Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I MADE MY OWN ALL-NATURAL SWEETENER, YOU CAN TOO #TeaTimeTues


If you follow me on Instagram @bagladies, you know I'm a "loose leaf" tea fein. I drink multiple cups mugs a day. But as I delve more into my habit if you will, it lends itself to focusing more on healthy eating. I've sourced organic teas that have all kinds of medicinal benefits be it better skin, more energy or even improved cardiovascular and digestive functions. Sugar and/or equal are my go-to's when it comes to sweeteners but I've LONG since wanted to find an alternative if for no other reason, than all that sugar is just not good. I think I've finally found it!
 

I tried my hand at making a Stevia syrup this past weekend and although I haven't entirely weened myself off of equal which is what I use most often, I'm slowly using less and more of the syrup. Stevia is a low-calorie sweetener extracted from a plant typically grown in South America. There are numerous health benefits but Stevia is most touted for lowering blood sugar levels in Diabetics. You have probably seen Stevia powder on the shelves at your local grocery store. I don't care for the powder, the texture is just hard to get used to and upon adding to tea, it almost becomes "muddy." Lemme reveal that Stevia does have a distinct taste and it's very sweet. If you put just a teeny tiny stevia leaf on your tongue, the sweet is on fleek! And it may take shopping around before finding what you like. I visited a few DC based organic herb shops before finding what I was looking for and once I did, I purchased 2 ounces of fresh stevia leaves.   

My biggest fear was the taste might compromise the flavor of the loose leaf teas I love so much but although there is a distinct flavor to the Stevia, the flavor of my teas still come through. 

Should you want to make yourself, you literally only need two ingredients, fresh stevia leaves and warm water. 

The recipe follows:
Add 1/4 cup of fresh Stevia leaves to 1 cup of warm water
Pour the mixture into an airtight container
Let sit for 24 hours
Strain the mixture

That's it! A few tips, I muddled my Stevia leaves just to further release the flavor before adding water.   You can literally just sit the container on your counter as it sits an even once done. It only requires refrigeration if you want to thicken the syrup which you can do over heat. I also strained the mixture twice just to be sure I eliminated all the leaves. And once done, you will have to be patient as you determine how much you require to adequately sweeten your beverage be it tea, coffee or whatever your drink of choice may be. I was hesitant to make more because I wasn't sure how it would turn out but now that I've done it, I will surely be doubling or tripling next time around so that I always have some on hand. 




What do you use as a sweetener?

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