Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 13 Stevia

Welcome back to our farm.  I missed being with you yesterday.  Just got busy, I guess.  Husband wasn't feeling good, and I helped him out with chores more than usual.  Sorry about that!

Today's post will be short.  I wanted to tell you about my quest to have natural sweeteners at a more affordable price.  This year I have cut our use of white sugar in half.  My husband is diabetic.  So he really needs to watch what he eats. 

The thing that we use sugar in the most, is sweet tea.  We have gone from 2 cups of sugar in a gallon of tea, to 1 cup.  But I still wanted to do more to help my husband watch his health.  I decided to try some of the natural sweeteners.  We like Stevia.  I use probably a fourth a cup of Stevia and a half cup of sugar.  That works well for us.  I have also tried Zylitol.  It measures the same at sugar, so we use a half cup of each.

I saw Stevia plants at the coop this spring.  I was fascinated with them, and bought two.  I went home and read about what to do with the plants, and how to harvest them.  After I read how easy it was, I went back and bought the rest of the plants the store had, about eight total.  I called around the area, but no one else had gotten any in.

What you do is just let the plant grow.  When the first frost is about to appear, you pull up the whole plant, and hang it up to dry.  When the leaves are dry, you crumble them up, and you have your stevia.  You can use a dehydrator during this process if you like.

Today I thought about our plants and went outside and picked some leaves.  I chewed one, and couldn't believe how sweet it was.  I think this will work great!  I got my family to try them, and they were surprised, too!  One of the plants is flowering, so I think I will try to get some seeds for next year.

I also tried to plant some sugar beets, which can be used for sugar replacement, but they didn't do so well. 

I will definitely try this again.


  1. I love stevia, we have used it for years.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Howard. I hope you visit us again, soon. We are liking it too, just not the price so much.

  2. I am not really sure what you are using because I used 1/4 tsp of pure stevia in a gallon of lemonade and people complained it was too sweet.

    Today, I had to go to the doctor in another town, a larger town. All they had in the best grocery was stuff like Truvia and two other products, all three of which had sugar and stevia. Somewhere here, I have a package of stevia that cost me $7. If I used a fourth of a cup of stevia, I could only make about two gallons of tea. That would be way too expensive for me, healthful or not!

    I want to raise stevia, also! But, if you pull the plants up, do you have to buy more plants next year?

    Will you share what brand you use? Thanks. How can a person lose something so large in a cabinet?

    1. Practical Parsimony,

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you come back to see us soon. It is hard for me to find Stevia, also. I believe that what I bought was Stevia in the Raw. I don't have any at the present time. My daughter works at a grocery, and got store brand zyletol on clearance for less that a dollar a bag, and she got all they had about 8 bags! We have been using that up. I plan to buy some more next month. But now I read the reviews for Stevia in the Raw, and find that it is not really as it sounds and has additives. That is the only brand carried at our local store. I have not ordered from a health food store before, because I'm unsure what type to order. Seems like there are many choices!

      Probably my measurement is off. I believe I had more like an 1/8 of a cup. I just eyeballed it. It is about $9 for less than 10 ounces here. That is high, but I want to use a natural product.

      I have not really done the raising part, before this year. So I only know what I read. But yes, it sounds like you would need to buy new plants next year. Currently, my plants have started to flower, so I am going to attempt to harvest seeds and grow my own. Also, I forgot, but most of my plants are in pots, so I think I will not harvest all of them yet, just move the whole thing to the greenhouse and see how this goes.

      I look forward to seeing you again! I'm pretty new to this, and really should think out what I write instead of just spewing it out. If you have questions, let me know. Honey