Sustainable Community

Stevia Leaf Powder

So I had been recently been toying around with the idea of buying several things in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs. Based in Eugene, Oregon this company encourages sustainability and ethical stewardship. Of course I did and I am so pleased with everything I ordered. The spring & summer catalogue came with my order and it was filled with all kinds of ideas and recipes for sustainable DIY home cleaning, health and beauty products. Now I am planning a SECOND order when what I need to be doing is planning my Sustainable Seed Company and Bountiful Gardens orders. It’s hard to plan for spring when it keeps snowing.

Mountain Rose Herbs offers a discount on bulk herbs and spices which includes Stevia Leaf Powder, the dried and powdered whole leaf of the Stevia plant. Unlike the extract granules sold in the sweetener section, this is unadulterated Stevia. I also got Cacoa Nibs & Soap Nuts (future post coming about these!) as well as other less exotic spices such as Whole Rainbow Peppercorns and Smoked Sea Salt.

I am just starting to experiment with my stevia leaf powder. There are several reasons why I wanted the powder over other stevia sweetener products available at the store.

1. Many stevia products contain other ingredients and it isn’t always clear what they are or what they come from.

2. Whole stevia leaf powder can be used to make my own extracts and used when brewing tea or coffee to sweeten without calories or the other ill side effects I suffer from sugar.

3. Stevia has been shown to help regulate blood sugar problems.

4. I am pretty sure the green is good for me. It may lower blood pressure, reduce gas and stomach acidity, and increase energy levels and mental acuity.

Best uses I have found so far:

Add to tea or coffee when brewing. The hot water steeps out the sweetness of the Stevia. The effect with an herbal or fruit tea is spectacular. Chocolate and mint chocolate tea with Stevia has replaced my need for hot cocoa mix, which is full of things I don’t want to eat.

Boil in the water use to prepare hot breakfast cereal. My oatmeal is sweet and I don’t suffer a 9 AM sugar crash.

Create a tincture using leaf powder and vodka. This can be used in drinks or in cooking (the alcohol evaporates out).

Since I bought an entire pound of it, I am thinking of ideas for summer:

Add to sun tea while brewing for naturally sweet tea.
Blend in with fruit smoothies.
Use in rootbeer preparation like they do for Virgil’s.

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