Stevia produces a yearlong bountiful harvest of fresh stems and leaves - indoors or out - that are 10 TIMES sweeter than SUGAR but without any calories and without the aftertaste of artificial sweeteners.
Make sure you always clean your harvested stevia well in clean (filtered) water before drying or before using the leaves fresh.
When using stevia as a sweetener, experiment with how much you add to your foods. Add a very small amount, taste it and then add more if needed. A little stevia can add a lot of sweet (especially when used as a liquid sweetener).
Stevia leaves can be used fresh as an edible garnish in foods and salads.
Add coarsely chopped, fresh stevia leaves to foods like chili or sauces where you would normally use a small amount of sweetener.
Use fresh stevia leaves with fresh mint leaves in a cup of boiling water (using a tea strainer) to create an herbal tea.
Fresh stevia leaves can be added directly to lemonade or tea instead of sugar or other sweeteners.
To dry, pick the leaves (and stems if you wish) from the plant and dry them, using your preferred method. 10 to 15 hours in the sun usually works well as does a food dehydrator.
Crush and store dried stevia leaves for general use in place of other sweeteners. A food processor works very well for this or the more traditional pestle and mortar is an option.
To make your own natural liquid sweetener, crush dried leaves and stems and mix 2 tablespoons per one cup of boiling water. The water will extract the natural sweetener into its solution. Let the solution sit at room temperature over night, strain the liquid from any particles that may be left and then store in the refrigerator.
Store as much as you need in the refrigerator for no longer than a 2-week period.