Good Food Good Vibes, Science-based Health.

Get The NS Newsletter: What's your jam? Select one or all.

No Thanks
Eat Well Mar. 21. 2014

How to Make Stevia Extract

Mar. 21. 2014
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN


Homemade stevia, two ways. Today I’m going to show you all how to make both an extract (liquid form) and powdered form of stevia using your harvested and dried stevia plant or purchased all raw dried stevia leaves. I often recommend or suggest using stevia in several of my smoothies, sweet treats, or dessert recipes to add a bit of sweetness to them without using refined sugars. I get several questions about artificial sweeteners and where stevia fits into that equation, so today I’m going to share with you all what stevia I personally use… it’s homemade!

As you all know, I’m not a fan of artificial ingredients especially sweeteners. Many of the artificial sweeteners out there (and even processed stevia) undergo many steps to become it’s final edible product. Many of these steps involve adding different chemicals, fillers, starches, glucose, “natural” flavors, chemicals such as acetone, methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, and isopropanol (several of which have been linked to causing cancer).

Not to single out or pick at Coca-Cola, but their brand of stevia called Truvia, goes through about 40 steps from plant to powdered stevia before the consumer can use it… 40! My Stevia Extract will take you about 5 steps, using nothing artificial and no fancy equipment. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather support my body by putting true all natural ingredients in it compared to something made by one of the biggest soda companies in the world with questionable ingredients… so let’s get started, I can’t wait to show you how easy this process is!

Below you’ll see a series of pictures, starting from the top is what the stevia plant looks like after it’s been dried. From the garden, I’ll harvest these raw in bunches like so, tie them with twine and hang them upside down to try in my kitchen window (I’ll show you more pictures of how I dry my own herbs for another post!).

The next picture below is what dried stevia leaves look like off the branch, you can see they’re long and a beautiful sage green color after they’re dried. The picture of the left is where I divide about 1 cup of dried stevia leaves into small mason jars, this is preparation for adding vodka to make this into a liquid extract. The picture on the bottom right is my powdered stevia version, I simple grind the dried stevia leaves in a mortar and pestle or you can feel free to use a spice grinder (that’s only 1 step!).

Where to purchase your stevia plant. I purchased my stevia plant to grow in the garden from my local hardware shop or check your local health food stores when in season. To be honest, I wish I could say I have a huge green thumb and master all things gardening, but I digress, that’s something I’m still perfecting. Even with my lack of green thumb, I was able to grow stevia in copious amounts from one tiny plant! Before I knew it, at the end of summer I was out in the garden bundling up what would have been the equivalent of 10+ cups of stevia leaves- all of which I’ve made extracts or powders out of.

How to use |

  • Use stevia as you would any other sweetener
  • For powdered stevia, I find it best to use in smoothies (as the powder will combine with everything else). Putting powdered stevia in baked goods to taste will also work, although it doesn’t combine will in tea for example (it floats!).
  • For liquid stevia, this is best where you want the liquid to combine with another liquid for example in tea, coffee, juice, etc.
  • Check my stevia post on more ways to use.


Stevia Extract
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Total time:
A “recipe” for making your own homemade stevia liquid extract.
  • vodka
  • 1 cup stevia leaves, washed and dried
  • SUPPLIES // dark glass bottles
  1. DRY //
  2. Dry stevia leaves in the sun or dehydrator for one day or 12 hours (respectively)
  3. Once dried, place whole leaves (don’t crush up too much or else you’ll have a hard time filtering out the leaves from the vodka), in a glass mason jar (preferably dark colored).
  4. Fill to cover the leaves with vodka.
  5. Steep at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
  6. Filter out the stevia leaves using a fine strainer.
  7. To remove the alcohol from the vodka, heat the extract on your stovetop in a pot for about 20 minutes (do not boil!).
  8. Simply use a funnel to pour stevia extract into small medicine dropper bottles or other bottles and keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
  9. Enjoy!

TIP // read all about stevia here and also how other sweeteners impact our blood sugar levels and insulin in the body.

Even if you’re not up to making your own or you don’t have dried stevia leaves, a couple brands I still enjoy are from Trader Joes or SweetLeaf. I hope you all enjoyed this post, share below if you’ve ever made your own stevia! Share this post with a friend who uses artificial sweeteners!

Have a sweet day,

xx McKel

p.s. in other news, I have an interview with Be Good Organics live today, feel free to read more about me there- this was a fun interview!


The Recipe




  • vodka
  • 1 cup stevia leaves, washed and dried
  • SUPPLIES // dark glass bottles


  1. DRY //
  2. Dry stevia leaves in the sun or dehydrator for one day or 12 hours (respectively)
  3. Once dried, place whole leaves (don’t crush up too much or else you’ll have a hard time filtering out the leaves from the vodka), in a glass mason jar (preferably dark colored).
  4. Fill to cover the leaves with vodka.
  5. Steep at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
  6. Filter out the stevia leaves using a fine strainer.
  7. To remove the alcohol from the vodka, heat the extract on your stovetop in a pot for about 20 minutes (do not boil!).
  8. Simply use a funnel to pour stevia extract into small medicine dropper bottles or other bottles and keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
  9. Enjoy!

NS Society

Spirulina Buckwheat Pancakes | Nutrition Stripped

Blue Buckwheat Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Boost Nutrient Density of Meals | Nutrition Stripped

Here's How You Can Boost the Nutrient Density of Your Meals Every Time

How to Get Better Beauty Sleep | Nutrition Stripped

How to Get Better Beauty Sleep Every Night

Exclusive online nutrition resources and recipes — a $5.99 monthly subscription to know more about living well.

Join Now

Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Great post McKel! I don’t use artificial sweeteners at all and hate that some brands of stevia are so processed. I use Sweet Leaf or NuNaturals but I would love to make my own!

    • you are right we should use natural products.you can grow your own stevia plants and use their leaves.

  • Åsa

    Hi McKel,

    This was interesting to read. I’ve only bought stevia once, and it was the overly processed white powder, which I thought tasted quite awful and far too sweet (even though I only used a tiny bit). It also caused some significant digestive issues for me (which I’ve since read is not uncommon). So, first of all, I was wondering whether the taste of ‘natural’ stevia very different from the white processed stuff (such as Truvia) – does it still have that weird aftertaste, or is that from the other additives? (Basically, on the occasions when I had it, it left this lingering sweet taste in my mouth for hours, that made everything else taste sweet too) And secondly, do you know whether natural stevia prepared according to your instructions is still likely to cause digestive problems (for people who are generally prone to them), or is that, again, linked to the processed, commercialised variety? Sorry for the long comment, and thanks in advance!

    • Hi Asa,
      It depends on your taste buds truthfully. We all taste “bitter” differently and some enjoy stevia and some don’t. The fresh and ground/extracts have a slight bitter taste, but I weigh the pros/cons of having all natural homemade vs store bought and I bear the bitter taste. Artificial sweeteners that contain sugar alcohols can irritate your digestion (i.e. gas, bloating, diarrhea).

    • Stevia plants can usually be puurchased at most local nurseries. Have had mine tw year, and use it constantly. It is quite a bit sweeter thn Truvia, and not bitter. I steep the leaves, and strain, and refigerate. I also use it to make jams & jellies.

      • Becky Sorensen

        Paula, what is your conversion from sugar to stevia in your jelly recipes? I make hot pepper jelly and my recipe calls for 4 lbs. sugar. I would really like to make a sugar free jelly. I grow my own stevia so i’m loving this post on making liquid stevia extract.

        • Rule of thumb | 1 cup sugar = 2-3 teaspoons of powdered stevia. This will depend on the type and harvest of your stevia, taste testing always helps!

  • This is so cool McKel! I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners either, so stevia is my go-to for the rare occasions when I do need to add a little sweetness. If I can find a stevia plant (and provided I can keep it alive), I will be trying this!

  • Stevia is usually my go-to when it comes to adding sweetness to recipes, although I still don’t like how processed it is. I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners and cut down on sugar whenever possible. I’m going to start keeping an eye out for a stevia plant so I can try making this!

  • Ahhh this is awesome! I will have to get myself a stevia plant. I admittedly use vegan raw sugar when baking and necessary. For smoothies I use dates and for drinks l like tea or whatnot, I use liquid stevia! Definitely getting a stevia plant this summer!

  • This’s awesome! I never knew this could be done!!

  • Rebecca

    I’ve never heard of heating an extract to remove the alcohol. Not doing that would make it last longer and be shelf stable, so I’m curious why you remove it?

    Also, while it does make an attractive picture, I don’t think it’s such a good idea to hang your herbs to dry on an old chipped paint wall due to the lead in old paint. It would be a minimal amount, but better to avoid any at all would be best for one’s health.

    • Hi Rebecca,
      Good question. I choose to cook off the alcohol, with stevia you can still taste a bit of the alcohol if you skip this, it’s important to do this step to keep the flavor true to stevia and it keep well with this process. Also, I do not hang herbs to dry on old lead paint walls, this board is a photography backdrop for picture purposes only.

  • Annette

    Can I make the extract using the stevia powder (that’s all I currently have)? If so, what proportions would you recommend?

    Thank you!

    • If it’s all natural ground stevia leaves, you can make it into an extract, but if it’s the white powder that’s already been processed I’m not sure as I’ve never tried that way!

  • Thanks for the post. I planted 3 stevia plants for the first time and they are vigorous growers with very little work in my part (yeah!) I just filled the dehydrator and am gearing up for my first batch of extract. I made jam and jellies. Do you know if it’s possible and how to use the homemade extract or powder in jam recipes? I have z lot of customers ask fir sugar free, but I refuse to use those artificial sweeteners I find on the shelves. Thanks for any help or advice. Love your post!! I’ll be linking back to you. Thanks!

    • Wonderful, I’m glad you enjoyed the post Jessi! I’ve tried adding stevia into my chia jams after making them to add sweetness to them, but stevia won’t work the same way sugar does when making jams, you can try and let me know!

  • Rebecca

    Hi McKel. Not sure if you can answer this question but we grow our own stevia leaves and tried to make a liquid and powder extract from it. Is there a way to make it where the extract isn’t green? I buy the powdered version at my grocery store to put in my coffee and it’s white so I’m wondering if there’s some kind of process we can do to make it white.


    • Rebecca

      Actually I just read up that the white colored ones I buy at the store are processed and isn’t good for you so I guess I have to stick to the green tint and limit what I can put it in. My boyfriend makes homemade limoncello and he wanted to use stevia instead of sugar but he was afraid it might turn his limoncello green which would not be very appealing. =)

      • Haha yes, it won’t go well in alcohol drinks or cold liquids because the green will float to the top- but if you use the extract recipe it may work a bit better in that regard!

    • Hi Rebecca, I have no idea how to not make it green. I just roll with it knowing that it’s going to turn that color because it’s completely natural. If the color is very off putting, then you may just want to use a store bought extract and use sparingly.

  • M


  • You can also make a glycerine extract that I prefer over the vodka method for things that are sweet and will go in my drinks. It makes a thick syrup. I get my herbs in organic form (and I would want to know the plant I purchased had been grown from organic seed in organic method before I purchased it, or what is the point?), and the glycerine I get from the same source. Same process for extraction, just a different extractive base. And…you can buy natural stevia glycerine drops at the health food store too.

  • Kristi

    Hi- I have a beautiful bunch of stevia growing on my deck now, and as I live in MN I have to figure out what to do with it for the winter! I am hoping to make a few batches of extract, and am wondering if I can freeze some to prolong use over the long cold winter? TIA!

    • I have no idea if you can freeze it- I’ve never tried that!

    • JC

      I also live in a cold climate, I will dry all my leaves and use them over the winter. I will also bring the plant indoors and try to keep it alive over winter.

  • Deb T

    I made my own stevia and the liquid is a very dark brownish green, although I did filter it to get the bits out. Is that normal? Maybe I need to run it through a coffee filter?

  • JC

    Do you think we could sub. green powder stevia for the white store stevia in baking. I can not find green powder stevia baking recipes. Lots of white stevia recipes out there. I understand it could turn the baking product green. I want to use my home grown plant in baking , but also want a tested recipe.

    • I don’t use stevia in baking, only for smoothies or where the extract/powder absorbs into!

  • Hello, I am a small scale farmer in California. I started growing stevia for the first time in 2014. I used clean onion bags to dry my harvest so it would stay naturally green and it works well. I also used a dehydrator to test and it worked great but at a cost. Here in California with the hot days we have, I was able to fully dry it in the shade in 3 days at zero utility cost but I do have the harvest overhead of my workers. I have been selling it to my clients at farmers markets fairly well but what I have notice is that many people just do not know the difference from the natural stevia vs the white powder stevia that most people are using without knowing that it is a processed product so I show them the color green which represents purity and most get curious and purchase a $7.00 bag from me. I want to make an extract to also sell at my markets but I need to know if the shelf life is greater using vodka or can one just use water and what would be the shelf life difference?

  • Cheryl

    im planning on making my own stevia extract, I’m just thinking that vodka has so much sugar in it. Do you know how many calories of sugar will be in a serving of stevia extract?

  • I would like to make stevia extract in liquid form please advice what to do.

  • ksridharprasad

    Thanks for the information about stevia to make powder and liquid.

  • Faye Allen

    After you make the extract can you keep it longer if you store it in the freezer?

  • joanie

    Can you make the extract with water instead of vodka?

  • Jane Keller

    Appreciate your time for recipe. Can you tell how much Vodka to be used for one cup dried stevia?

    • McKel Hill

      I followed the recipe here, but you can always do it to taste as well!

  • Pingback: Kratom Legal In Utah Webb City | Kratom.gq()

  • Pingback: Kratom Powder Under Tongue - Brew Kratom Leaf Tea()

  • Pingback: Kratom Resin Extract Effects Kennett Square - Brew Kratom Leaf Tea()

Submit Your Own