Stevia is NOT to be considered a straight substitute for sugar, however. It doesn't dissolve in water like sugar so no good for meringues etc, and in things like jams it doesn't 'jell' or turn into toffee. It's more of a 'flavour additive' that gives sweetness.
It can be added to baked goods (cakes etc) for sweetness, but your standard recipes won't taste quite the same.
Here's how to use it. Remember that the sweetness level is different, depending on variables such as when it's harvested, where it's grown, climate and soil conditions etc.
Using dried, powdered leaves as a substitute for sugar: One tablespoon of stevia or less is equivalent to about 1 cup sugar. A liquid sweetener is made by pouring 1 liter boiling water over 1 Tblsp. dried leaves & allowing it to steep. Refrigerate and use within a few days, or freeze for later use.
To make a syrup: Place 4 tsp. dried powdered leaves in a saucepan with 2 cups water, simmer slowly for 10-15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.
An infusion of fresh or dried leaves can be drunk as a beverage, hot or cold, or added to other herbs as a sweetener. If using fresh leaves to replace dried quantities listed above, multiply the amount 5 times.
Approximately 6 large leaves chopped finely is a substitute for 1/2 cup of sugar for baking or in cooked recipes. 1 teaspoon of ground stevia is equal to 1 cup of sugar. 2 drops of liquid essence is equal to 1 teaspoon sugar. (These measurements are from the stevia.net website. I would test them for your own desired sweetness in the drink or food you are using it in.)
Roughly chop your stevia leaves as to release oils. Place leaves into a medium saucepan of water.
Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Cover and allow to steep until cooled.
Once cooled, pour stevia water into a container and place in the icebox to continue steeping. Allow to steep for at least 12 hours or overnight.
When ready to use, strain leaves from sweet water and use in place of regular sugar to sweeten your tea.
Click HERE for printable recipe