Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome to a sneak preview of Growing and using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes, your complete guide to growing, harvesting, processing, and using stevia at home. Order your copy through online vendors such as:

Prairie Oak Publishing
Many of the companies listed in "Stevia Sources"

or ask your local bookstore or plant nursery to order it for you.

News Release for Growing and Using Stevia

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeffrey Goettemoeller, 660-528-0768

“ of our favorites. It’s simple and all in one. You get the facts, recipes, and how to grow it. The price is economical and we are happy to offer it along with live plants and other stevia products.”
—Marshall & Judy Ayer; Ayer Natural Market & Greenhouse; Bluford, IL

Grow the Sweet Herb at Home!

August 2008 — Stevia rebaudiana is a natural, low glycemic, low calorie alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Grow this amazing sweet leaf in your own garden, and then use your homegrown stevia in recipes!

Growing and Using Stevia is the complete home stevia guide from garden to table, with chapters about propagating, growing, harvesting, and processing stevia, indoors and out. This book also tells how to use homegrown Green Stevia Powder or Stevia Leaf Water Extract in 35 recipes developed in the Lucke and Goettemoeller kitchens. This step-by-step how-to manual is illustrated with 33 grayscale photos.

Learn how to:
Start stevia from seeds, cuttings, or transplants.
Grow stevia in your garden or in containers.
Harvest leaves and make your own green powder or liquid stevia extract.
Use homegrown green stevia in pies, frozen desserts, herb tea, smoothies, and more!

Authors Jeffrey Goettemoeller and Karen Lucke are siblings who grew up gardening and enjoying wholesome home cooking. Karen is now a nutritionist and reflexologist. Jeffrey is the author of Stevia Sweet Recipes: Sugarfree—Naturally!, with over 300,000 copies in print. He also majored in horticulture at Northwest Missouri State University and completed a published research study on the production of Stevia rebaudiana seeds.

Growing And Using Stevia is available from,,, or contact Prairie Oak Publishing:

Growing and Using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes
by Jeffrey Goettemoeller and Karen Lucke. 2008, 6 x 9, 88 pages, 33 illustrations, perfect binding. ISBN 978-0-9786293-3-5. LCCN 2008925032. $10.00, retail.

Table of Contents

From Growing and Using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes.

Front Matter
Introdution to Stevia
1. About the Stevia Plant
2. Outdoor Soil and Culture
3. Houseplants
4. Propagation by Cuttings
5. Propagation from Seed
6. Harvest and Storage
7. Processing Stevia Leaves
8. Stevia in the Kitchen
9. Recipes
Stevia Sources and Resources
General Index
Recipe Index

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Publication Information for Growing and Using Stevia

Authors: Jeffrey Goettemoeller & Karen Lucke
Publisher: Prairie Oak Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9786293-3-5
LCCN: 2008925032
Pages: 88
Figures: 31 photos
Binding: perfect bound paperback
Dimensions: 6 by 9 inches
Retail Price: $10.00
Publication Date: May 2008
Retail Availability:, Prairie Oak Publishing,, or ask your local book store to order it for you. Also available from many of the business listed in sources.
Wholesale Availability: Prairie Oak Publishing, Ingram Book Co., YBP. Email to inquire about purchasing from the publisher for resale.

Stevia, The Sweet Leaf of South America

Following is the Introduction from Growing and Using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes.

The leaves of Stevia rebaudiana are much sweeter than common sugar. No wonder it’s sometimes called “sweet leaf” in Paraguay and Brazil where it originated. Stevia leaves, though, are low-glycemic, low-calorie,[1] and do not encourage dental cavities.[2] All this makes stevia a great natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Stevia does not taste exactly like sugar. It has a unique flavor; much like honey or maple syrup have their own flavors—especially in the case of whole green stevia. Most people find the taste pleasant when the proper amount is used to make tea or combined with compatible ingredients.

The Problem with Refined Sugar

Why avoid sugar? It’s OK in moderation, but refined sugar adds lots of calories to the diet without contributing significant amounts of nutrients. The average American diet includes so many of these empty calories, there’s little room for needed nutrients. This can lead to malnutrition and obesity. A 2005 Penn State study found the average U.S. preschooler gets 14–17 teaspoons of added sugar per day![3] Twelve percent of the 4 and 5 year-olds surveyed got more than 25% of their calories from added sugar. These children also had the lowest consumption of most nutrients. They didn’t get enough grains, vegetables, fruits, and other nutrient-rich foods. Another issue with refined sugar, white flour, and other foods with a high glycemic index is that they enter the blood stream quickly, leading to rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Finally, too much sugar can encourage tooth decay and more time at the dentist’s office.

What About Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners have drawbacks as well. Aspartame, for instance, should not be used in cooking. When heated, it breaks down into its constituent parts. Additionally, aspartame has been a major cause of health related complaints to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).[4] Stevia, on the other hand, has not prompted reports of health problems despite being used in large quantities since the 1970’s in countries such as Japan.[5]

Order your copy of Growing and Using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes through one of these links:

directly from Prairie Oak Publishing


[1] A 2004 study confirmed stevia leaf is lower in calories than aspartame, much sweeter than sucrose, and has a lower glycemic index as compared to sucrose: S.M. Savita and others, 2004 “Stevia rebaudiana—A Functional Component for Food Industry,” Journal of Human Ecology 15 (4): 261-264.
[2] A University Of Illinois College Of Dentistry study found that neither Stevioside nor Rebaudioside A (the main sweet glycosides in stevia) was cariogenic (promoting of dental cavities) under the conditions of the study. S. A. Das and others. 1992. "Evaluation of the Cariogenic Potential of the Intense Natural Sweeteners Stevioside and Rebaudioside A". Caries Research. 26 (5): 363.
[3] S. Kranz, H. Smiciklas-Wright, A. M. Siega-Riz, and D. Mitchell. 2005. "Adverse Effect of High Added Sugar Consumption on Dietary Intake in American Preschoolers," Journal of Pediatrics 146 (1): 105-111.
[4] cf. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 1984. "Evaluation of consumer complaints related to aspartame use". MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 33 (43): 605-7.
[5] cf. Daniel Mowery, Ph.D., Life with Stevia: How Sweet it is! 1992. Available online:


Front Matter

The following is from Growing and Using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes.


List of Figures

1. About the Stevia Plant

Plant Description
Day Length
Stevia in the Wild

2. Outdoor Soil and Culture

Raised Beds
Plant Care

3. Houseplants

Overwintering Outdoor Plants
Watering Houseplants
Potting up Houseplants
Fertilizing Houseplants
Lighting for Houseplants
Houseplants in the Spring

4. Propagation by Cuttings

Making Cuttings
Caring for Cuttings
Outdoor Propagation from Cuttings

5. Propagation from Seed

Seed Storage
Shopping List for Seed Starting
Directions for Seed Starting

6. Harvest and Storage

Drying Leaves
Storing Dried Leaves

7. Processing Stevia Leaves

Stevia Leaf Water Extract
Green Stevia Powder

8. Stevia in the Kitchen

Green Stevia Powder
Whole Dried Leaves
Liquid Stevia Extract
Stevia Extract Powder

9. Recipes

Simple Stevia Tea
Hot Tea, Green
Blueberry Grape Syrup
Puffy Oven Pancakes
Spiced Oat, Nut, and Fruit Granola
Gluten-Free Granola
Breakfast Oatmeal
Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
Breakfast Sausage
Vanilla Nut ‘Ice Cream’
Orange Stevia Soda
Chocolate Milk Shake
Peach Smoothie
Strawberry Soup
Strawberry Smoothie
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Lime Pie
Rhubarb Strawberry Pie
Blueberry Pie
Carob Silk Pie
Coconut Whipped Cream
Lemon Chiffon Topping
Baked Custard
Pumpkin Custard
Grape Kiwi Salad
Pineapple Berry Gelatin
Sweet ‘n Spicy Meatballs
Savory Spaghetti Sauce
Special Garlic Toast
Herb Dumplings for Soup or Stew
Salt-Free Herbal Seasoning
Creamy Herb Salad Dressing
Sunflower Oat Rolls
Pumpkin Muffins
Rice Tomato Soup

Appendix: Stevia Sources and Resources
General Index
Recipe Index

Figures (photos in the book)

0-1. Branched Stevia sprig
0-2. Stevia plant sprig
0-3. Stevia Leaf
0-4. Stevia blossoms
2-1. Raised growing beds
2-2. Young plant ready to transplant
2-3. Raised beds with Stevia plants
2-4. Raised bed with shade cover
2-5. Mulched plants with drip hose
2-6. Pruned stevia plant
2-7. Horizontal stem with vertical side branches
2-8. Mature Stevia plant
3-1. Large potted plant
3-2. Newly dug plants
3-3. Young houseplant
3-4. Overwintering plants indoors
3-5. Potted plant in the spring
4-1. Stem cutting
4-2. Newly planted cuttings
4-3. Rooted cuttings
5-1. Stevia seeds with penny
5-2. Recycled clamshell fl at
5-3. Newly planted cell packs
5-4. Young seedlings
5-5. Cell packs under fl uorescent light
5-6. Young Stevia plant from seed
5-7. Stevia seedlings in cell packs
6-1. Sprig with blossom buds
6-2. Dried leaves on stems
6-3. Drying Stevia leaves on a rack
8-1. Dried Stevia leaves

(continued below)


The authors would like thank their mother, Bertha Goettemoeller. She generously assisted in developing many of the recipes in this book. Thanks also to other family members who helped in many ways, especially as taste testers!

The late Dr. Alejandro Ching deserves a special expression of gratitude. As a professor of plant science at Northwest Missouri State University, he mentored Jeffrey, introducing him to stevia and other fascinating plants. He was always energetic and full of enthusiasm, especially about his faith and about plants that could help farmers and consumers. In 1998, Dr. Ching gave Jeffrey the chance to conduct an undergraduate research project, Seed germination in Stevia rebaudiana.


Growing and Using Stevia is written for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prescribe, or prevent any medical condition or replace the advice of a licensed health practitioner. Growing and Using Stevia is not intended to provide all information on the subject matter covered. While every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of this book, there may be mistakes in content and typography. The authors and publisher assume no responsibility or liability with respect to any alleged or real damage caused, directly or indirectly, by information contained in this book. Inclusion of company names, contact information, web sites, product names, and other resources do not represent endorsements by the authors or publisher.


1: About the Stevia Plant

Following is an excerpt from Growing and Using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes.

Stevia Plant Description

Stevia rebaudiana is a fascinating plant, native to higher altitudes of Paraguay and Brazil in South America. Stevia is the genus, meaning a broad classification of plants. Rebaudiana is the species name. When we say “Stevia,” we are referring to this particular species. Only this species, out of the many found in the Americas, contains the high concentration of sweet glycosides making this “sweet leaf” such a useful and amazing herb.

There seems to be something about the Stevia’s glycosides that, despite their appeal to our taste buds, makes many insects loathe to dine on the leaves. Perhaps Stevia rebaudiana developed this high concentration of glycosides as an adaptation to protect itself from insect attack.

Stevia is not a particularly showy plant. Its sweet taste is its most notable feature. It is a non-woody herb, with somewhat stiff and brittle stems. Leaves are small and narrow, notched on the end. Leaves are sweeter than stems. Plants started from seed generally feature larger leaves than plants started from cuttings. Plants usually reach a height of around 24–30 inches (61-76 cm) under cultivation. Older plants can send up new shoots from underground. Stevia blossoms are white and tiny, but so numerous that plants look like greenish-white clouds when in bloom. It is a tender perennial herb, meaning it survives winters and keeps growing, but only where winters are mild, such as subtropical regions like Florida, the gulf coast, and coastal California. Stevia roots will generally not survive under about 25° F. (−4° Celsius).

Stevia and Day Length

Fortunately, Stevia may be grown as an annual— planted every year—where cold winters prevent perennial production. Even when grown as perennials, plants should be replaced every few years since they tend to weaken with time. There are advantages to growing Stevia at higher latitudes, closer to the poles. It has to do with the longer summer day lengths—more hours of sunlight.

(continued below)

Stevia is a “short day” plant which means it blooms as days grow shorter in late summer or fall. In northern Missouri (around 40° north latitude), most Stevia plants don’t bloom until late September or early October. This is when days are finally short enough to trigger blossoming. It means seeds will not ripen outdoors before a killing freeze. But it also means plants can grow all summer with long daylight conditions. Long days have the opposite effect that short days do. They encourage lots of leaf growth rather than blossoms, resulting in higher leaf yields and a higher concentration of sweet glycosides in those leaves. More temperate regions, then, are great for leaf production, but subtropical regions allow for a longer growing season, perennial culture, and outdoor seed production.

See Chapter 1 of Growing and Using Stevia for this additional topic:

  • Stevia in The Wild

Order your copy of Growing and Using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes through one of these links:

directly from Prairie Oak Publishing