Name:
*Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)

Description:
*a perennial in subtropic regions, but an annual everywhere else
*this plant is gaining popularity because it is at least 300 times sweeter than sugar, but has zero(!) calories and does not promote tooth decay

Parts Used:
*aerial parts, fresh or dried

Position:
*full sun to partial shade
*do not let the soil dry out (give it deep mulch and/or good compost)

Propagation:
*propagates best by cuttings: use a liquid rooting hormone, have a night temp. of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and a day temperature of around 90 degrees Fahrenheit to encourage rooting
*you can also propagate by seed: keep the seeds moist and warm; there is only a 30% chance of germination
*move all plantlings outside only after the weather is VERY warm

Maintenance:
*moderate to heavy amounts of water necessary
*bring the plants indoors if possible before frost (and reduce watering and cut the plants back to 4 inches above soil)
*ideal for growing in a container so that you can protect it from cold weather and frost

Harvesting:
*pick leaves to use fresh as required from spring to late summer
*dry earlier in the summer if possible

Medicinal:
*an herbal sweetener, it is great for the treatment of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.

STEVIA CHALLENGE:
*Stevia is gaining popularity in America right now, and I thought it would be a healthy thing to gather recipes that use Stevia for everyone’s use. Once my stevia is dry, I am going to start experimenting with ratios of dried stevia in my recipes, especially in cookies and other baked goods. How wonderful would it be if we could eat cookies with less guilt about calories than normal?

I would love to have help experimenting and making recipes that use Stevia. If you come up with any, please add to this blog’s comment area, or email me. I promise to make your recipe and if I like it, I will add it to this blog and I promise to mention who came up with it. Help me out with my quest in trying to make America healthy!

 

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