Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)
Stevia is a perennial herb widely cultivated for it's unique sweet leaves which are used as a natural sweetener. Stevia, also known as Sweet Leaf, Candy Leaf, or Sugar Leaf, is a related to sunflowers and is native to Brazil and Paraguay.
Although the common Stevia sweetener that we see in the grocery store is made from a Stevia extract, leaves from the plant can be picked fresh and simply crushed and added to your teas or smoothies. Leaves can also easily be dried and ground into a powder. With Stevia, it's easy to grow your own natural sweetener at home! Helpful Hint: as a sweetener, 1/4 of ground leaves is equal to 1 tsp of sugar.