Make your own healthy greens powder without purchasing the expensive stuff from the store. You can grow it, dehydrate it, and then powder it.
As the new year approaches and I’m getting my traditional meals ready, I’m looking at my huge bundle of collard greens, thinking, why don’t they sell smaller amounts? Right?! I’ll use some for my New Year’s Day meal, but then I’m going to dehydrate the rest.
Greens grow in cooler weather, so they are harder to come by in the winter and sometimes in the summer. Another reason is to save space. A cup of fresh greens takes up a cup of volume, but dry that and it’s less than a teaspoon. Moreover, the powder is more versatile. It’s easier to add the powder to meatloaf than shredded greens. And yet another is that it’s easier to digest. Some people have a hard time digesting cabbage-type greens but seem to be ok with dried greens.
Dehydrate Greens Into Healthy Greens Powder
I’m lucky enough to have been gifted a good dehydrator. It has heat and a fan, so plant matter dries much faster. There are other models that have just the heat or adjustable settings, but any dehydrator will work.
- Wash your greens well. Most greens have dirt or sand on them, making for an unappetizing crunch.
- Pat the greens dry or leave in a strainer overnight. Excess moisture will make for a longer drying time.
- Place the greens on the dehydrator trays, making sure you don’t layer them. One layer at a time dries much faster than if they are piled up.
- Leave some space around each leaf if you can. This will allow more airflow and help the leaves to dry faster which means you get your healthy greens powder faster.
- Set your temperature (if you can) and turn the machine on.
- Make sure there is adequate airflow around the dehydrator. This will keep the machine from overheating and help the greens to dry faster.
- Check your dehydrator often. I have a horrible smell coming from mine and then remembered that collards are in the cabbage family. Pee ew!
- Note the times that it takes for the greens to dry all the way. My old dehydrator took 2-3 days because it was heated only. My new one takes just a few hours, probably because it has a fan too. And if the plant material is too dry, it can start to turn black. I had this happen with the first mint that I dried in it.
Turn Healthy Greens Into Powder
When the leaves are dry, carefully (they will be fragile) lift them off of the trays and place them in a bowl. You can use a mortar and pestle or just crumble the leaves with your hands or a wooden spoon. You can keep going and crush them to a powder or leave them as small flakes.
When you have the greens at the consistency that you want them, store them in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. They will keep for about a year if they are kept in a dark, cool place.
This method works well to make healthy greens powder out of almost any type of greens. It doesn’t matter what color or shape they are, it will all end up green in the end.
Alternative Drying Methods
There are several other drying methods that you can use. You can use a solar dehydrator, an oven on very low heat, hanging them up to dry, or even the sun in your car window (I still get a kick out of this). Whatever method you use, just be sure they are dry to the point of crumbling. If there is any moisture left, you’ll be inviting mold. Any nobody wants that!
Using Your Healthy Greens Powder
This healthy greens powder can be used for a number of applications. Here are a few great examples:
- Add to a smoothie
- Add to a pot of soup or stew
- Mix with homemade salad dressing
- Add a to a casserole
- Make a crunchy topping for a casserole
- Add a small amount to a batch of homemade granola
- Add some to homemade pet treats
- You can add some to any animal feed. Chickens love it!
- Add some to homemade breads or corn muffins
- Add to meatballs or meatloaf
This healthy greens powder is only one way to use dehydrated greens. What is your favorite?