We know that refined sugar is not an ideal food for us…
Is there anything we can use instead?
Honey and maple syrup come to mind first. They are so delicious and far better choices than refined sugars like corn syrup!
And yet, for those of us who need to keep our blood sugar stable or who are watching our weight, they are a far cry from low-glycemic.
Thankfully, whole-herb stevia extract is a natural sweetener that won’t impact blood glucose levels!
Choose Stevia Products Carefully
Even a natural food like stevia can fall prey to modern methods of food production. Namely, taking good things out and adding cheap, unhealthy fillers and chemicals in their place!
A whole host of stevia brands include unnecessary ingredients like maltodextrin. If maltodextrin comes first on the ingredients list, you’re essentially getting maltodextrin with a touch of stevia. Not very natural, is it?
Maltodextrin also ranks higher on the glycemic index, so it can actually spike blood sugar. Then, why is it added to a sugar-free product?
It’s a cheap, corn-based filler that enables less stevia to be used.
My son is very sensitive to food additives, and maltodextrin sends him out to orbit Pluto!
But, Isn’t Stevia Bitter?
It can be… But what if I told you that you can make your own liquid stevia concentrate that isn’t bitter? Yes, there’s a simple and effective remedy to the bitterness that many people taste when they consume stevia!
If you grow your own stevia, this water-fermented stevia extract is an incredibly economical way to enjoy natural, sugar-free sweetness, too.
DIY Whole-Herb Stevia Extract
- 3/4 cup cut dried stevia herb
- 3 cups pure water
Heat water to just under boiling.
Add dried stevia to a quart-sized Mason jar.
Pour water over stevia, stirring to make sure all the herb is covered.
Cover the jar with a cloth and leave out on the counter for 2 to 3 hours, then refrigerate for the remaining 45 to 46 hours.
Strain and store in the refrigerator.
Use The Whole Stevia Herb
The whole stevia herb makes a dark, tea-like concentrate with an herbal, almost green flavor. I love it for sweetening iced or hot tea. I tried it in a smoothie once, and although delicious, I prefer the milder flavor of the stevia powder concentrate. If you grow your own stevia, this is more economical than using the powder, however.
4 Tips For Using & Enjoying Your DIY Whole-Herb Stevia Extract
As with any new sweetener, you may have to experiment a little to get the taste and sweetness you most enjoy. Keep in mind these few tips and you’ll soon be good to go!
#1 — Start Small
Water-fermented stevia is very concentrated, so start small and add more if necessary. Too much is still too much! While way less bitter than most conventional stevia products, it can still be strong.
#2 — Use More Of The Whole Herb Concentrate
Compared with other stevia products, I need to use a bit more of this whole herb extract to obtain the sweetness I desire.
You can also increase the amount of whole herb when making your water-fermented stevia extract to offset this difference.
#3 — It Has A Watery Consistency
Depending on what you want to sweeten, the additional liquid may make the end result too thin. Adjust as necessary!
#4 — Ideas To Enjoy Whole-Herb Stevia Extract
In addition to sweetening your morning tea or smoothies, try using stevia in…
- homemade popsicles
- yogurt or yogurt pops
- muffins and sweet breads
- cake frosting
- fruit sauces
- homemade “jello”
- anything Trim Healthy Mama!
Have you tried making your own stevia extract? What’s your favorite way to use it?
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Carolyn Manns says
Where does the fermentation come in? I don’t see where it was fermented.
Carolyn Manns says
Where does the fermentation come in? I don’t see where it was fermented. Thanks.
Joy M says
Please be careful buying the particular stevia powder from the link.
Please read through the questions especially “I am having trouble finding any information about this product and the company, very concerning. Can you provide this information? ” The customer answers to this question are… interesting.
Also people are expressing concern whether there are ingredients not disclosed. For instance a person mentioned getting rashes like she’s experienced from her corn allergy every time she tries it.
Another who has used stevia for years experienced “nausea, light headedness (similar to a blood sugar reaction)”
The answer to where it is made is “Our Stevia Powder is manufactured, processed and packaged in the USA. The raw material is from China.”
I am growing stevia. What is the best way to dry it?
This looks steeped, but how is it in any way fermented?
I grow my own stevia. I dried the leaves in dehydrator and use blender to make powder. It keeps for a very long time. I wonder, however, how the stevia (which is green) gets to be a white powder??? Is it “bleached?” I won’t even consider using it if it is bleached. I am diabetic so I am cautious (most times) to what I am eating and what it contains.
I see a lot of people who are really, really serious about what they are eating say they use stevia liquids (flavored). I am sure that these liquids – all companies and varieties – are not “pure.” They are processed after all! So if you can, please comment on how the powder gets from green to white and what chemical is added to it as well. I am leary about purchasing something that grows in the ground so easily and is so sweet when it becomes a PROCESSED product. Thanks in advance for your reply!!!!!
anita cogburn says
I grow and dry my own too, and blend it in a little herb blender. But it is still a little grainy when I put it in a drink like tea. Have you figured a way to get it to dissolve and not have the grainy texture. I’ve also wondered about what they do to make it white – must be bleach. Maybe you’ll get an answer.
I realize this is an old post but I’m just now reading it. I add the powdered stevia leaf when I am making my tea and let it steep with the tea. That works very well. I usually don’t make iced tea just hot tea so I usually only make a couple cups at a time. I use just a pinch of the powdered steva leaf.
Christina Diggles says
I believe they make it white by mixing a liquid extract with white fillers, but you would have to examine the ingredients of your brand.
This looks very interesting! I’ve always bought my own stevia and never really thought to look at the ingredients.. I just assumed it was stevia and that is what I was getting! Unfortunately I think it is far too common for people to look over things as important as what ingredients their products may be being cut with as fillers. Thank you for sharing this!
This looks like something that could even be sped up in the Instant Pot. I have made my vanilla extract in the IP, manual for X minutes, already in a mason jar with vodka and cut vanilla beans and water under the trivet. Perhaps a similar method could be used for the stevia.
Christina Diggles says
How long will this homemade concentrate keep in the refrigerator? Can it be frozen?
Galen Rogerson says
Most stevia extracts (the white powder), are highly processed with chemicals and do not resemble nature in any way. There is always a transfer when two substances combine, science has shown this over and over again. We cannot take synthetic harmful chemicals to purify/concentrate our plants, and not expect to consume the harmful chemicals.The reason why many have reactions to the stevia extract is due to chemical contamination and our bodies simply respond better to what nature desinged. Isolation is not the key to health, full-spectrum plant medicine is!
I heat 1 cup h2o to 160f , steep 2g stevia leaf (not ground fine) for 3 minutes strain.
I reuse the stevia leaf multiple times for obtaining a “sweet” flavor. Works great for a variety of drinks, baked goods, and bodycare products.
Take care y’all