Dark, leafy greens are very important for promoting good health.
Packed with vitamins and minerals all of us need, we should all eat as many greens as we can.
As wonderful as greens are for our health, not everyone enjoys eating them.
In fact, it’s nearly impossible for some people to get them down. One alternative is to eat them dried and powdered rather than steamed or raw.
Sprinkle it on (almost) anything
Dried greens have more of an herbal flavor that is easier to blend with other foods or to use as a spice. Properly-made green powder contains concentrated amounts of iron; magnesium; potassium; vitamins K, C, and E; phytonutrients; and omega-3 fatty acids. Green powder is incredibly versatile thanks to its very mild flavor and can be added to nearly all foods, from oatmeal to cookies and gravy to smoothies.
Easy with or without dehydrator
The key to getting all of the health benefits of dark, leafy greens is to steam them before drying and powdering them. Cooking reduces levels of oxalic acid, which is a compound that reduces the availability of vitamins and minerals in the greens. With cooked, dried greens, you will enjoy all of the health benefits these vegetables have to offer.
Follow these steps to dry and powder your own dark leafy greens:
1. Gather as many greens as possible. Nearly any green can be dehydrated, including lettuce, spinach, kale, collard greens, and more. NOTE: drying takes quite a while, so you’ll want to make as much as possible in every batch.
2. Wash the vegetables thoroughly using either clean tepid water to remove excess dirt.
3. Cut away any bad spots, roots that can’t be eaten, woody stems, etc. (You use these for compost)
4. Remove as much excess water as possible using a clean, absorbent cloth, or simply shake them dry.
5. Place leaves in a single layer on dehydrator trays. It’s okay if they touch, as shrinkage will be anywhere from 25 to 33 percent. NOTE: if you don’t have a dehydrator, don’t worry. You can just use your oven on its lowest setting and leave the door cracked to let the moisture escape.
6. Stack your filled trays onto your dehydrator and set the temperature at 110 to 140 degrees F, depending on the type of vegetable and the moisture content of the surrounding air. Thicker leaves and high humidity will require higher dehydration temperatures. Allow the greens to dry at least four to sixteen hours; see here for a chart of drying times.
7. Once the leaves are nice and crisp, they are done dehydrating. Add them to a blender and use the highest setting necessary to powder, not flake, the leaves.
8. Place a wire mesh strainer over the mouth of your preferred storage container. Pour your powder through the strainer and into the container.
Use your green powder as a supplement for foods that need enriching and as a way to get all the nutrients you need without the (dis)pleasure of eating dark, leafy greens.