Stevia Rebaudiana [Candyleaf]

It is a leafy plant native to Paraguay, where it’s been used for centuries, possibly millennia, as a sweetener.

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Botanical name: Stevia Rebaudiana

Common names: Candyleaf

Description

You can harvest your stevia plant to use as your own natural sweetener. While you can harvest the leaves and use them throughout the summer, they’re at their sweetest in autumn, just as they’re getting ready to flower. Pick the leaves (all of them if you’re treating it as an annual) and dry them by placing them on a clean cloth in the sun for an afternoon. Save the leaves whole or crush them into a powder in the food processor and store them in an airtight container.

A natural sweetener with essentially no calories, it’s popular with people interested in both weight loss and natural eating.

Stevia plant care is not too intensive — place it in loose, well-drained soil in full sun and water frequently but shallowly.

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