Learn how to make your own super green powder by dehydrating greens and adding a powerful nutrition ingredient to your long-term food storage!
All it takes is one look at slimy, gross, and icky spinach oozing out of a can. Then you might be like me and hate greens forever.
I finally learned to stomach spinach by adding some to ricotta for manicotti, or 3 leaves onto a sandwich to replace lettuce.
But I never, ever, ever put greens on my plate, cooked or otherwise. I'm a southern girl and still have never eaten collard or mustard greens cooked. Ever. Just the smell is enough to make me say no without the thank you. And don't get me started on the slimy, canned, green stuff that is what kitchen table nightmares are made of.
It wasn't until I'd really begun my journey to a fully purposeful pantry that I learned there is a new way for me to make use of the dark leafy greens. I turn them into nutritious green powder which I can then add to countless dishes.
What Greens Can I Use to Make Dehydrated Green Powder?
Is it green? Then you can use it! I love catching bags of greens on clearance at our local grocery store and stocking up to spend the next couple of days dehydrating and building my green powder supply
It really is that simple.
- Herbs - whenever I have leftover herbs, I toss them in the pile along with my greens, or I'll hang those herbs to dry, and just add to my powder and shake well!
- Beet Greens
- Brassica leaves - broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
- Carrot tops -- parsnip, too!
- Celery leaves
- Greens - mustard, turnip, collard, swiss chard, etc.
- Lettuce - yes, you read that correctly! Lettuce! Don't bother with Iceburg, but the more color lettuce has, the better!
- Pumpkin leaves - you betcha!
- Radish greens
- Sweet potato leaves
- Weeds. Yes, you read that right - weeds.
You might be interested in: How to Dehydrate Parsley
Other items you may wish to include
- Beet powder
- Green bean powder
- Pea powder or Pea pods
You can add anything to the powder that you like, but specifically leafy greens are the base of the powder.
What not to add to Green Powder
Many garden greens are not digestible or downright poisonous for humans. Here are a few leafy greens you shouldn't add to your green powder.
- Tomato leaves
- Potato leaves (sweet potato leaves are fine)
Do I Need to Blanch Greens Before Dehydrating?
My rule of thumb for dehydrating foods is this:
"If you eat it cooked, blanch/steam it first before dehydrating."
Steaming dark leafy greens, like mustard greens or kale, before eating is thought to help reduce oxalic acid, which makes their nutrients more available to be absorbed into your body. It also helps soften the stems of the plant, which are so full of concentrated nutrition, making them less of a waste product in the end.
However, it's not necessary for dehydrating since you'll be cooking it in most applications anyway!
If you choose to steam your greens (or even wilt them - but be sure to do it without oil), be sure to cut into smaller pieces to help facilitate even steaming and dehydrating later.
Will blanching kill bacteria?
According to James Rogers, Ph.D., director of Food Safety and Research at Consumer Reports, suggests cooking greens thoroughly to kill E-Coli and other related bacteria.
HOW TO DEHYDRATE GREENS
Before you get started: Always preheat your dehydrator when you begin to prep your produce, and dehydrate at the appropriate temperatures. Running at 160F doesn’t make things dehydrate faster, it just promotes case hardening, which you don’t want! Have you ever tested the temperature on your dehydrator?
1. Wash greens thoroughly
Soak greens in a vegetable wash of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water and 2 TB lemon juice. I generally soak for about 5-10 minutes.
2. Remove any unwanted stems and veins
De-stem your greens. I prefer to compost the thick, fibrous stems (or you can give them to your chicken or worms), because I find that they don’t grind down well without a lot of work, unless they have been steamed well, first.
But you can do them separately as they will take longer to dehydrate.
Note: If you have steamed your greens first, you may not need to remove the stems, but check them all to be sure and remove any that are still tough.
3. Dry greens as thoroughly as possible.
I generally set my leaves on layers of tea towels and press gently to remove as much moisture as I can. You can certainly use a salad spinner to get rid of as much moisture as possible. Then I let them sit on the countertop a while to finish air-drying.
You may choose to set your leaves in your dehydrator tray at this point and set it at the lowest temperature to force-air dry to get the process going a little faster. This will help save countertop space if you're limited to work on other projects or starting your next batch.
4. Lay your leaves on your dehydrator trays.
It’s okay if they touch or if you pile them on a bit. Leaves shrink up to ¼ to ⅓ of their size when dehydrated, so there is lots of room for movement.
5. Set your dehydrator to herbs or 95°F / 35°C.
Greens are heartier than herbs, so I set my dehydrating temp to the lower end but a bit higher than herbs. Greens usually dry within 4 to 8 hours, depending on the moisture of your home, the moisture content of your greens, and your dehydrator.
If you would prefer to go a little more quickly, you can set your temperature to Vegetable or 125°F / 52°C. Just remember that you don't want to 'cook' those greens - you want to save as much of the nutritional value as possible.
Using the oven as an alternative to drying your greens:
If you do not have a dehydrator:
- Set your oven to its lowest temperature.
- Lay your leaves out on cooling racks,
- Prop your door open.
- Dry approximately 2-3 hrs., but check often.
Not only do you want to keep the temperature of your oven down, you want the circulating effect of having the door open. This allows it to release as much of the moisture into the outside air and not trapping it in the oven.
Test for dryness
When leaves AND stems crumble when crushing, your greens are done.
Because the stems on greens are often very thick and fibrous, they will hold more moisture than the leaves do, which means they may be holding on to moisture.
Conditioning allows you to test your dehydrated produce to make sure that no moisture is creating an environment where mold may form.
Simply put your greens into a jar with a lid. Shake once a day for a week and watch for any moisture formation in stems or on leaves. Put back into the dehydrator if you see any.
If you see even a little mold forming, throw it all out. It's not safe to just pick out where you see the mold since it can be throughout the greens and not visible.
How to Make Green Powder
1. Powder the dry leaves
Fill your blender with the dried leaves and pulse a few times, then set on a low speed to powder.
Note: If you have a Blendtec or Vitamix, be sure not to blend so much that you're cooking those leaves. But blend at lower speeds to allow them to fully powder. I use a Ninja blender and will need to do a 2nd pass on the thicker leaves like collard or mustard.
There is no ratio - use what you have.
2. Strain powdered leaves into a storage container
This helps keep out the larger flakes of greens. You can then return those to the blender/processor and whirl them around for another ride if they are not fine enough for you.
Just how much powder will you get from dehydrated greens? The yield will vary on how big your leaves are and which greens you are dehydrating.
In general 1 C of packed greens = ½ C dehydrated greens = 1 TB+ powdered greens
This ratio is very generic - and it will be dependent on how thick your greens are, etc.
But don’t think that it’s such a small amount for such a big job. You’ve now got concentrated iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins K, C, and E, phytonutrients, and small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s a powerhouse of nutrients in a jar.
If that seems a daunting task to you, start with the pint-sized jars and work your way up. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your jar fills once you start!
How to Store Green Powder
Ideally, you want your green powder stored in an airtight container that will be kept at an optimal temperature and dark setting. I keep the working container of powder in a glass jar on our countertop. If I have extra green powder to store in the pantry, I do keep zip-top bags stored in smaller amounts in a larger glass container. I am accident-prone and drop things. Then it's a whole bunch of work down the drain.
You may also want to consider vacuum-sealing your greens into mylar bags or food storage bags for long-term shelf storage.
Is There a Green Powder Recipe?
There is no particular recipe for making green powder. Take advantage of any dark leafy greens you have access to.
This can be an ever-changing mixture of those greens listed above as you harvest or purchase from the grocery store.
How to Use Green Powder in Your Kitchen
You can add this nutritionally boosted powder to just about anything you cook. Are kids not getting enough greens? Green Powder is a great way to sneak extra into their everyday foods. We find that it doesn't really affect the flavor of your food unless you go wild adding it 🙂
Here are just a few suggestions of how we use green powder in our kitchen:
- Sprinkle onto salads
- Bulk up your favorite herb mixture
- Mix into meat mixtures (meatloaf and tacos just to name a couple)
- Sprinkle into casseroles
- Make real green eggs! Mix into any egg dish that you are doing like scrambled eggs, frittatas, omelets, etc.
- Add to smoothies - if you've run out of fresh greens, there's no one saying that you can't use dried ones! I use approximately 1 TB of greens in a blender full)
- Add to sauces - adding green powder to any hearty sauce is another great way to boost nutrition without really affecting the flavor.
- Color pasta - use your favorite homemade pasta recipe and replace some of the flour with green powder to get vibrant green pasta.
- Egg muffins - we do egg muffins (a layer of greens, a layer of meat, a layer of cheese, a cracked egg (or egg scramble) and cook for 20 min. Sometimes, instead of actual greens which can be a texture issue for my youngest son, I use a nice heaping teaspoon of green powder instead)
- Green Powder Capsules - a way to supplement our intake of greens and give ourselves a little boost.
Want to learn to do a little more? Try this with Vegetable Powders!
An airtight container such as a mason or canning jar, a spaghetti sauce jar, a mylar bag, etc.
DIY green powder is good for about a year if stored in an airtight container in a dark, cool, dry place.
I use the Excalibur 9-tray Dehydrator (like this one from Amazon. However, you can use almost any dehydrator on the market. I also recommend the Cosori for a more affordable option that is really quiet!
I hope you’ll give this a try! How can you think to use Green Powder as a way to boost your family’s nutritional intake?
DIY Super Green Powder
- 1 LB Greens
- Wash greens well
- Place on to dehydrator trays, they can overlap
- Dry at 95°F / 35°C
- Test for dryness - should completely crumble in your hand
- Store in an airtight container
Make Super Green Powder
- Place greens in the grinder / blender of your choice
- Process until a smooth green powder is made
- Store in an airtight container for up to a year.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.