Stevia is a plant that belongs to the chrysanthemum family. It is ten times sweeter than normal sugar and is used as a sugar substitute. In many places, it is known as zero calorie sugar and widely consumed by people who are on a diet and are cautious about calorie intake.
It is recommended to use stevia in small amounts, but an optimum amount can be used in coffees, lemonade, serials, smoothies, or yogurts. You can also grow the stevia leaves at your home and process them into powdered form to enjoy anti-calorie sweeteners all year long.
How To Store Stevia
There is a difference between stevia you grow at home and the stevia you get from the market, but storing methods are relatively the same for both types. Stevia leaves can be stored in powder or the form of liquid, both depending upon the way you want to use it later.
If you are worried about storing your stevia leaves, you need not worry because stevia is easy to store in both forms compared to other herbs.
Dry The Stevia Leaves Before Storing
For leaves grown at your home, you need to dry the leaves in low heat for two days; also, make sure the circulation of air is also provided. You can either use a dehydrated or air dry it under the sun. Separate the leaves from the stems after drying.
Keep It In A Cool And Dry Place
To maintain the quality of the leaves, store them in a cool and dry place. Stevia leaves are sensitive to humidity and high temperatures. Make sure to keep them away from the sink, near the stove, or the window.
Keep In Airtight Containers
The dried stevia leaves, as well as the powdered stevia, should be kept in airtight containers. If you buy powdered stevia from the grocery store, you will most likely get it in a jar or refill pack. The jar can be kept as it is but the refill pack stevia powder must be transferred in a clean and dry airtight jar.
It is important to use dry utensils once you use stevia in your recipes; even if you mistakenly do so, make sure you don’t leave a wet spoon inside the jar. The lid should be closed tightly after each time the jar is opened.
Can You Freeze Stevia
Stevia leaves and powder do not require refrigeration. However, if you don’t like the idea of keeping the stevia leaves at room temperature, there is always an option to freeze them. A stevia is a powdered form brought from the stores that cannot be frozen.
Stevia leaves grown at home need to be chopped first. Keep the chopped leaves in an ice cube tray inside the cubes, and add distilled water to fill up the cubes and freeze. Once the cubes are firm and properly frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and store them inside the freezer.
How Long Does Stevia Last
When it comes to stevia, you do not need to worry about going bad after a few months. It can remain nice and good until you have finished it. Stevia powder or liquid bought from the market comes with a best by date printed on it. Even after a few months past that date, stevia is safe to consume if stored properly. Stevia powder has an approximately three year’s life, depending on the ways you store it.
If you keep stevia in an airtight jar and store it in a dry place, whole stevia leaves can be stored for 12 months at room temperature, but it must be careful of excess humidity. Liquid stevia extract and stevia syrup can also be kept for 12 months in the refrigerator. Frozen stevia leaves in distilled water can last up to 6 months inside the freezer.
How To Tell If Stevia Is Bad
It is important to be aware of the signs shown when something is turning bad and is no longer fit for intake. Although stevia has a long shelf life, some careless attempts and improper storage conditions can spoil it.
When you bring home something you wish to keep for a long, you also need to look after it carefully. Stevia does not usually turn bad, but it might lose its flavor and quality.
- Odor: Give your stevia powder a thorough look and smell it. You must know if the smell is off and it does not give off the same aroma as it used to, it’s better to discard it.
- Appearance: When exposed to high humidity or wet utensils, stevia powder will form clusters and lumps. It does not necessarily go bad; you can use it in coffee or tea if the taste does not change.