STEVIA Leaves

When Stevia Leaves are chewed, there is an intensely sweet licorice-like taste.

The sweet flavor of the Stevia leaves lasts much longer than does the sweet flavor of raw cane sugar, and is about 15 times sweeter!

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Stevia Leaves

Both fresh and dried Stevia leaves are valued for their sweet flavor. The fresh leaves are taken from the Stevia plant, which originated in South America. The indigenous peoples of Paraguay and Brazil traditionally chewed the Stevia leaves. When these leaves are chewed, there is an intensely sweet licorice-like taste. The sweet flavor of the Stevia leaves lasts much longer than does the sweet flavor of raw cane sugar, and is about 15 times sweeter!

In order for Stevia leaves to be used as a sweetener, such as in baking or cooking, it is necessary to dry the leaves. This process removes the moisture and concentrates the sweetness in the leaves. It also preserves the leaves for use further in the future. After the leaves are dried, they are crushed, and the sweetness increases from 15 times that of sugar to 30 to 40 times that of sugar. The dried Stevia leaves may then be used to brew tea or as a sweetener for drinks or in cooking.

In addition to being used as a sweetener, Stevia leaves are also an excellent dietary supplement. Stevia leaves contain proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Stevia leaves can be purchased whole, crushed, in tea bags, or as a fine green powder. Stevia leaves have a more licorice-like, almost bitter aftertaste than do the Stevia extracts that are often used in sweetening.


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