How To Dehydrate Greens Plus Making Green Powder

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Green leafy vegetables are one of the easiest things to dehydrate. Luckily, with the whole foods movement they are becoming more popular and grocery stores and seed companies are carrying a wider variety. The only thing about buying them is that they go bad pretty fast. If you’re growing them you have a little more leeway but even then you want to harvest them before they become too big and bitter or before critters eat them out of your garden. You can freeze greens, but honestly I’d rather save my freezer space for fresh ground wheat, nuts or avocados. Dehydrating leafy greens saves freezer space and money, adds a ton of nutrients to your diet, and they can easily be added to food storage.

How To Dehydrate Greens Step By Step

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Start with fresh great looking produce like this rainbow chard.

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Use a veggie wash to thoroughly wash your greens. I even do this for the greens I grow. You just never know what animals have been visiting your garden. Wash them especially if you buy greens from the store; they can have e-coli and other harmful bacteria.

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Rinse your greens.

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If you’re washing a lot of greens just place them in the sink and pour about 1/2 cup of veggie wash in the water.

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 Make sure all the greens are submerged for at least 5 minutes.

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You can leave the steams on if you like. I took the leaves off of this spinach because I like spinach leaves more than the stems. Keep in mind that because the stems are thicker than the leaves they will dry at a different rate, so if you dehydrate both you will need to turn the dehydrator up a bit and leave the greens in for a little longer.

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I also took the leaves off of the kale.

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Load up your trays. I have spinach here.

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Here I have some red kale.

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You can even dehydrate dandelion greens.

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Here is my rainbow chard all ready to go.

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I’ve always called this dinosaur kale but I think there are other names for it too.

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I have to admit that I’m a stuffer. My favorite thing to say when loading my car is, “it’ll fit!” And most of the time I get it all in there. It’s not always in the best condition when it comes back out, but that’s not the point, right? Anyway, you can stuff your greens in the dehydrator and they will dehydrate down and usually come out just fine. You can see I got all 9 trays into my Excalibur Dehydrator.

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Or you can play it safe and skip every other tray so you give the greens more room. They will dehydrate faster like this because there is more airflow. It’s all the same to me because I just leave it overnight (about 8 hours). When I get up in the morning the greens are dry even if I stuffed them in on every tray.

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Remember those stems take a little bit more time and heat to dry so I did not put them on the herb setting. I put them on at about 105 F°.

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 This is what the kale looks like dehydrated.

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This is the rainbow chard dehydrated.

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Here is my dinosaur kale dehydrated.

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Dehydrated dandelion greens.

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Here is my red kale dehydrated.

How To Make Green Powder

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You may remember my little coffee grinder breaking. Well, I decided that I should leave the grinding to my Blendtec and purchased their twister jar. It is designed for grinding and making nut butters.

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I know leafy greens are not like grains and a food processor or even a regular blender would probably work just fine, but I really wanted to test it out.

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 Here is the green powder.

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You don’t have to make green powder, you can leave the greens in a dried leaf form and store them. They would go great in a stew or soup and will reconstitute just fine. I like using the FoodSaver to vacuum pack all the dehydrated greens. This is a half gallon jar and I’m using the wide mouth attachment.

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You can use the regular mouth attachment on smaller jars to vacuum seal.

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Label your greens. Use them in soups, stews, casseroles or my favorite green smoothies.

  • Cheryl Abdelnour says:

    Can you please tell me how you prepare the canning jars after washing them. Do you put them in boiling water to sterilize them? Any hints would be appreciated.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Cheryl,
      I’m going to assume since this is a dehydrating post that you are asking about preparing Mason jars to pack dry dehydrated ingredients. In that case you would just wash them in hot soapy water. There is no need to sterilize them. After you have washed them and they are thoroughly dry then you can pack them full of your dehydrated food. If you are asking me how to prepare canning jars for canning after washing them that’s a different story. Please click here for more information about canning.

      • Cheryl Abdelnour says:

        Yes, I am sorry. I was talking about preparation of jars for storing dry or dehydrated products for longer term storage. I have read that you can wash the bottles in the dishwasher and to wash the rings and lids by hand.
        I am glad I don’t have to sterilize by boiling because I have tremors and would most likely burn myself. 🙁
        My Mom was a big fan of canning, especially pickles, chow chow, and jams.. I wish I would have paid more attention. She is gone now, but she would be proud of what I want to do.
        I like the article on drying spinach and making it into a powder.
        Thanks!

    • Sarge Todd says:

      I dehydrate a lot of my vegs. Make a powder. Store in plastic jar in freezer. We mix all vegs together along with dehydrated meats. All of this is powder form make pastas. Breads with this. Pastas are really good. Bread is is survival use only. Add to soups. A gallon jar is a lot of vegs/meat. 😬

  • Cheryl Abdelnour says:

    I am also looking into getting a Food Saver. Do you have any suggestions on which one to get. There are so many models to choose from.

  • Jan says:

    I think I love you. I’ve been blending and learned I can freeze my greens and then bag them in vac bags and throw in the freezer. Problem is my freezer is starting to hate me with all the frozen fruit, berries etc. I also make a lot of blended drinks ahead of time freeze it in a muffin tins, bag and throw in freezer. I love that now I can dehydrate most of my items and toss them in a blender with my apple cider to make my drinks.
    On the other hand my husband might not love you so much since I am now going for the Excalibur dehydrator. How do you hate spending money to save money is beyond me.
    I think my blender will love you too.

  • Rowena Philbeck says:

    Great instructions on how to dry and make green powder. Can’t wait to try this. I have a dehydrator with no settings and looking to upgrade and get a better one. I have been canning a long time and haven’t used a dehydrator long but now I know I need one with settings. Thanks again and great instructions!!!

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Rowena,
      Yes, I recommend getting one that at least has a thermostat. That way you know you are truly dehydrating your food and not cooking it. Thanks for reading!

  • Jovana says:

    Hi there 🙂

    I’m totally having a ‘oooohhhhh’ moment about blending and dehydrating greens/tomatos, etc. It’s a totally ‘duh’ why didn’t I think of this before.

    I don’t have a foodsaver or anything similiar. However, if I make tomato powder, I’d use it frequently and very quickly.

    However – if I did get it – I understand the principle of taking out all the air of jars – but what do you do when you open them up at use the spices? Or do you use the foodsaver every time you use the powder?

    I haven’t been able to read the posts in detail – do you have a post that explain the principle about it??

    Thank YOU!

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Jovana,

      I do not vacuum seal the spices I use on a daily basis. However, I do vacuum seal the spices I use just occasionally. I also keep my “daily” spices in small jars and the remainder of my supply in larger vacuum sealed jars. So even if I did leave those spices for awhile and they aged or lost some potency, I would not lose my entire supply.

  • Sandy says:

    Since I am chemically sensitive, I minimize the use of soapy solutions and anything that might leave a residue. My husband got an ozonator to help prevent mold in our wheatgrass sprouts. This works great for removing chemicals, bacteria and parasites from our fruit and veggies. I rinse the produce and fill a steep sided container or bowl to do the ozone treatment. Its very gentle and thorough on the veggies. Seems to keep them fresher when processing large batches in the heat of summer. There will be a little ozone around you, but contrary to some advice, this low concentration isn’t harmful. It’s possible to get TOO much ozone with some equipment, but in the kitchen with good ventilation, I have never had any problems.

    A note about stems and other trimmings: I cut them off and dehydrate them to use for cooking veggie broth. That simmering pot on the stove is great on cold winter nights.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Interesting, I’m not familiar with an ozonator.

      You’re right about the simmering pot on a cold winter night…..:)

  • Sherry agar says:

    What is the shelf life of the dehydrated greens powder or any other dehydrated food if they are just put in a jar and stored? I don’t have a food saver and don’t see one in my near future.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Sherry,

      It depends on the several conditions: humidity, light, and tempeture. In perfect conditions dehydrated food will last forever. Of course there are very few places with perfect conditions, but if you can keep the humidity low, the light out and tempeture down then your food will last longer.

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