There are times in a dehydrator’s life when you have bits and pieces left over of dehydrated vegetables and
- Aren’t going to be making any soups or stews or anything to use them in anytime soon, or
- Need the space for a new pack of that dehydrated vegetable and you just want to rotate out all the leftovers, or
- You want to create something new, versatile and awesome!
All three fit the bill for me today, so I want to share with you how I use up all the bits, rotate out older dehydrated products and create something that is SO versatile that I can use it in just about everything!
I create: vegetable powder!!
You may remember that I taught you about making and using Green Powder awhile back. The concept for Vegetable Powder is the same – and the coolest thing is that you CAN combine them if you wanted to! I’m doing just the Vegetable Powder today to make this a little easier for the tutorial, but it all comes down to – you’ve got a mighty mix of powdered goodness full of vitamins and minerals that can help nourish your family even when they don’t like the vegetables you’ve included!!
Shhh….I’ll help keep your secret ;)
What Can You Include in Vegetable Powder?
Any fully dehydrated vegetable you can think of!
In my batch, I included a bunch of dehydrated frozen mixed vegetables, dehydrated canned pumpkin (coming soon!) and dehydrated tomato paste. They were leftovers from jars that had only a bit of stuff left (tomato paste), or were more than I knew I was going to use in the next year (frozen vegetables – over estimated my use and wanted to make them more versatile for the way we eat), and then just because (the pumpkin).
Since it is in a powder format, it is not going to effect the food we add it to texturally, but it will add to the flavor profile. Mixing the vegetables doesn’t hurt at all (unless you put in a lot of one particuarly strong vegetable like peas or okra which are really strong once dehydrated – at least for us since we’re not big fans of those flavors anyway).
Here are some tips before you get started.
Make sure your vegetables are fully dehydrated. I use an Exaclibur Dehydrator, but also I also recommend a Nesco FD-80 which works just as well (it was my first dehydrating love). I follow the rules of dehydrating (coming later this week) and make sure all of my vegetables are fully dehydrated and ready to use. You can get a list of how to dehydrate all sorts of things here:
How to Make Vegetable Powder
- Throw it all into a blender
2. Blend and blend and blend and blend
3. Sift it through a fine mesh strainer to separate the powder from the kernels:
4. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Or, throw the kernels back into your blender or food processor, and do it all over again until you’ve gone through the whole batch.
How Long Does it Take?
I use a Ninja Blender, but just about any blender will work. You just may have to work longer if you’re using a blender that’s less powerful. If you have a great food processor, it might be even faster. It took about fifteen minutes of back and forth for me to do the whole jar of frozen vegetables with the added pumpkin and tomato paste. I had about 4 TB of kernels left that I will toss into meatloaf I plan on making in two weeks that will be just the perfect ratio and will rehydrate while cooking.
How Can you Use Powdered Dehydrated Vegetables?
My rule is toss it into anything, absolutely anything. The list may include:
- Muffins (those of a heartier variety)
- Breakfast Cookies
- Stews & Soups
- Salads – I just shake it over the top like pepper
Really – anything.
The trick will be learning what a good ratio is for your taste. We use about 1/2 TB to start out and work our way up until it becomes a noticeable taste, then back it down a bit. We don’t want our food to taste like the vegetables we’re including, but add to the flavor profile.
My dehydrated vegetable powder is never the same twice. I use leftover bits of vegetables and the bottoms of jars of dehyrdated vegetables or any over abundance (like the frozen vegetables in the photo above). It will taste different very time.
To use – I simply open a jar, and take out about 1 TB worth of powder and sprinkle it into the food that I am preparing.
However, this fine mesh shaker is coming to my house (2 actually because I’m doing one for green powder and one for vegetable powder) at this very moment because I want to use it as a shaker for things like salads, etc.
Tip – in a baked good, remember to add just a tiny bit more liquid to accomodate the added dry of the powder if you’re working with a recipe that tends to get dry easily.
Does This Replace Your Vegetable Intake?
We use dehydrated vegetable powder more as a supplement to boost the vitamin and mineral content in our food, but not as a replacement for vegetables. Occasionally, I’ll put the vegetable powder into dishes that may not have included a large variety of vegetables (or any at all like a casserole that may be more meat, pasta and white sauce based), but generally don’t count it as one of our servings.
I can’t honestly tell you how many servings of vegetables 1 TB of the powder makes. Though I would estimate it to be about 1-2 servings, but that’s also spread out in the entire dish, not per serving of the dish. Thus, we include it as a supplement to our diet.
How to Store Dehydrated Vegetable Powder
Store the vegetble powder in a small, airtight container. Because I use it often, I’m opening the jar a lot. I don’t want to keep opening a large jar, so I store in smaller containers to keep moisture from getting in every time I open.
You have some options. You can put some in a freezer quality zip top bag (not the zipper lock, but the zip top), then use a vacuum sealer to seal it into small quantities to store in your pantry. Or you can put it into smaller pint sized jars and include an oxygen absorber (and I would also recommend a silicon moisture absorber) or use your vacuum sealer to seal the jar. I prefer the zip top bag and then vacuum sealed method for my excess.