Most syrup contains a sweetener in its recipe. Stevia leaf powder makes inexpensive syrup when prepared with water. You can buy the green powder in various weights online or at a health food shop. The botanical nomenclature of Stevia is Stevia rebaudiana. The leaves contain sweet flavour compounds, minerals and over 100 identified bioflavonoids, according to a 1997 study. The plant matter is ground but does not mix well with liquids. Seeing green lumps in your drink can be unappetizing. The syrup will allow you to be Green in an economic and pure fashion.
Taste the powdered Stevia by covering the tip of your wet little finger. Roll your finger across your tongue for an indication of its sweetness. You'll find it has a slight aftertaste.
Dissolve 1 tsp powder into 474 ml (2 cups) of the water into a 1 litre (1 quart) enamelled cast iron pot. Use chemical free cookware. Steer clean from anything coated with Teflon.
Bring the water to a gentle boil -- once large bubbles begin to appear. Bring the heat to a simmer. Let the mixture churns slightly until the liquid reduces to the half of the original amount of water. The syrup will be the consistency of juiced carrots.
Remove the pot from the stove to cool off. Once the liquid is lukewarm pour it into a small bottle with a clean kitchen funnel. Taste and smell the liquid to become familiar with the fresh syrup.
Cap the filled bottle tightly and store in the refrigerator. The syrup should stay fresh for a week. Check for spoilage by smelling the liquid.
This natural sweetener is approximately 10 to 20 times sweeter than regular sugar, according to Dr. Ray Sehalian. (co-author of "The Stevia Cookbook"). 200 g (1 cup) sugar equals 1/2 tsp syrup; 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar equal 1/2 tsp syrup, and so on. A tablespoon of sugar equals 6 to 9 drops of liquid. A teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to 2 to 4 drops of syrup. If you want to carry your syrup with you, put it in a smaller bottle. If you keep it away from a cool environment for more than two days, throw the remaining liquid out.
Stevia is not for everyone. It has a flavour reminiscent of artificial sweeteners. As always, if you are on any medications, or have a serious medical condition, check with your doctor before trying Stevia.