DIY Homemade “Green Powder”

August 22nd, 2011 - filed under: The Food » Recipes



Oh, you guys. You know that feeling when you stumble upon something so rad, so essentially, perfectly relevant, so flippin RAD-TASTIC that you actually go past the point of peeing-in-your-pants-excited and just sort of sit back and sigh and shake your head? Yeah. Like that.


When most people think about food preservation, they’re focused on handling the bounty of produce that warm-weather brings. Canning berries, freezing fruits, fermenting veggies and pickling cucumbers – it’s all part of the summer flow for urban farmers and enthusiastic locavores alike.

But what about people like me? What about people who are, shall we say, somewhat addicted to enamored of their greens? People who can’t go a few hours without wolfing down some kale or rolling up some collards or blending a bunch of spinach ? For us, summer means the end of greens season (they thrive in the cool climate of late spring and early fall), and 3(ish) months of life without local organic green goodness. Summer is a sad time for my blender . . .

Ginormous organic chard for $1/bunch (!!!). I couldn’t turn it down, but how could I use it all up before it went bad? And so began my scheming.



This concept is so simple that I simply can’t believe it hasn’t occurred to me sooner. And I really can’t believe I haven’t seen it elsewhere in the blogosphere! But there you go.

It goes like this:




Procure a large quantity of fresh, local, organic greens (like spinach, collards, chard, dandelion, etc). And I do mean large. In the picture above, I’m holding the entire yield of kale from this year’s garden. That’s about 1/5 of the total greens I used.

Wash and de-rib the leaves. Lay them out flat on dehydrator trays (for a raw powder) or baking sheets (for oven, non raw). Set your dehydrator at 115º and allow to run overnight, or until leaves are completely dried (up to 12 hours). Alternately, you can set your oven at the lowest temperature and use that, but I haven’t tested this method so you’ll have to keep an eye on the timing. Just remember, you’re aiming to pull the moisture out – not to actually cook them. So keep the setting low!

Collards, the morning after.



Next, you’ll need to grind your greens into powder. I like to use an electric coffee grinder which I reserve for things like flax, dried coconut, and other caffeine-free culinary specimens.





You could also use a spice grinder, a mortar and pestle, or a food processor. But this is a LOT of product to work through, and you want to get as fine a powder as possible, so a coffee grinder really fits the bill.


Grind grind grind in batches, until voila! You’ve saved a few months worth of greens.

I had to repeat this entire process four times, and it still barely yielded a couple cups of powder (and I have a 9-tray dehydrator!). But that means this is incredibly concentrated green nutrition. Use it as you’d use any other green powder – for me that means a lot of smoothies. A little bit goes a long way!

This will make a great project for late autumn, when the second crop begins to die back, and once again we need to preserve a stock of fresh local organic greens to make it through the off season.


Enjoy!

  • http://www.mynaturallyfrugalfamily.blogspot.com Rachel

    Well that is just awesome and an idea that had never crossed my mind (I am obviously way too conventional). Thanks so much for the tip. How much do you use per smoothie?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    About a tablespoon!

  • Sam

    That’s such a perfect idea! I just recently started making green juice, and I’ve been saving my pulp with no real plans of what to do with it. I’ve also been making green smoothies, but they’re just fruits and veggies, no real concentrated green punch as of yet. Now I’ve got a plan! :)

  • Brandy

    Love this idea! I’m trying it right now!!!!

  • Sandy

    Awesome recipe. My boyfriend eats almost no vegetables at all. I bet I could sneak this powder into spaghetti sauce and maybe into hamburger. Got any other way I could sneak him some nutrition?

  • Fletcherconnie

    I am so very glad that this idea was posted. I just found this blog, and I will be back…lots and lots!!! You’ve encouraged me to do what I have wanted to do for awhile, and you took it all the way downtown!! I have some yummy kale chips and wanted to “powder” them up to use for a seasoning…..and that’s what’s next on my agenda today. Thanks for the inspiration!!! This is a GREAT blog…and I don’t say that lightly!!! Thanks, Sayward!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/NargusandCo Nargus Harounzadeh

    This is amazing. I can’t believe I never thought of this. Thank you!

  • Lydiathompson75

    Genius!!!!

  • Lindsay

    Just tried this last night with collards, turnip greens, mustard greens and spinach – it’s a labor of love, but it’s wonderful! Thanks, S. Start posting again, thx.

  • Lindsay

    P to the S – I use a Nesco American Harvest dehydrator with 4 trays – I did 4 full trays on 115 for about 4-5 hours and they were perfectly dry!

  • Mandi Carringer

    This is really brilliant! I can’t believe I never thought to try it!

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  • Dpeterson1

    Hi, I am very new to the green game. I tried pumpkin leaves today, all of this blows me away as to what I have in my garden for greens. My question is if I dehydrate a lot of different greens can I mix them all in one jar so there is a large variety. From what I have been reading you need to constantly keep your greens changed. Thanks for your post and help!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    You can definitely mix them all together, that’s what I do and it makes for a much more nutrient-rich powder. Luck!

  • princessgirl

    Do you think you could do this for other dehydrated fruit as well, such as strawberries or bananas and then grind it up to powder as well?

  • princessgirl

    How much do you use of the powder to make a green smoothie? (Just curious)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    About a tablespoon, I’d say.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Absolutely! You just have to get it completely dry. If you can do that, it would work with anything.

  • Amyah

    ust found you… and very glad! 1$ a bunch for the chards? Lucky one… here, where I live, they are almost 3$ a bunch of 4 leaves :( So, going green is expensive. I had to stop for a while but i will go back to completly raw next week (pension day).. my health needs it… even though all my little nano-budget will go toward food.

    Love your site! Thank you :)

  • Amyah

    Oh! And I do the same with the tomatoes… it is delicious!

  • Mollie

    Such a Great Idea..can’t wait to do this!

  • Jessy

    How is the taste, though? I’ve never had green powder and usually don’t put greens in my smoothies, as I eat enough vegetables. Does it affect the taste?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Like most green powders, it tastes a little grassy. In a smoothie with sweet fruit, I wouldn’t really notice it. If you tried to do it in a plain banana smoothie or a vanilla smoothie or something, you’d definitely taste it. But because it’s so concentrated, you really don’t have to use very much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/george.kosmath.9 George Kosmath

    Really amazing and healthy recipe..I’ll also try to make it.

    Elfe

  • dpeterson1

    Hi, I was out in my yard picking dandelion greens which I read are very healthy for you. What are your thoughts on dehydrating them also? Have you tried them? Thanks

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I haven’t tried it myself but I have had dandelion powder. It’s totally doable! Tastes very strong so you only use a little at a time. Dandelions are sooo nutritious though!

  • Kim

    Could you do this with other greens like lettuce? We’re getting TONS of various greens in the next few weeks through our CSA – green & red romaine, buttercrunch, sorrel, dandelion greens, etc.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes! You could do this with any greens, it would be great. =)

  • teegan

    So, I’ve been reading your blog since long before you posted this, but didn’t have a dehydrator. Then my mother-in-law got me one for Christmas last year, but it was a bit neglected until recently. When you mentioned this post in a more recent entry, I was hooked! I’m working at an organic farm this summer, and there are always greens that go a little limp by the end of the day at the farmstand that we can’t sell, too much to eat. I made my first batch today with beet greens and chard – this will be perfect to stash away for hubby, me, and my now-10-month-old boy come winter!

  • Cheryl

    check out my it works. cziebarth.myitworks.com we sell greans in two differenct flavors. Berry and orange. The Berry Greens has Steva in it so gives it a little sweeter taste. Our Greens has 52 ingredients, 38 herbs and nutrient-rich. Detoxifying, alkalizing drink powder. Promotes pH balance with the body. Equivalet of 8+ servings of fruits and vegetables in each serving. We have a greet product line. Have any question please leave a message on my site. Have a good day:)

  • vanessa

    How do you store your kale powder? Does it have to be refrigerated?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Nope it’s just in airtight glass!

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  • Mango Ozone

    you can also use the green powder and put them in capsules and take it like an herbal supplement instead of making smoothies.