How to Make Vegetable Powders

You can use vegetable powders to:

  • Put more nutrition and flavor into the things you cook.
  • Provide value-added thickening for soups (as opposed to using wheat flour or cornstarch for this job).
  • Stretch your grocery dollar by (a) powdering less-expensive vegetables that may not be so popular with your family, but are nevertheless nutritious, and (b) making use of all your clean, uncooked leftovers, including the trimmings.

Keep in mind that while a batch of mixed vegetables can yield interesting results, batches of the same vegetable will dry more uniformly and provide a more predictable "punch" for your other recipes. You can always mix single-veggie powders later.


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    Clean the items selected for dehydration. Cosmetic perfection is unnecessary, but trim off any damaged, bruised, or browned areas.
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    Blanch the items to preserve color.
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    Shred rather than chop. Shredded vegetable matter is far easier than hard chunks to grind into powder.
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    Spread the shreds onto a lined dehydrator shelf. Follow manufacturer's directions for drying times.
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    When dehydration is complete, allow the shreds to cool before grinding them in a coffee-bean grinder.
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    You may find it useful to shake the material from the grinder through a sieve. Put the larger pieces left behind through a second grind.
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    Store in sealed jars.


  • Make vegetable pate by mixing enough of any vegetable powder with any one of the following "bases" to form a paste: olive oil, feta cheese, unsalted butter, plain yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream. Select the base that you feel goes best with the vegetable in question. Serve with crackers.
  • In most cases, the items you place in a dehydrator should not overlap. This is difficult to accomplish with shreds. Return to your dehydrating project every few hours and use clean fingers to stir the shreds so that all surfaces get exposure.
  • Consider using vegetable powders to artistically color mashed potatoes or cauliflower to entertain and interest the younger set. Beets provide a deep red, carrots offer orange, many other vegetables contribute green--and all so much more nutritious than food coloring! Divide the food to be colored into multiple bowls and add your coloring ingredients by bowl, so that the colors remain as unmixed as possible until serving time.
  • Dehydrated items generally shrink as they lose water content. Your shred piles will shrink, sometimes dramatically, during dehydration.
  • Add vegetable powders to soups, breads, dips, and certainly any savory mix, such as meatloaf, stew, pizza, or hamburger (including vegetarian versions of these).


  • Don't plan on grinding chunks of dense vegetables (e.g., carrots, parsnips) in your food processor post-dehydration. Doing so is almost certain to damage your food processor. Go ahead and shred.

Things You'll Need

  • A home dehydrator. If you don't have one, you can spread the shreds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (You can find parchment paper in most supermarkets near the aluminum foil and other food-safe wraps.) Place the cookie sheet in an oven set at a very low temp (150-200 degrees F). A less costly and more creative approach may be to wedge a clean window screen so that it provides a flat horizontal surface between the seats of a car parked in a sunny spot. At any rate, you can consult the Internet for plans for ad-hoc, home built dehydrators.
  • A food processor with a shredding function, OR a large-bore grater--and lots of patience.
  • A coffee-bean grinder.
  • A fine-meshed sieve.
  • Glass containers with lids that you can seal.

Article Info

Categories: Food Preservation Techniques