This year, I found a stevia plant at the garden center and thought hmmm… that would be fun to grow! I wasn’t really sure what I would do with it but figured I would try to make it grow and go from there. So, when it grew a little bigger, I snipped off a leaf to see what it tasted like. I knew that stevia was used as a sweetener but, WOW! was I surprised when the leaf tasted like sugar – super sweet which was kind of strange because it’s a green leaf which I just don’t think of as sweet. The kids all tried it and soon were telling their friends about it. Every time a new friend came over, they had to try the stevia. All had the same surprised reaction. If nothing else, this plant was FUN!
The plant started growing kind of leggy, like it is in the picture above and I figured like most herbs, it needed a trim. So I clipped off a lot of leaves and was trying to figure out what to do with them. I was making iced green tea, which I love and the kids do not, unless I put sugar in it, which in my mind kind of defeats the purpose of trying to drink healthy, green tea. So, I thought, what if I made tea and added some stevia leaves – would it be sweet? Well, the first time, I added a few leaves and only noticed a hint of sweetness. The next try, I put all the leaves that I had clipped into the tea to brew – SUCCESS! Stevia sweet iced tea was delicious, and sweet!
- 3 quarts of water
- 3 large black tea bags (for making iced tea) or 6 small size (you can also use green tea instead)
- ½ cup chopped stevia leaves (no stems, just leaves)
- Boil the water in a large stock pot.
- Once boiling, turn off the heat and add the tea bags and stevia leaves.
- If using black tea, let tea bags steep for 3 minutes, then remove the tea bags only. If using green tea, leave the bags in for at least 20 minutes ( I leave them in for a few hours along with the stevia).
- Let the stevia leaves steep in the tea for a few hours, then strain the tea into a pitcher and refrigerate.