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How To Make Stevia Extract: With and Without Alcohol

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Stevia extract is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant, offering a sugar-free alternative that is much sweeter than regular sugar.

Making your own stevia extract at home is a simple process that allows you to control the sweetness and purity of the end product.

How to make stevia extract with and without alcohol

Does Stevia Raise Insulin Levels?

Stevia has a glycemic index of zero, meaning it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels significantly. 

Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. 

The leaves contain steviol glycoside molecules, which are 250–300 times sweeter than sugar. 

Follow our guide on How To Grow Your Own Stevia Plant.

How To Make Stevia Extract: With Alcohol

Instructions:

  1. Harvest and Prepare Leaves:
    Gather fresh stevia leaves from your garden. If you’re using dried leaves, ensure they are free from any additives or preservatives. Wash the fresh leaves thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities.
  2. Dry the Leaves (Optional):
    Although you can use fresh leaves, drying them (either in a dehydrator or air-dried in a warm, dark place) concentrates their sweet compounds. Crush the dried leaves into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.
  3. Make the Extract:
    Place the crushed leaves or fresh leaves into a jar and cover them with vodka or any high-proof alcohol, which will help extract the sweet compounds effectively. Ensure the leaves are completely submerged.
  4. Steep the Mixture:
    Seal the jar tightly and let it sit in a dark place for about 24 to 48 hours. Avoid steeping for too long as it can start extracting bitter flavors.
  5. Strain the Extract:
    After steeping, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove all leaf particles. For a clearer extract, strain several times or use a coffee filter.
  6. Reduce the Extract (Optional):
    To remove the alcohol and thicken the extract, pour the strained liquid into a small saucepan and heat it over low heat. Watch it carefully to avoid burning. The goal is to evaporate the alcohol, leaving behind concentrated stevia extract. Remove from heat once it reaches your desired consistency.
  7. Store:
    Transfer the extract into a clean bottle or jar. Store it in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness and potency. Use it to sweeten beverages, desserts, or any dish where you would normally use sugar.

By making your own stevia extract, you not only get a healthier sweetener but also gain the satisfaction of creating something useful from your garden produce.

How To Make Stevia Extract: Without Alcohol

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To create stevia extract without using alcohol, follow this straightforward water-based method, ensuring a natural and sweet result.

This approach is perfect for those looking for a homemade, alcohol-free sweetener.

Start with Fresh or Dried Leaves:

First, gather fresh stevia leaves from your garden. Alternatively, you can use dried stevia leaves. If you opt for fresh leaves, wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.

Crush the Leaves:

Next, if you’re using dried leaves, crush them into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.

This step increases the surface area, making it easier to extract the sweetness.

For fresh leaves, simply chop them finely to release their natural sweet compounds.

Boil Water:

Then, bring water to a boil. The amount of water will depend on how much extract you want to make, but a good ratio to start with is one cup of water for every cup of fresh leaves or for every tablespoon of dried leaves.

Steep the Leaves:

Once the water is boiling, remove it from the heat and add your stevia leaves. Let the leaves steep in the hot water for about 24 hours. This long steeping time allows the water to fully absorb the sweetness from the stevia leaves.

Strain the Solution:

After steeping, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the leaf particles. If you desire a clearer extract, you can strain it multiple times or even use a coffee filter to ensure all solid particles are removed.

Reduce the Extract:

To concentrate your stevia extract, pour the strained liquid into a saucepan and simmer it over low heat. Allow the water to evaporate until you’re left with a concentrated liquid.

This process requires careful attention to prevent burning, especially as the extract reduces.

Cool and Store:

Finally, let your homemade stevia extract cool before transferring it to a clean bottle or jar. Store the extract in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness.

Use your alcohol-free stevia extract to naturally sweeten beverages, desserts, or any dish where you’d usually use sugar.

This alcohol-free method offers a simple and natural way to create stevia extract at home, providing a healthy alternative to processed sweeteners.

How Much Stevia Do I Add?

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The amount of stevia extract you should use depends on the specific product and its concentration, as well as your personal sweetness preference.

Stevia is significantly sweeter than sugar, often by about 200 to 300 times, so a little goes a long way.

Here are some general guidelines for how much stevia to add.

  1. Liquid Stevia Extract: Typically, a few drops are sufficient to sweeten a cup of coffee or tea. Start with 2-3 drops and adjust according to taste. For baking or larger recipes, begin with 1/4 teaspoon and increase as needed, keeping in mind that 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia extract is roughly equivalent to about one cup of sugar in terms of sweetness.
  2. Powdered Stevia Extract: This form is often more concentrated. A pinch can sweeten a cup of tea or coffee, and about 1/16 to 1/8 of a teaspoon will usually substitute for one teaspoon of sugar.
  3. Homemade Stevia Extract: Since the concentration can vary, start with small amounts and taste as you go. If you’ve made a concentrated liquid extract, it might be similar in potency to commercial extracts, so the same starting point of a few drops per cup can apply.

Always adjust the amount based on your taste and the specific sweetness level of the stevia product you are using.

Since different brands and forms of stevia can vary in sweetness and flavor, experimenting is key to finding the right amount for your needs.

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