Stevia is a lovely aromatic plant and a great alternative to sugar.
In summary, what you need to know:
Last name : Stevia rebaudiana
Family : Asteraceae
Type : Perennial
Flowering : Summer
Foliage : Persistent
Height : 5 to 10 cm
Exposure : Sunny
Ground : Ordinary
Today it can be found in the composition of certain cosmetics and even certain drugs to give them flavor.
To cultivate indoors or outdoors, it is best associated with aromatic plants.
Cultivation of stevia
Stevia rebaudiana is a tropical plant which needs, in the ground as in pots, an environment close to its natural environment, humidity and heat.
Easy to grow and maintain, its leaves are therefore used for their great sweetening power and low calorie intake.
Growing stevia in the ground:
First of all, know that stevia is not resistant to temperatures below 5 ° and therefore only thrives in relatively warm countries.
In oceanic or mediterranean region we can try to grow stevia at the risk of seeing a few negative temperatures cause the plant to wither.
> We therefore cultivate this stevia plant in the ground in our latitudes as an annual.
> Choose a rather sunny location.
> Water regularly in case of drought and hot weather.
Cultivation of stevia in pots:
It is recommended in our climates to grow stevia in pots in order to protect it from cold and frost in winter.
- Choose a container of sufficient size
- Place a bed of gravel or clay balls at the bottom to facilitate drainage
- Plant your stevia in good soil
- Water as soon as the soil is dry
The advantage of growing stevia in pots is that you can go home at the first cold
- Keep your stevia plant in a bright place
- Reduce watering in winter if the room is cooler
Caring for stevia in winter
If you have chosen to cultivate your stevia outdoors, the foliage may wither from the first cold.
- Then completely cut all the foliage of the stevia
- Protect the foot with a good mulch of dried leaves, hoping that it does not freeze
Multiplication of stevia
It is very easy to propagate stevia, whether by cuttings, layering or by seed.
- Sowing is done just after harvesting the seeds at a temperature of around 20 °
- The cuttings, take cuttings of about 10 cm from a few beautiful stems and plant them in pots filled with potting soil
- For the layering, bury a fairly long stem in a bucket filled with potting soil and wait for it to make new roots
Harvesting sugar from stevia
Harvesting of stevia leaves is carried out as and when your needs as soon as they have reached their adult size.
- This is possible when cultivated potted indoors or in its natural environment.
If you grow your stevia as an annual, prefer a single harvest in late summer.
- Then dry your stevia harvest in the sun
- Then grind them to make powder
- Keep them away from moisture for as long as you want
Stevia : health benefits and virtues
Stevia, excellent in diets to replace sugar:
No calories, it does not cause weight gain (It all depends of course with what you eat it with).
It is recommended in diabetic diets. In fact, in this type of patient it does not cause an increase in blood sugar. Stevia has hypoglycemic properties.
> Stevia, for healthy teeth :
Stevia takes care of your teeth. She limits bacterial growth on teeth and therefore cavities.
Stevia participates in the blood pressure regulation, thanks to its contribution in potassium. Thus it could reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Stevia provides mineral salts: calcium for the growth and maintenance of bones and teeth, zinc to strengthen the immune system, sodium to balance water exchange and chlorophyll.
In infusion its leaves are diuretics.
Stevia is a source anti-oxidants, which neutralize free radicals that are harmful to the body and cells. Free radicals contribute to the development of cancers and diseases.
Stevia might even have an action anti-diarrhea and anti-inflammatory.
In the past, stevia leaves were used as a dressing, to speed up the process of healing sores.
Contraindication of stevia:
The consumption of stevia in pregnant and breastfeeding women is not recommended.
The hypoglycemic and hypotensive properties of stevia must be taken into account with diabetic and hypotensive treatment.
Stevia in the kitchen:
We find stevia in the form of powder (green or white), dried leaves or in syrup and even in some sodas.
Impossible to neglect the strong sweetening power of stevia. The extracts of this plant sweeten up to 300 times more than sucrose!
Stevia leaves are 30 times more sweet than beet sugar.
Dosage: 1 teaspoon of green stevia powder corresponds to 100 g of sugar.
This aromatic plant has absolutely its place in your kitchen, to sweeten your infusions, your teas, your dishes, your natural yogurts, your smoothies, your cakes, cakes and others desserts.
Stevia leaves provide a slight liquorice taste.
> Try stevia meringues.
However, some criticize stevia for having difficulty combining with other foods.
For example, it is not possible to make caramel with the stevia sweetener.
> Stevia, a beauty tip:
Stevia is also found in cosmetology.
Its leaves are known to soften, soften the skin and reduce wrinkles. Stevia leaves also have anti-bacterial properties that are beneficial for the skin.
Stevia extracts are often combined with clay.
Natural mask, stevia and clay: mix 1 egg yolk with a teaspoon of cottage cheese and white clay, then add 2 pinches of powdered stevia. Apply the preparation on the face. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse.
To know about stevia:
This aromatic plant is native to South America, Paraguay and Brazil mainly. It has been used by Indians for many years. They called it "sweet grass." They used it to flavor their infusions or as a treatment.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Stevia was cultivated and gradually entered the international market. In the middle of the 20th century, the Japanese adopted its culture.
Today stevia is cultivated by Brazil, Japan but also China. It is a must for sweetening our plates, calorie-free.
Smart tip about stevia:
> How to get the sugar? :
Once harvested, Stevia leaves must dry in the sun. They must then be ground to obtain a powder. Store the powder in a dry place.
> Did you know? :
In food, only stevia extracts are allowed in the sweetener. The leaves and the plant, on the other hand, no.
This authorization is very recent, since it dates from 2009 only.
- Sheets sweet 30 times more than beet sugar
- Stevia extract can sweeten it up to 300 times more than sucrose
Sweetener 100% natural, stevia has the other advantage of not providing no calories when you use it!