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Old 03-31-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
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How to use fresh Stevia?

My favorite vendor at the local Farmers Market just started selling fresh Stevia by the bag. I'm assuming this is a bag of Stevia leaves. I use Stevia powder extract in my coffee. Would the leaves be something I might want to try in my coffee? How would I do that? Just wondering if anyone else uses the leaves?
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:53 AM   #2
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you can make an extract of the leaves using alcohol but I just drop a leaf or two into tea or a shake, just like you would with mint or lemon balm.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:55 AM   #3
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you can make an extract of the leaves using alcohol but I just drop a leaf or two into tea or a shake, just like you would with mint or lemon balm.
Thanks. I think I'll get a bag tomorrow & try it out.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:12 PM   #4
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May I ask what they're charging for the dried leaves? I've been thinking of growing some for our market this summer but I have no guidelines for pricing it.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by katie in progress View Post
May I ask what they're charging for the dried leaves? I've been thinking of growing some for our market this summer but I have no guidelines for pricing it.
The leaves are not dried & they charged $2 for a small bag. I think it is too much but if they were dried I would buy again. As it is I really would need to dry the leaves myself to get the best use of them as the drying process makes it sweeter so I will most likely not buy it again.
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:29 PM   #6
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Thank you, DiamondDeb, that's helpful. last year I tried selling plants, but it's the wrong kind of market for that; I'm thinking I'd do better selling the leaves.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:55 PM   #7
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The fresh leaves crumbled in my coffee were 100% useless. Lesson learned. I made an emergency run to Vitamin Shoppe for Stevia Powder extract this evening.

I'll see if drying the leaves helps.

Last edited by DiamondDeb; 04-04-2011 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:23 PM   #8
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From a pdf file I had when I was thinking about growing stevia plants, this is how to dry them. Hope this helps! Once all your leaves have been harvested you will need to dry them. This can be accomplished on a screen or net. The drying process is not one that requires excessive heat; more important is good air circulation. On a moderately warm fall day, your stevia crop can be quick dried in the full sun in about 12 hours. (Drying times longer than that will lower the stevioside content of the final product.) A home dehydrator can also be used, although sun drying is the preferred method.

Crushing the dried leaves is the final step in releasing stevia’s sweetening power. This can be done either by hand or, for greater effect, in a coffee grinder or in a special blender for herbs. You can also make your own liquid stevia extract by adding a cup of warm water to 1/4 cup of fresh, finely-crushed stevia leaves. This mixture should set for 24 hours and then be refrigerated.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:08 PM   #9
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Thanks for posting, DiannaLynn. That matches my experience drying the leaves - I just did it on the countertop on days that weren't humid. I didn't do such a great job with the crushing, though. And I learned that individual stevia plants can differ in their sweetness, which is why you need to buy propagated starts for a consistent product (or grow a lot and cull some as you taste them). I grew mine from seed, and they really were all over the place taste-wise. I guess there hasn't been significant interest in stevia long enough, from the plant breeders' perspective, to select the best seed and cultivate a consistent strain.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
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I just bought 2 Stevia seedlings. It gets super hot here, so I planted one in the garden to see how it does (basil and cilantro go to seed by June) and one in a pot so I can bring it indoors when it gets hot. I tasted a leaf, and it was nicely sweet and not bitter at all. I chewed one with a mint leaf as well and it was really yummy. Once the plants get bigger I am going to try drying the leaves and making my own liquid.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:17 PM   #11
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Aedikins, if you cut your basil way back right around the time it wants to go to seed and give it a good soak, you might get a good regrowth. You can cut back to about 6" from the ground, just leave a few leaves on.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:17 PM   #12
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I will try that!
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:54 AM   #13
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Maybe selling stevia at local markets could be helped if you had little pre-printed cards with directions!
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:04 PM   #14
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I have a stevia plant- but my daughter (7) just picks and eats the leaves- she loves them
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:43 AM   #15
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I wonder if the stevia leaves could be frozen like I have done with other fresh herbs?

Maybe one of you can tell me if the liquid stevia loses its sweetness after 4 years or so, or is it my taste buds?
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:30 AM   #16
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chop up the fresh leaves in salads!

I found stevia plants at Lowes of all places. I took it home, planted it and it is flourishing! The other day I made cole slaw which I use to put a little AS in but I went out on my back deck, cut off 3 stevia leaves, minced them fine and used them instead and it tasted Great!!

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Old 06-13-2011, 06:56 AM   #17
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Hi!

I tossed a couple of fresh stevia leaves into my organic chocolate mint cold infusion. I did not dry or crush the stevia, just put them in with the mint. Very nice Of course, it would be to taste.

Mint cold infusion1.jpg
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