Make Your Own Greens Powder

When your garden greens are producing in abundance it can sometimes become overwhelming. How will you ever use up all that produce? With eating salads each day, along with putting those fresh greens in your morning smoothies there still seems to be so much more to deal with. There are even some folks who don't like to eat greens, and using a greens powder will help bump up their nutrition without them having to consume them. The solution?

Greens Powder!

Dehydrating your greens is a great way to be able to use those greens throughout the cold winter months and get all of the nutrition you need. Even if you have a small garden and don't have too many greens on hand, you can visit the local farmer's markets and stock up on fresh greens. Of course, you can always buy bagged organic greens from the grocery store, but we don't recommend it as you never know when they were picked or how much nutrition they actually contain.

Never again throw all of your unused greens in the compost bin again! (Your compost might be a little sad, but that's okay.)

You will need to have a dehydrator for this, as ovens usually don't have a low enough setting to dry the greens while keeping their nutrition profiles intact. Air-drying is also not advised as there are too many variables. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can usually find one at most thrift stores and they should do the trick!

How to Make Greens Powder

  1. Pick your greens. You can even pick those greens that have some bad spots on them. Just cut those areas out. Wash them to remove any dirt or sneaky bugs that decided to hitch a ride.

  2. Dry your greens as much as possible. The easiest way is to use a salad spinner. If you don't have one you can blot them with a clean dish towel.

  3. Remove any large, thick stems. These will not dehydrate as fast as the greens. If you are dehydrating kales, de-stem the leaves.

  4. Lay your greens on the dehydrator trays. It is okay if the leaves touch as they will shrink as they dry.

  5. Set your dehydrator to 110-115˚. You don't want to go any higher or you will destroy some of the nutrition, and we don't want that. Set the timer for 8-12 hours. You can check on them periodically, but you want to make sure that everything is completely dry.

  6. Once dry, remove the trays and put the leaves in a large bowl. Crush them with your hands and if you find some pieces that don't crush well, remove them.

  7. Blend up your greens. You can either use a food processor, a blender, or even just use your hands. You might even want to leave them coarser to use in flavoring soups, stews, or sprinkling on the tops of any of your dishes.

  8. Your greens can be stored in mason jars or any other container you like!

What Kind of Greens can you Dehydrate?

Along with the obvious greens that may be in your garden, lettuces, kale, etc, there may be plants in your garden and your yard that you may also use to make your greens powder:

  • Herbs
  • Lettuces
  • Mustard Greens
  • Chard
  • Carrot Greens
  • Parsnip Greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Borage
  • Collard Greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Plaintain
  • Moringa
  • Celery Leaves
  • Purslane
  • Violet Leaves
  • Chickweed
  • Turnip Greens
  • and more!

You might be surprised at how many "weeds" in your backyard are actually edible and therefore would be great candidates for your greens powder. Of course, you always want to pick the youngest, best-looking plants and to ALWAYS do your research before eating anything! There are some very dangerous plants out there, like American Pokeweed.

Picture This is a great app that Zen Honeycutt recommended previously. We highly recommend it when learning to identify plants in your area. Morning Chores also has a great article, "28 Edible Weeds You Can Find in Your Own Backyard" and Rob Greenfield has a great page on his website, "Foraging Resources for Beginners".

We found some fantastic videos on youtube,

Your garden, your yard, and nearby areas could be great resources for you to be able to make a lovely greens powder to help keep you sustained and healthy through the winter months!
CAUTION:

As with any new food, please try small amounts to see how you react to them.