I have a confession…
I hate dark leafy greens that have been cooked, wilted, or otherwise made warm by any means of cooking. (Yes, even though this reduces oxalic acid and is the most nutritious way to prepare them.)
Please don't hate me. I know I'm supposed to love them, and have kale, spinach, or collard greens with every meal, but I just can't. And please don't say that I'd love them if only I covered them in bacon drippings. It's just not going to happen.
So, I get my fill of dark leafy greens from salad and smoothies. But sometimes, they still pile up. Anyone else have an overwhelming and growing mound of greens in their crisper drawer?
To preserve all this leafy bounty for future dishes, I turn these greens into a batch of nutritious green powder.
How To Dehydrate Greens Into Powder
In the following directions, I'll show you how to do this with fresh, raw greens. If you'd like to steam dark leafy greens first to reduce their oxalic acid*, simply steam then drain the greens — then dry and powder. In addition, feel free to skip trimming off the stems (step 3) because the steaming softens them. Easy peasy!
*Oxalic acid is an anti-nutrient found in dark leafy greens that inhibits mineral absorption. Click here for more info.
Step #1 — Gather Greens
Step #2 — Wash Thoroughly & Remove Stems
Do your greens have any woody or pulpy stems and veins? Compost them or feed them to your chickens! I find that they don't grind down well into powder without a lot of work.
Step #3 — Dry Leaves
I take the leaves outside and shake off as much moisture as possible, then set them on my kitchen counter on tea towels in layers to dry. The less moisture on their surfaces, the less time in the dehydrator.
Step #4 — Lay Leaves On Dehydrator Trays
It's okay if they touch. Leaves shrink up to 1/4 to 1/3 of their size when dehydrated, so there's lots of room for movement. Just don't stack them on top of each other.
Step #5 — Set Dehydrator To 110 degrees Fahrenheit
You can also use the Herbs setting on your dehydrator, although lettuce and greens are sometimes heartier than herbs (but less hearty than veggies), so I set my dehydrating temp to the lower end but a bit higher than herbs.
Greens usually dry without 4 to 8 hours, depending on the moisture of your home, the moisture of your greens, and your dehydrator. If you prefer to go more quickly, set your temperature to the Vegetable setting (or 125 degrees Fahrenheit). Just keep a close eye on it.
If you don't have a dedicated dehydrator, set your oven to its lowest temperature. Lay your leaves on cookie sheets with the cake cooling grids on them. Then place in the oven, and prop the door open. Not only do you want to keep the oven temperature down, but you want the air to circulate and not trap moisture inside. If this has inspired you to invest in a dehydrator, How to Choose the Best Food Dehydrator #AskWardee 152 can help you decide which dehydrator is best for your family.
Step #6 — Blend Dry Leaves
That's right! Once the leaves are dry, whir those puppies up in your blender or food processor.
Step #7 — Pour Leaves Through Mesh Strainer Into Jar
For any larger flakes left behind, return those to the blender and whiz them up again.
What's The Yield?
It takes 2 to 3 full dehydrator cycles to fill a quart-sized jar. Don't let that seem daunting! You've now got concentrated iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, phytonutrients, and small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
It's a powerhouse of nutrients in that little jar.
How To Use Green Powder
- Sprinkle a tablespoon in your morning smoothie!
- Add to salads for a boost of flavor and nutrition.
- Create your own herbal mix out of green powder, other herbs, and dried zests.
- Add to soups for extra seasonings, or if you've run out of parsley!
- Mix into meatloaf.
- Get creative! Pasta, hamburgers, fritattas, stews, chilis, and more are all waiting!
Have you ever thought to dehydrate greens into powder?
Also, check out our free resource — The Dehyrating Tools Guide!
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