The most common problem for smokers who want to quit is the constant cravings of nicotine your brain is trying to torment you with.
Stevia can also be used to combat acne and effectively acts against dermatitis.
It is available in the form of a leaf, green and white powder and as a liquid. It does not require much, which means that you can plant stevia in your garden and in pots.
Stevia is a pretty, green plant that looks a little like some of the flowering salvias.
Although stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) looks like an average green plant, it is an exciting choice for the herb garden because of the natural, calorie-free sweetness found in its leaves. Appreciated by diabetics and dieters, stevia is a tender perennial that loves the warm sun and dies back in a freeze. However, in zones 9 and warmer, the roots usually survive the winter and will come back in the spring. It can overwinter in zone 8, too, with protection. Gardeners in frost-free areas enjoy growing stevia year-round, allowing it to grow into a small shrub. However, vigor declines after the second year, so if you want to harvest the maximum amount of foliage, it pays to replant.
If you garden in containers, give your stevia plant at least a 12-inch pot with a quality potting mix. Place it in full sun, and water whenever the top inch of potting soil feels dry.
Soil, Planting, and Care
Harvest and Storage
Stevia bears small white flowers in the fall. At this point, the plant stretches out and offers fewer good leaves for harvest. Trim off the blooms to keep the plant producing leaves as long as possible.
Leaves are sweetest in the cool temperatures of autumn. They also taste best prior to the plant blooming.
To preserve summer’s plenty and to make stevia convenient to use, dry it. Cut whole stems and then strip the leaves and tender stem tips. Place these on loosely woven fabric or non-metal screening outdoors on a dry, sunny day. One day should be long enough to dry the leaves; be sure to bring them in before the dew dampens them again. You can also use a food dehydrator if you have one. Once the leaves are crisp, crush them by hand or powder them with a food processor. Store in an airtight container. While the powdered leaves will not dissolve, they are a wonderful way to sweeten your beverages and foods.
Stevia can be grown for its leaves that give food and beverages sweet taste without the calories of sugar.
Use the fresh leaves during the growing season to sweeten tea. The sweetness in the leaves is approximately one-fourth as concentrated as the white, powdered stevia sold at the store.
When sweetening with powdered leaves, use about 1/8 teaspoon of dried stevia to equal the sweetness of 1 teaspoon of sugar. Remember, while stevia will withstand the heat of cooking, it will not caramelize like sugar or feed yeast for breads.
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