- The powdered form of stevia comes from the stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana). There are potted stevia plants already sold by commercial gardeners. In fact, my sister-in-law was able to buy one in Greenhills last December for only Php 50/pot.
- The stevia plant originated in Paraguay but our local farmers, particularly in Cavite, Antipolo, and Quezon, have started to cultivate stevia in small nurseries and farms.
- The leaves of the stevia plant has glycosides which explains its sweetness. I tried tasting a raw stevia leaf and it does taste sweet. Saccharine, actually, but I was told that it's safe for me because it has no calories.
- You can make your own stevia extract at home. Pick some leaves, wash, dry and pound them, then mix with purified water. Then just use a medicine dropper to add the sweet stevia water to your coffee or tea. You can also use alcohol (scotch or vodka) to soak your leaves in. You can find the steps HERE.
- Stevia sweetener can be used in cooking and baking. But since its 10 to 15 times sweeter than table sugar, you would have to do some experimenting in adjusting your recipes. (You can find a conversion chart HERE and HERE.) Also, keep in mind that your extract may have a tea-like or greenish color that can also affect the color of what you're cooking or baking.
I hope I have covered more info about stevia this time around and that it has encouraged you to also use stevia.
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