In October of 2007, I posted a short entry about the super-sweet herb, Stevia, and it’s growing popularity. I mentioned that food giants Cargill and Coke were courting the FDA to allow them to market a form of the stevia extract as a food additive/sweeter. Last month, Rebiana (the Stevia additive’s trade name) was approved for use in North America, so you may start seeing it on shelves within the next few months.
But you don’t have to wait that long – you can benefit from this zero-calorie sweetener within a few weeks by growing it in your own kitchen herb garden. I grew stevia last year. It was fairly easy and the plants were impressively dense with sweet foliage. You will probably not run out even if you grow only one plant. You can dry them and save them for later. Right now you can get a pack of 10 USDA certified organic Stevia Rebaudiana seeds from Park Seed.
I really wish I had taken pictures, I had one stem that was almost 4 feet tall on my patio, with leaves from base to tip. Just one leaf of stevia is more than enough to sweeten a glass of tea or lemonade.