Sometimes when there is an over abundance of vegetables coming out of the garden or a good price on produce at the market I have been known to dehydrate and grind them into powder for use in soups, gravies, casseroles etc. or even sprinkled over popcorn. They can add flavor, color and at least some nutrition that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
When I was at a large farm market this weekend these vegetable powders caught my eye. I neglected to look at the price tags and didn’t realize how costly they were until after I had paid. (I checked and I still have both arms and both legs, but I am missing part of a finger. But that’s a totally unrelated story that has nothing whatsoever to do with the price of vegetable powders in farm stores).
It says on the packaging that every purchase feeds someone in need. I was thinking that the price I paid could feed a family of six and their neighbors… on both sides… and across the street. Really though, I know from experience that it takes a whole lot of vegetables to make just a little bit of powder.
These are some of the vegetable powders I have made:
One year there was a bumper crop of spinach, and because I don’t like the taste of frozen spinach I preserved it instead by drying it and grinding it to powder. I have done the same with kale and stinging nettle. Some nutrients, such as vitamin C, are likely diminished by dehydration, but others may be increased.
There is nothing new about powdered spices and herbs. Many are sold that way in the market. Others which don’t usually come powdered I have ground myself.
Rosemary, for instance, is commonly sold dried and whole. I don’t always care for the stiff needlelike leaves in a dish and prefer using it in powdered form.
Dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) consists of whole dehydrated leaves with a lot of little twigs included. I prefer mine ground into powder.
Fresh kaffir lime leaves don’t keep for a real long time. I use the dehydrated leaves whole in soups and sauces and remove them before serving, but I also grind some of them into powder for more convenient use in recipes.
Ramps (ramson/wild leeks) are foraged in the wild and available for purchase only at roadside stands and never in supermarkets. They are available for just a short time in the spring, so I usually purchase some to enjoy fresh and the rest I preserve by freezing and dehydration. I grind the dried green leaves and bulbs separately into powders.
Mushroom powder is a great addition to soups and gravies.
I prefer for Faye to write the labels because her writing is better than mine. I haven’t ever known her to exhibit dyslexia in any other way but she jumbled chipotle twice in a row. It still looks better than if I had written it spelled correctly.
I’ve even powdered two of my favorite vegetables: cheddar and feta cheese.
I’m not a big popcorn eater, but with popcorn on my mind I went ahead and made some. I misted the popcorn with olive oil so the pink salt, feta powder and powdered spinach would stick.