Do you find that your bags of kale hit their ‘use by’ date before you can eat it all? Learn to make powdered greens and never waste another bag!
During the winter when the garden has gone to bed, you may be purchasing large bags of kale, spinach, collards and mustard greens for fresh salads. You will probably do as we do and pack the greens into scrambled eggs and salads, casseroles, soups, and side dishes – but let’s face it, in order to get the best price, you have to purchase HUGE bags and it is often hard to eat it all.
I have a secret weapon for powering through the greens that are reaching their best by date – It’s making your own homemade green powder. This simple vegetable powder, made of whatever greens we’ve harvested is one of my favorite ways to make sure we do not waste food.
Drying and making a powder from greens allows you to eat them all winter long.
Make powdered greens from any combination of fresh produce that you have available: beet and turnip trimmings, kale, lettuce leaves, broccoli leaves, leek, and onion greens, bell peppers, herbs. Even very dry fruit makes a great addition. Really, any vegetable will do, and a variety is nice.
How much money can you save by taking this extra step? We used to purchase a container of powdered greens for around $20 and add a scoop of it to our morning smoothie. Cutting that out has saved us $240 per year.
Make Powdered Greens
Dry the greens in your dehydrator at 100-125 degrees for 4 to 6 hours.
You don’t need to trim the leaves or take any great care in preparation beyond removing any garden dirt, although I do remove the extra tough stalks of Bok Choi, kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard and then dry them on a separate dehydrator sheet.
You may also want to cut leaves into smaller strips. This helps speed up the drying time and lets additional air flow through the trays. As mentioned, place the tougher stalk sections on their own trays, without leaves, they will be the last to finish drying and may need time beyond the 6 hours.
Simply lay the greens on clean dehydrator sheets. It’s okay to have the leaves touching and even overlapping and the leaves can be placed it up to a fourth of an inch deep on the trays. The more air circulation you give it, the quicker they will dry.
Check for dryness after 3 hours and consolidate trays if needed.
Once the leaves are crisp, process them in a blender or food processor until you have a fine powder.
Run the powdered sections through a sieve and re-powder the pieces that did not make it through.
You can store homemade green powder in a dark cabinet, in airtight jars for up to a year, although we never have ours around that long. This homemade green powder is a concentrated food, so keep in mind that one cup of fresh green leaves will make approximately 1 tablespoon of dried green powder.