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
Start with fresh great looking produce like this rainbow chard.
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.
Rinse your greens.
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.
Make sure all the greens are submerged for at least 5 minutes.
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.
I also took the leaves off of the kale.
Load up your trays. I have spinach here.
Here I have some red kale.
You can even dehydrate dandelion greens.
Here is my rainbow chard all ready to go.
I've always called this dinosaur kale but I think there are other names for it too.
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.
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.
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°.
This is what the kale looks like dehydrated.
This is the rainbow chard dehydrated.
Here is my dinosaur kale dehydrated.
Dehydrated dandelion greens.
Here is my red kale dehydrated.
How To Make Green Powder
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.
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.
Here is the green powder.
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.
You can use the regular mouth attachment on smaller jars to vacuum seal.
Label your greens. Use them in soups, stews, casseroles or my favorite green smoothies.