Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to Make Green Powder

Those of you with a dehydrator will be interested to know that I have been making my own green powder.

There's no particular recipe just a reminder to make sure you include as wide a variety of greens as you can. I have saved leaves from broccoli and kale (remove from stems as these don’t dry so well, or dry till leaves are dry and crumble dried leaves off), peelings from cucumber, green beans (I removed the seeds), courgette skin, lettuce and wheat grass.

Once dry I used my Personal Blender to grind up and popped the lid on. The small blender container becomes the storage jar, too. For a bigger load I used the Vita-Mix. And yes, I felt virtuous and smug (which is not the same thing).

I did not tell the Smoothie Drinkers and it could not be tasted, which suits me, too. It is an easy and frugal way to increase greens, also cutting down on waste.

If you don’t have enough to dry at a time, save your collection in the fridge for a few days, in a damp plastic bag or airtight container. I suppose you could freeze it until you have enough for a full dehydrator but I haven’t tried that. Try to spread thinly and evenly over dehydrator sheets (mesh) to ensure best drying time.

In theory, you could save pulp from green juices. Even though most of the nutrition has gone into the juice there must be some worth the keeping in the pulp. Again, I don’t know as I can’t test that.

Lettuce that has gone to seed is not only too bitter but losing its nutrition as the plant is transferring its food from leaf to seed. Best to pull it out and add to compost or worm farm or, let a plant stay to naturally seed down if there’s enough growing time left in the season. Otherwise you could save the seed for next spring.

Sprouts can be dried and ground. Carrot tops (leaves) but not any of the green part of the top of the carrot itself, the outside leaves of cauliflower (not the stems), pea pods and peas. Broccoli stems (cut away the tough part).

I have perpetual spinach in the garden, this week I shall pick a few young leaves for salad and older leaves for drying.

The green leaves of tomatoes are NOT to be dried and eaten nor are potato greens. If you would eat the green in salads or cook it, then you can dry it. Okay, I don’t eat cauliflower leaves but I suppose one could.
Use herbs judiciously as they pack a powerful punch.

If you’re confident about foraging then perhaps puha (NZ) BUT you need to be a confident forager.
You could add spirulina and chlorella but in small amounts as they can be strong tasting.
At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I recommend organically grown greens to make your own Green Powder.

If you don’t have a powerful blender, it’s best not to use the older, tougher leaves. You won’t be able to break them down enough into a powder, and you don’t want to stress your digestive system unnecessarily with too much fibre.

Just mix it all up and top up your jar as more greens are dried. Even though you may not dry a variety at one time, adding to it will ensure that the variety is there as the season brings new greens in and phases out others.

If you don’t own a dehydrator you can use your oven. Using the fan, turn it on to the lowest temperature and, which should be around 50C. Crack the door open with a wooden spoon and let it do its thing.  Be sure the wooden spoon is secure. Best not to leave the house if there’s a possibility of the spoon dropping down in the oven and onto the element.

To add in a smoothie, one teaspoon per person is adequate.

What do you think? Are you inspired to give it a go?


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