Stevia- The All Natural Sugar Plant
I introduced Stevia to my customers probably around 3 years ago or so. It was relatively new to my business and have had pretty good feedback from others. Especially with people that can not eat sugar of any kind, this makes for a great alternative .
Sweeten Food the Natural Way with Safe, Super-Sweet Stevia!
Stevia is 20 to 30 times sweeter than sugar cane, yet non-caloric! and doesn’t promote tooth decay! and believe me it is sweet I have tasted Stevia , what a treat ! This is unreal that a herb plant can produce such unusual benefits.
A alternative to processed sugar and chemically-derived artificial sweeteners, Stevia is becoming very popular among health-conscious individuals.
Stevia comes in many different forms to see in more detail check this Stevia Page Faq link
Like any Herb, Stevia is easy to use, too. Just drop a leaf into hot or cold drinks, or use it like a bay leaf to sweeten meat and vegetables dishes while they cook — it’s heat-stable! Grind the dried leaves and sprinkle them into cereals and other cold dishes as you would sugar. You can even extract the oil!
An interesting plant to grow indoors or out, offering health benefits that have been enjoyed by Asian cultures for decades. Stevia’s leaves are naturally very sweet but low in calories, heat-stable for cooking and is anti-plaque forming which helps reduce tooth decay. Produces small, white inedible flowers about 16 to 18 weeks after sowing
The plant is a tender perennial for sowing indoors in a brightly-lit spot. It needs well-drained soil and very little else to grow vigorously, sporting small white flowers in summer. Plant reaches 1 foot tall and about 1 1/2 feet wide
Stevia seems pretty easy to grow from seed, You may find that it can get leggy , that is if grown indoors . So just do a little cutting of the plant from time to time to get Stevia to bush out and stay fuller.
I have not tried to winter over in my area zone 4/5 but it may be worth a try as it states zone 5 -8
Give it a Try ! and Good Luck with Gardening this Unusual Sugar Plant