Monday, April 14, 2014

Make Your Own Stevia Extract

When I found out I had candida and a cane sugar allergy, my life changed significantly. I had always been leery of stevia and found out that it was the most recommended sweetener for people with candida. So I started doing some research.

Basically, stevia in it's true form is great. It is from a plant (one that you can grow in your home or garden). And, like most other foods available in stores today, when it is mass and commercially produced it gets bad. It is near impossible to buy stevia in the store that has not been chemically treated, enhanced or altered. Once stevia is turned into powder it starts to get a metallic taste the longer it sits. Liquid stevia has also been given additives to help with the metallic taste and to make it more shelf stable. Holistic Squid has some great info here that you can check out if you want more details. I decided to make my own liquid stevia extract so that I knew exactly what was in it.

It started with a trip to Pike's Market in downtown Seattle for some Organic Dried Stevia Leaves from Vital-Tea Company. Then a trip to Whole Foods to find some vodka that was made from potatoes and not grain (so it was gluten free)

Got my vodka and dried stevia leaves. 
I only paid $5 for the whole bag of leaves!

I poured 4 ounces of vodka into a clear Mason jar. 

Then add enough dried stevia leaves so that they are just barely covered by the vodka

Put a lid on it and let it sit for exactly 24 hours. The vodka had turned green and looks noticeably different than it did when we started. 

After 24 hours strain out the stevia leaves from the vodka. You can use cheesecloth, or an old piece of a t-shirt to get it strained. 
Cook it in a stainless steel pot over low heat for 20 minutes. Do NOT boil it! The cooking at low heat is to remove the alcohol from it. 

Here I am with about 3 ounces of liquid stevia extract after it has cooked and cooled. 

I funneled mine into a glass dropper bottle. 
It will keep in your refrigerator for about 90 days. If you don't use it a whole lot then be sure and date it or mark your calendar so you know when you need to make a new batch. 

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