In Basket: January 2012

The Herb Companion readers discuss using fresh stevia leaves, the proper way to make olive leaf tea, growing garlic chives, and more in this month’s “In Basket.”

| December/January 2012

Using Fresh Stevia Leaves 

I use stevia as a sweetener and I have grown some myself. After drying it, I use my mortar and pestle to make it into powder. Can I use it the same way I use the type I buy? Mine is of course green, and not white like I buy in the store.

—Joyce Regan, Henderson, Nevada

The white store-bought stevia has been processed and tastes much sweeter than homegrown stevia. Your stevia will probably be healthier. There is no harm in experimenting with your dried product, especially in teas. You could also make your own liquid stevia extract by combining 1 cup warm water with 1/2 cup macerated fresh stevia leaves in a jar with a lid. Let the mixture stand for 24 hours, strain and store in the refrigerator. –Eds.

How Much is a Sprig? 

I have been growing and cooking with fresh herbs for more than 50 years. However, I can’t find the answer to one simple question: How much is a sprig?

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