Stevia Tea Benefits
Stevia Tea is a natural sweetener made from the stevia rebaudiana plant, which originated in Paraguay and other subtropical areas of South America. The leaves of this herb contain an immense amount of non-caloric, non-toxic molecules that provide more than 30 times the sweetening power of sugar.
Sometimes referred to as “sweet herb” or “honeyleaf,” the plant’s leaves are most often crushed to form stevia tea, which is then used to sweeten a variety of beverages.
The leaves also contain proteins, carbohydrates, iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and other minerals along with Vitamins A and C.
Stevia currently is used extensively around the world and research studies consistently point to its safety as a natural sweetening agent. The herb can be found in a number of forms – all of which provide a different level of sweetening strength.
Fresh leaves: This is the herb’s most natural state – yet utilization for beverages and cooking is limited. If you chew the leaf, you will enjoy an intensely sweet flavor sensation. See below to purchase cut and sifted stevia leaves for brewing sweet tea.Dried: The leaves of the stevia rebaudiana herb are dried and crushed to release its full sweetening potential. The crushed leaves (stevia tea) can purchased in bulk form or packaged like tea bags to use as sweeteners.
Powder extracts: This version of the sweetener comes in a white powdery form which is made from the leaves’ natural sweetening agents.
Liquid concentrates: Liquid forms of stevia can be made by (1) boiling the leaves in water, (2) steeping the leaves in a mixture of water and grain alcohol, or (3) adding water to the white powder concentrate and preserving it with grapefruit seed extract.
In addition to its sweetening qualities, stevia tea is purported to have therapeutic uses that include lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics, aiding digestion, and improving oral health.
If you brew loose leaf tea and like it sweetened, add some cut stevia leaves during the steeping process as a natural sweetener with no calories.
Whether you enjoy hot or iced green, black, oolong, white or herbal teas, stevia is an excellent tasting, healthy alternative to using sugar or artificial sweeteners. Follow these guidelines for brewing a 16-24oz pot of sweetened tea:
Add 1 teaspoon of cut stevia leaves to your loose leaf tea or herbal blend prior to steeping.
Heat your water to the directed temperature for the tea you are preparing and immerse your loose leaf tea/stevia mix.
Steep as directed for the tea you are brewing.
If your tea is too sweet for your taste, add additional unsweetened tea to your blend. If your tea is not sweet enough, add some additional stevia to the pot of hot tea and let it steep a few more minutes.