Stevia is an herb that can be used for a natural sweetener. It’s calorie free, Carbohydrate free, and has a zero glycemic index. It’s hardy as a perennial to zone 9. It’s been grown in tropical conditions for centuries, and was only recently discovered.
In it’s concentrated form, it’s 250-300 times sweeter than sugar.
It’s a shame that the USDA hasn’t accepted it as a safe sweetener yet. I believe it’s due to the sugar lobby.
Anyways, as a plant, stevia is amazing. It’s not very fussy, it’s easy to grow, and if you lay down a chute and cover it with some dirt, it will readily root. A single leaf alone is 25-40 times sweeter than sugar. It can be used in all kinds of applications. Bruise a leaf in your tea/coffee, use the powder for baking, cooking, eating. It has many possibilities.
You can buy seeds online, but I find them very hard to start. Go to your local nursery, and try to find the sweetest one.