Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Make your own kale powder

It's easy to make your own kale powder in the oven or a food dehydrator -- a great way to sneak lots of veggie nutrition into smoothies, soups and more.

Make your own kale powder for smoothies, soups, baking and more

When summer begins to wind down, my preserving instincts kick into high gear.

I start to panic: Fall is coming. What will I do without juicy fresh tomatoes? Or handful after handful of fresh basil? Or ripe peaches? Or fresh greens from right outside my back door?

Right now, my freezer is full of peaches, blueberries, strawberries and watermelon for winter smoothies and my pantry is loaded up with marinated dried tomatoes that I can turn into an amazing pasta sauce or layer on pizzas. And making a winter store of pesto and basil chimchurri is on my to-do list for next week.

So what about the greens?

While I have tried freezing heartier greens like kale and collards, they're really only good for soups and stews once thawed, as their cellular structure really breaks down once frozen. The best way I've found to preserve fresh greens is to dehydrate them and turn them into vegetable powders.

In the past, I showed you how to make tomato powder, which is an awesome way to add a huge pop of fresh tomato flavor to soups and pasta sauces or mix with yogurt or salad dressing to create a veggie dip. All it takes is a few hours in a food dehydrator or on low temperature in your oven.

Making greens powder -- in this case, kale powder -- is accomplished the same way.

My favorite use for this kale powder is very sneaky. Regular readers know Mr. Ninj, who never met a vegetable he liked, is my equivalent of mommy bloggers' picky 3-year-old eaters, so I'm always on the lookout for stealthy new ninja-like ways of sneaking vegetables into his diet.

Mixing this kale powder into his morning smoothies has become my secret weapon!

Make your own kale powder for smoothies, soups, baking and more

It's super easy to make your own kale powder. Just wash a bunch of kale really well, then pat it dry. Spread it on dehydrator trays and dry at 125 degrees for about 6 hours or until it's super dry and crispy; it will crumble between your fingers. (Alternatively, you can dry the kale on baking sheets in a low-temperature oven.) Once the kale has cooled, whirl it up in a coffee grinder (I bought the cheapest one I could find to use for my veggie powders and it works great!) until it's very fine and powdery and then store it in an air-tight container.

Make your own kale powder for smoothies, soups, baking and more


It's a beautiful thing. About half a teaspoon of this kale powder is the equivalent of an entire serving of fresh kale -- mixed into an oatmeal smoothie or quinoa breakfast smoothie, I can give Mr. Ninj a huge nutrition boost that he can't even taste!

Booyah. I'm a ninja.

Now, this kale powder is yet another reason and recipe that illustrates just how valuable a food dehydrator can be in your commitment to healthy eating. The expense can be minimal and you'll be amazed at all the healthy, delicious stuff you can make: fruit leather, watermelon slices, jerky, veggie chips and more.

Ready to commit? Be sure to read my tips on buying a dehydrator first. (And, for what it's worth, I own an Excalibur dehydrator and think they are the absolute best dehydrators out there.) And then check out all my dehydrating recipes!

Related to a picky eater? Have you tried sneaking veggie powders into your recipes? Or have I convinced you to start? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Make your own kale powder for smoothies, soups, baking and more

DIY Kale Powder

One bunch of kale yields about 3 ounces of powder. And 1/2 teaspoon of powder is the equivalent of about 1 serving of fresh kale. Feel free to substitute other greens for the kale!

Ingredients:
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed

Directions:
1. Wash the kale thoroughly and pat dry (make sure stems have been removed). Tear into large pieces (bigger than you'd use in a salad).
2a. Dehydrator method: Spread the kale on dehydrator trays and dry at 125 degrees for about 6-7 hours or until the leaves are very dry and crumbly.
-- OR --
2b. Oven method: Spread the kale on baking sheets and dry at 175 degrees, turning leaves over at least once, until very dry and crumbly (several hours).
3. Cool the kale then, working in small batches, crumble the leaves into a coffee grinder and pulverize into a fine powder.
4. Store in an airtight container.


www.yankeekitchenninja.com
-- print recipe --

5 comments:

  1. I am amazed! Never thought about making veggie powder! I love kale so once I purchase a dehydrator, I'll try it! - Love, Anna

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  2. Does it turn the food green?

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    1. Dianna: Because you'll use so little of it, it doesn't. But, as you know if you've ever added greens to a fruit smoothie, it will dull the bright fruit color just a little -- maybe not super photographable but very healthy and yummy! :-)

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  3. Treated myself to a dehydrator recently and am so glad I did. I signed up for a CSA for the first time and while I like Kale...there's only so much two people can consume when you get a huge bunch each week. I froze some...but that takes up valuable real estate in my freezer. Came across your recipe...thank you K-Ninja & Pinrest! Last night I reduced a lg bunch to just over a cup of powder and will keep adding to it. So glad I'll have some green goodness to add to foods this winter when fresh is not so plentiful! Jen

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    Replies
    1. Fantastic feedback, Jen!!! You can turn all sorts of fruits and veggies into powders. And that new dehydrator will quickly become your BFF. I've got lots of dehydrator recipes that you can try -- check out my recipe index (in the main navigation bar above).

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