Guess what I’m doing today?!
We finally have a bit of rain in Austin, and a nice break from the heat, so our fall garden is starting to flourish. And while checking it out last night, I noticed our stevia plant is starting to flower again, so I decided it’s time to take my first stab at making homemade liquid stevia.
If you haven’t yet discovered liquid stevia, I highly recommend it! I love the ease of the liquid form in lightly sweetening iced tea, coffee, smoothies and more. Basically anything liquid that normally a powdered sweetener would have trouble dissolving in, liquid stevia is perfect for.
And since this is my first go-around making liquid stevia, I’ve pulled a recipe together from a trusted homemade remedy book, and am sharing a video from Youtube that I found which gives excellent step by step instructions.
According to Stevia.com, stevia plants should be harvested before the first frost or as soon as blossoming begins, whichever comes first. Cut entire plants just above ground level. When growing Stevia as a perennial or for early harvests, clip the plants 6 inches from the ground so they will survive and re-grow (Shock, 1982). Harvest in the morning, after dew has evaporated.
How To Make Liquid Stevia Extract
- dried stevia leaves, chopped finely
- glass jar with a lid
If you harvest your stevia at home, start by washing your trimmings to remove any dirt. Remove the leaves from the stem, as the leaves are what contains the sweet-tasting glycosides. Let them dry in the sun or a dehydrator until crisp. Then, using a knife, chop your dried stevia leaves finely. Avoid powdering your leaves as the powder is hard to filter and creates a residue that settles at the bottom of your finished extract.
Place your crushed stevia leaves in a glass jar, then pour vodka over them to coat. I’m using vodka instead of water to extract the glycosides because I find I get a much sweeter result this way. Quick tip: opt for vodka over other liquors because it’s flavorless and cheap.
Next, put the lid on your jar, shake it up, and let it sit on your counter for 24-36 hours. Don’t let it sit for longer than 36 hours, or it will turn bitter. Store your liquid stevia in a colored glass tincture jar for up to 4 weeks.