Stevia has ended up being very popular nowadays as a natural sweetener alternative to sugar and sweetening agents. There are lots of ways to utilize stevia as sweetener, and one of the most popular methods is using liquid stevia extracts. If you enjoy stevia sweeteners, I have fantastic news for you! You can quickly make your own homemade liquid stevia extract– and you can even utilize the stevia you grew in your garden.
Homemade liquid stevia extract.
Every time I publish an image of my stevia plant on social media, I get lots of questions about it. Most people would like to know how they can use the stuff they grew as a sweetener. But many people are really stunned that stevia comes from a plant. People are so utilized to seeing stevia in a white powder form, they’re shocked to see it’s actually a reality green plant.
WAIT, WHAT? STEVIA ORIGINATES FROM A PLANT?
Yes! Believe it or not, stevia is an herb plant that you can quickly grow in your garden. Considering that stevia has actually become so popular, it’s pretty simple to find stevia plants for sale in garden centers nowadays (for all you local peeps, I purchased my plant at Bachman’s). Stevia can also be grown from seed, so search for stevia plant seeds for sale while you’re out shopping too.
WHEN TO HARVEST YOUR STEVIA PLANT.
The very best time to harvest stevia plants is once they start to grow flowers. Stevia can be harvested much like you would harvest basil– by choosing the leaves from the plant. You can collect stevia leaves as you require them throughout the summertime, then gather the whole plant once it begins to flower or in late summertime or fall (be sure to harvest your stevia prior to frost).
You can use stevia leaves fresh from the garden to make your stevia extract, or you can dry the leaves first. You don’t require any elegant devices to dry stevia leaves, and they dry truly fast. Simply lay them out on an herb drying rack, or tie the stems together and hang them upside down up until they are dry. Naturally, you could always utilize a food dehydrator if you want to speed things up, however you don’t require to.
When the plants are dry, strip the leaves from the stem, and toss the stems into the compost bin. Do not try to utilize the stems to make stevia extract, because they aren’t sweet like the leaves, they are a lot more bitter (Yuck!).
HOMEMADE LIQUID STEVIA EXTRACT.
Liquid stevia extract is extremely simple to make, and you just require 2 active ingredients. Here’s my very basic recipe …
2 cups loosely loaded whole stevia leaves.
1 1/4 -1 1/2 cups of vodka * (adequate to cover the leaves).
* I suggest utilizing a high quality vodka due to the fact that it has no taste. You might explore other kinds of alcohol if you want (like rum or gin for example), however I’m not sure how it would impact the taste of your extract.
pint sized glass canning container with a lid.
canning funnel (optional).
glass dropper bottles.
Action 1: Loosely pack entire stevia leaves into the jar. You do not need to squash the leaves or jam them into the container, just loosely load them in.
Action 2: Put the alcohol into the container, using enough to cover the stevia leaves. You can add a little bit of alcohol at a time, and carefully tap the container on the counter in between pours. That will help the leaves settle and eliminate air bubbles, which will help you to evaluate just how much more alcohol you require to add to the jar.
Step 3: When you’ve added sufficient alcohol to cover the leaves, merely cover the jar with a cover and let is sit for 24-48 hours. Don’t let it sit longer than two days, or the stevia extract will begin to go from sweet to bitter. If you consider it, shake the container every as soon as and a while to assist launch a lot more of the sweet taste of the stevia leaves into the alcohol.
Step 4: Strain the overlooks of the alcohol.
At this moment you have a well sweetened instilled vodka. You can leave it as is (though technically you won’t have stevia extract) and utilize it to sweeten summer cocktails (like mojitos or hard lemonade), or you can advance with the next actions to turn it into stevia extract.
ACTIONS TO MAKE STEVIA EXTRACT.
Step 5: Pour your stevia infused vodka into a small pan.
Action 6: Simmer the liquid over low heat for 20-30 minutes to eliminate the alcohol. Do not bring the liquid to a boil, or it might eliminate the sweet taste.
Step 7: Permit your stevia extract to cool, and then use a small funnel to fill your glass dropper bottles.
Shop your homemade liquid stevia extract in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. If you chose to leave the alcohol infused, then you don’t need to cool it because the alcohol will maintain it.
UTILIZING HOMEMADE LIQUID STEVIA EXTRACT.
If you’ve never ever utilized liquid stevia extract as a sweetener previously, be careful due to the fact that a little goes a long method. Liquid stevia extract loads a BIG punch. If you’re utilizing it to sweeten your coffee, tea, or other drink, start with simply one drop. If it’s not sweet enough, then add one drop at a time to taste. If you want to use stevia extract in recipes to change sugar, I would suggest finding dishes that are written particularly for stevia, and not attempting to figure out the sugar/stevia portions yourself.