Thursday, February 6, 2014
Homemade Green Powder for Smoothies
By the start of February, I was ready. It was the first year ever, that I actually made good on my goals for the year. So it's my new tradition. February, I set my goals for the year.
This year, I'm planning on recommitting to my goal of eating healthy and staying happy. As part of my goal, I'm drinking more green smoothies. I have a good friend who swears by them. Can't get through the day without her green smoothies fix. She uses fresh veggies and fruit as a base and adds green powder for a high powered nutrient shot. But have you ever taken a look at the price of store bought green powders? Expensive!
Lucky for us, it turns out green powder is incredibly cheap and easy to make at home!
There's no real secret to making powdered greens. You pick your greens, dry them, pulverize them into powder and throw them in your smoothies. It's that easy! And if you garden, and if you happen to plant a lot of greens in your garden, and if you happen to get overrun by your greens at any point during the growing season, then this might just be the solution you've been looking for! You can make green powder out of nearly anything you can grow. Swiss chard, kale, spinach, borage, lovage, you name it!
There's a few approaches to making your own homemade green powder. One is to make it from any cheap or easy to grow green you might have on hand. The other is to order specific greens you might not have access to at your local grocery store or in your garden. Things like spirulina, chlorella, or maca are all excellent bases for a green powder. They're high in vitamins and minerals and chlorophyll and add a fantastic boost of nutrition.
But in making your green powder at home, you get to get creative. Concerned about cold and flu season and looking for an antioxidant boost? Throw in dried powdered lemon peel, freeze dried raspberries, or dried elderberries. Use chia or powdered peanut butter for a vegan source of protein. Use parsley of fennel as a gentle and natural diuretic. Herbs like red raspberry leaf can help to balance hormones in women when taken daily. Powdered dandelion root and leaves can help to detoxify a liver. Nettles are incredibly nourishing. And very, very free in the summer time. Anyone anywhere will let you take them from their yard. Just make sure it hasn't been sprayed. The options are unlimited to create a formula that fits your exact needs for a fraction of the price of what you'd get at the store.
So here's my first run at a making my own green powder. I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and I'm loving it! I ended up with nearly a pint and a half of green powder and I spent about $11 for it. Much better than the $50 at the store! I do garden and I can't want for summer time to turn this into $2-3 per jar instead!
Homemade Green Powder
2 oz. chlorella (available at Mountain Rose Herbs)
2 bunches kale
2 bunches Swiss chard
1 small box of spinach
1 bunch parsley
1/4 C chia seeds
1/4 C flax seeds
1 T elderberries
4 T freshly dried and ground lemon peel
Lay your greens out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Place as many cookie sheets as you can into the oven and if you can, set the oven at about 115 F. Let the greens dry overnight until crispy. When they crumble easily, they're ready. Just stick them in a food processor and pulse until the powder is smooth. Store in a clean glass jar and use as much in your smoothie as you'd like. I usually add about 1/2 T of powder for a smoothie and I've been very surprised at how few sugar cravings I have for the rest of the day when I do.
If your oven doesn't set that low (most modern ovens don't) then set the oven as low as you can and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Or use a dehydrator or in the summer time, set the greens out to dry in the sun. By nightfall they'll be ready, and you haven't even had to pay for the electricity to dry them. Wins all around!
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