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 009_zps5d71ada5.jpg

Turn on your dehydrator at the manufacturers suggested setting until dehydrated (it took my Stevia leaves only about 7 hours before they were dry)  See picture below.

Stevia by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 012_zps93c8093c.jpg

Then, when you are steeping a pot of tea add a few crushed dried Stevia leaves & make sure you allow enough time for the tea to properly steep (to extract all of the delicious sweetness from the leaves).  Strain, serve & ENJOY

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo Day_zpsb50f87c9.jpg
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1 comment:

  1. I always use sugar in my tea, but never thought of using stevia leaves instead. I really have to try to get my hands on that plant!


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