Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni), also known as sweetleaf or sugarleaf, is a member of the Compositae (sunflower) family and is native to South and Central America. Stevia has a long history of use as a sweetener, being 200 to 300 times sweeter than sucrose (cane sugar) - so a little goes a long way. It has a slight flavour - similar to licorice or burnt almond and can be overpowering if too much is used. The leaves of the stevia plant, which can be used fresh or dried contain sweetening compounds referred to as steviol glycosides.
Stevia has no calories and does not increase blood sugar levels and is a popular sugar substitute for people with diabetes or for people who are sensitive to sugar.
Stevia is also heat stable which means it can be used for baking. The powdered product is great for baking or shakes as the sweetness is released almost immediately. The cut and whole leaf is great for teas or other liquids which require steeping. Also cut and whole leaf can be used to make liquid sweetener.
Stevia leaves along with its crude extracts have been approved by Health Canada for use both as medicinal (in certain natural health products) and non-medicinal ingredients. Purified stevia extract is available in various food products in Canada.
The whole leaf and cut leaf Stevia is grown on our farm using no herbicides or pesticides.
The powdered Stevia is purchased from a Canadian supplier and is certified as organic.