Liquid stevia extract is an incredibly easy and healthy sweetener to make at home. Homemade stevia sweetener is economical too - buying the processed version can get a bit costly if you tend to use it regularly. However, you can buy the leaves online (or grow your own), and process it yourself quite easily with or without a juicer.
I will provide two different methods for creating a homemade organic stevia extract that you can use to sweeten your recipes. This DIY recipe will save you a lot of money. Additionally, you are not using a processed product, or one that has additives mixed in. Stevia products can be highly processed, and some add ingredients such as maltodextrin that is not considered healthful.
The good news is this extract is incredibly simple to make. It is not quite as highly concentrated than the stevia drops I have used in the past, so you may find yourself using a bit more. However, it is still an economical way to use stevia.
Because unprocessed pure stevia is more healthful, and lower calorie, than sugar I tend to replace sugar in many recipes with stevia when possible. It can be used in condiments like ketchup, or even desserts such as vegan cheesecakes and tarts.
Growing your own stevia in the garden
You can grow your own stevia, which is an incredibly economical option if you have the time, climate, and space to do so. Dry and warm climates do well, however note that pests such as snails and slugs also love stevia! Mine was entirely eaten by the snails. Here are some notes regarding growing your own stevia from the experts:
For a nice overview on how to grow stevia, see this page on getting started growing stevia by stevia.net.
This page at stevia.com covers getting started, harvesting, and even container growing. Check out their resource here, and also this page from Mother Earth News (be sure to click through to pages 2 and 3 at the bottom).
If you are interested in growing stevia indoors (my slugs make me choose this method!), you can find out more information about growing stevia inside on this page.
Some of the products I used in this recipe
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