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.


  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    Absolutely genius! You are so right, it’s so simple that it’s hard to imagine no one’s thought of it. So glad you did though, definitely using this method to stock away the green goodness for the winter!

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    Absolutely genius! You are so right, it’s so simple that it’s hard to imagine no one’s thought of it. So glad you did though, definitely using this method to stock away the green goodness for the winter!

  • @tishushu

    This is SUCH AN AMAZING IDEA! What better way to make sure you are getting your greens in the off season! And its still local! We have a food dehydrator, so I will hafta try this!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    BRILLIANT. And I’m planting about a quarter of an acre of greens, give or take – so I’m going to be a green powder-making expert by the time our first freeze hits in two or three months!

  • Whitney

    That is such a cool idea! I love it.


  • HippieChristian

    WOW. just WOW. I guarantee you’ve started a trend and this will be popping up like wildfire on foodie blogs very soon. :)

  • Anonymous

    Love this idea! Thank you :)

  • Chelsea

    LOVE IT! What a fabulous way to get a variety of greens into my morning green smoothies.

  • Amelora

    that is beautiful… going out to the farmers market to the farmers market tomorrow to stock up.

  • Jessica Barrus Morgan

    Fantastic! I’ve been trying to figure out how to store leafy greens, and this is perfect!

  • Felicity


    That’s so brilliant I needed to flail.


  • adrienne carrie

    Great idea! I will def be trying this!

  • Steph H

    Awesome! Great idea! Better than more frozen greens.

  • Melissa L.

    Oh Yeah!!!!! Super stuff!!!

  • Melissa L.

    Oh Yeah!!!!! Super stuff!!!

  • Teniesha @ Vegan on the Go-Go

    This is genius!

  • Neysa

    It’s been said, but deserves saying again: You’re a genius! I’m in the process of saving up for a dehydrator, and this is just reaffirming my determination!

  • Stephanie

    Genius, Sayward, Genius.
    Does it loose nutrition though?

  • Stephanie

    Genius, Sayward, Genius.
    Does it loose nutrition though?

  • Kelly

    Goodness gracious! You never cease to amaze me! Brilliant indeed! This is so versatile. You could add a bit of good quality salt and other dried or dehydrated herbs and sprinkle over just about anything. I wish I thought about this last year when I had mountains of greens I couldn’t harvest fast enough. Thank you Say!!

  • Laura Agar Wilson

    Genius idea, enough said!

  • Ticklingtentacles

    Alright, you win- this is by far the most functional, useful & amazeballs idea you’ve ever posted & my bf will be beyond jazzed to start doing this in the sierras near Yosemite. You win! We get it!- you’re the coolest blogger around.

  • Mjelinowicz

    This is a great idea and I can’t wait to try it in my dehydrator, but I have a few questions. Does it matter how you store the powder (pantry or frig-mason jar or plastic container?) Will the greens lose some of its nutrition once you dehydrate? Lastly, is there a difference in the process between dehydrating and freezing? Thanks, Sayward!

  • Heather

    Love the pic of you and your greens…Classic, “Lay off momma’s greens!” look, *giggle*…You are one resourceful gal!

  • GrowingRaw

    Cool… but I’m surprised you have leftover greens.. I imagine you’d be like the spinach version of the Cookie Monster!

  • Kathryn B

    LOVE THIS!!! I have been storing fresh food away for the winter and love this idea!!
    OK, So I have to admit I have fallen off the fresh, raw food bandwagon after my surgery because 1) my husband has been in charge of meals which aren’t always healthy and 2) I have had food brought to us from family and friends so we take what we get. Now, I love the support that I have received but I’m ready to get back on the horse. Is there a “green monster” shake that you suggest I start with? Something healthy and taste good so that I will stick with it. Also how much green powder do you suggest being added to smoothies?
    LOVE your blog!!! Keep up with the amazing posts!!

  • Jen

    You’re a freaking genius!!!

  • Gina

    It works to dry herbs in the back window (or seat) of a car on a hot day, just laid out on newspapers for a day. I wonder if that would work for these? Not sure if it would be raw (depending on how hot it was in the car), but it’d be an electricity-free way to do it.

  • Meghan

    I dispute this summer=no greens idea. I have been successfully growing kale in my overheated east coast garden all summer! In a spot with full sun, no less!

  • Meghan

    I haven’t lived through a winter with my garden yet, but the seed catalog has lots of pictures of kale in snow too, so I’m not planning any late fall kale eulogies either. ;)

  • Get Skinny, Go vegan.

    My folks did this with their Kale, I had sent them a post from another blog-and then I ended up with a jar of Kale Powder! It’s great stuff isn’t it! And if you have a garden, what an awesome way to preserve the harvest!

  • Sonnet

    OMG. You have just changed my life! What a great idea! Brilliant!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Two words: cold frame. I keep greens all year round that way – and cold weather greens actually taste the best!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    So glad you guys like this! It is one of my proudest posts. Simple + effective way to maximize healthy eating & keep it local. I’m all about it!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, this comment is so rad. Thanks sweetie!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, this comment is so rad. Thanks sweetie!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I don’t think it would! As long as the temp is low enough, the only thing you should lose is water content. All the nutrients and enzymes should remain, and relatively unaltered.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I store the powder in an airtight canister on the countertop. If it were going to last for more than a few months, I’d probably do the fridge. You could definitely freeze the powder.

    As far as nutrients in drying versus freezing, the only thing that should change (assuming the temp was low enough and you did not actually *cook* the greens) is the water content. Frozen will keep its water, dehydrated will have none. As long as they’re dehydrated at low temp (less than 115º) they’re still a “raw” food, and even ground to powder it’s still a whole food!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Between the spinach, the beets, the chard, the bok choy, and the kale, I couldn’t keep up!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    My favorite smoothies use a banana (frozen is best) as a base, topped with liquid (plant milk, kombucha, kefir, or fresh fruit juice) and berries (I like strawberries). Add a handful of spinach (it’s mild so good for beginners) and you’re good to go. You can add peanut or almond butter for healthy fats+protein and man, it tasted great! Or protein powders, though they can have weird tastes if their all natural, or funky additives if they taste good.

    I use a teaspoon of the green powder in a smoothie, but I might bump up to a tablespoon. I don’t even notice the taste!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    This is a great idea!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    True! But it depends on where you are. Here, we usually lose greens for a few months in summer and winter. This year however has been super mild and we’re still seeing greens in the FarMar. Depends on your climate I guess!

  • Meghan

    “Or protein powders, though they can have weird tastes if their all natural, or funky additives if they taste good.”

    So true!

  • Meghan

    I was definitely surprised by our kale here, because I feel like we have one of the “worst” climates (seasons are very seasony in the midatlantic! Except for Fall, which we unfortunately seem to skip over all too often). The stuff I harvested right after our heat wave (16 days of temps above 90 degrees) was a little… spicy? Other than that though it has been… kale! Not as sweet as a nice cool-season kale, but recognizably kale. Yay!

  • Britt!

    I just shared this bit of brilliance with my mom, and she said all nonchalant like, “Oh, yeah… I was thinking about doing that with my tomatoes…”
    Well, la dee da. I suppose there’s all sorts of fun powders to be made, huh??! (Also, I’m beginning to suspect that my mother is about as evil genius as you are… Terrifying.)

  • BrielleCostumes

    Greetings! I totally just got my first batch of kale out of the dryer. :) So I can make my own green powder. Thanks soooooo much for this idea. Love it.
    I haven’t had too many leftovers my kale ( I eat it for every meal) but I am getting extra from someone else. :)

  • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    I can’t believe I’ve never seen this before, either! Love it!

  • Bitt

    i do this with my juice pulp. it was on the blogosphere until i took it all down.

  • Sarah

    This makes me ache for a dehydrator, especially because my juicer does a terrible job of juicing greens – it just spits ‘em out nearly whole. As a result, I rarely drink green juice/smoothies cause it seems so wasteful, and this fills me with sorrow.

  • Kory Rigler

    I’ve been doing this with any greens we don’t get to right away (sad I know) and it’s so amazingly easy! I’m using the grain canister for my vitamix as I don’t have a coffee grinder, it works great! Feels so awesome to have a way to preserve greens!