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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homemade Stevia Extract

In his book, Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford warns, "Obtain only the green or black (whole) stevia extracts or powders; avoid the clear extracts or white powders, which, highly refined and lacking essential phyto-nutrients, cause imbalance."




Stevia is a miracle of natural sweeteners. While it is 30-300 times as sweet as granulated cane sugar, it has NO calories and is safe for diabetics! If extracted correctly, there is very little to no aftertaste and it can be stored in your refrigerator for up to three months.

When choosing an herbal extract at the store, observe the color of the extract. Good quality extracts will be from green to almost black in color, and they will be packaged in dark-colored glass bottles. As mentioned above, do not buy refined stevia- clear extracts and white powder stevia have been refined. It is hard to tell the age of an extract, except by the expiration date on the bottle. For this reason, I like to make my own, fresh extracts!

I got a bag of dried, organic stevia from my favorite online herb store (http://www.bulkherbstore.com) a while back, and I meant to do something with it... why not now!?
For those of you who followed my other blog, you know that I have made extracts from medicinal herbs. They usually take 3 weeks to reach full extraction. Since I am only extracting the sweetness factor (and NOT the medicinal properties) of the stevia, it will take much less time! You will only need to dedicate about 2 days from start to finish.

What you will need:

clear alcohol (eg. rum, grain alcohol or vodka)
1 jar with a tight-fitting top
dried stevia herb
cloth or coffee filter
small-med. cooking pot



1. Fill your jar about 1/3 of the way with dried stevia. The size of the jar doesn't matter!

2. Fill your jar to within about 1"-2" from the top with whatever alcohol you have chosen.

3. Screw on the top and shake, then leave the jar on the counter in your kitchen.

4. Agitate the jar several times over a 48 hour period. Every time you walk by, give it a shake!

5. Filter your extract through a cloth or coffee filter into a cooking pot.

6. Bring your extract to a simmer for about 30 minutes. This will boil off the alcohol and condense the sweetener.

7. Store your extract in the refrigerator for up to 3 months!






My final product was almost black, with a green tint to it. Total time spent on this extract was: 43 hours on the counter + 25 minutes simmering, and it will last for 3 months stored in the fridge!

Be sure to test your extract to see how much you will need for coffee/tea. Start with small portions (use an eye dropper- you can find them in the pharmacy), as 1t stevia extract =1 cup granulated sugar in concentrated amounts!

2 comments:

  1. Awesome! Thanks for this post! I've been wanting to try this, so I am going to bookmark this for sure.

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  2. I love this idea! I use stevia extract but am not thrilled with how highly processed it is. What a great alternative to make it at home yourself to eliminate that problem. Thank you for sharing at Monday Mania this week! :)

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