If you are looking for another way to help make some foods last longer, have you considered turning them into a powder form? Many popular powdered foods are protein based, and they can be used in various ways.
Now keep in mind, you aren’t going to turn a filet mignon into powder and expect to sit down for a steak dinner when using it in the future. It just doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.
But there are ways to use these powder foods that will enhance a meal, keep you in stock of good and healthy products that can be stored longer than if you attempted to store it in its original state.
And, as a bonus, it takes up far less room on the shelf or fridge.
I am going to discuss which foods I found that can be turned into powder, how to store them, and how to use them when you are ready.
How to Turn Foods into Powder Form
If you have a dehydrator, that would be probably the easiest way to turn many of the foods listed in this article into powder. However, no need to run out to buy one right away, especially if you are just going to give it a try at first. A good old-fashioned oven can also work.
Each food product listed below could be different as to the instructions or timing. And, some foods might not quite ever get to the powder form, but rather stay more in a dehydrated state, such as some fruits. The best way to learn though is through trial and error.
Foods that Can be Turned into Powder
Surprisingly, there are more foods that can be turned into powder than you probably thought.
To be honest, before I started researching for this article, I was thinking it was going to be mostly meat products. I’m also going to admit that some of these, while I know can be found in powdered form, I have not been able to find a recipe or way to do it myself.
Foods that can easily be turned into powder include:
- Meats and Poultry
Related: How To Make Powdered Eggs
There are several that I do not have a recipe or instructions for, but I know can be turned into powder form…
- Peanut Butter
- Chia Seeds
Make sure that you find the foods above with as least sugar as possible.
This might mean staying away from fruits. They can be very tricky to turn into powder.
Yes, they can be dehydrated, and be quite tasty and easier to store longer that way.
However, due to the higher sugar content than other foods, most fruits tend to get gummy in the process between dehydrating and pulsing in the blender.
Personally, I would just go with dehydration for fruits.
Now, I will share information on turning a few of these into powder.
They are not just a trend for the health conscious, but also a great addition to a daily diet for anyone, including preppers. Greens in their most natural state can add a lot of nutrients to salads, soups, or added to a sandwich…or any meal. But, they don’t always stay fresh for long.
However, dried greens can still be added to soups, sandwiches, and just about any meal with a great nutrient boost.
Here are a few greens to consider:
- Collard Greens
- Beet Greens
- Broccoli leaves
- Cauliflower leaves
- Carrot tops
- Parsnip tops
- Celery leaves
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
- Swiss chard
- Pumpkin leaves
- Radish greens
Even weeds! Basically, if it’s green…it can be done. And, here’s how…
First step is to dehydrate the leaves. If you have a dehydrator, preheat it using the appropriate temperature setting based on your dehydrator’s recommendations.
It will probably be about 95-115F. Set on the lower end for herbs, while greens can handle slightly higher temperatures.
While that is preheating, wash the leaves thoroughly by soaking them in a vegetable wash (2 parts water to 1 part vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice). They don’t need to soak long, about 5-10 minutes is all they need.
Next, remove the stems and veins. This step will help in making the drying process more even and consistent. You can either compost the stems and veins or dehydrate them separately. But, no need to waste them.
Dry the leaves by hand as much as possible, by placing them between layers of paper towel and gently pressing to soak up as much moisture as possible, without bruising the greens.
You could also let them set on the counter to air dry, or use a salad spinner if you have one on hand.
Place the leaves on the dehydrator trays. It doesn’t matter if they are touching, as long as they are not stacked on top of each other.
The leaves will start to shrink (up to ½ of their original size) so there will be plenty of room during the dehydrating process. The drying process can take 4-8 hours.
Once they crumble when crushing them between your fingers, they are ready. Place them in a blender and pulse quickly until they become a powder. Do NOT over blend, otherwise they will go from powder to mush.
Using the Oven
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use the oven.
Follow the other steps for preparation, while preheating the oven to the lowest possible temperature.
Place the leaves on cooling racks, then place in the oven. This might not sound right… but leave the oven door open during this process.
It will help keep the temperature low, as well as help to circulate the air to release excess moisture.
Check the leaves often, but they should be done in about 2-3 hours.
The process for vegetables can vary. However, they will all require a dehydrator or oven to help turn them into a powder. Here I will provide the process for the following:
Onions and garlic should be sliced and put onto a dehydrator tray or cooling rack, just as in the process of the greens above.
Now, slices of garlic and onion will fall through a cooling rack.
So, you might need to lay down some tin foil first.
Other vegetables should be blanched first, then sliced and follow the same process of dehydration as the greens. These vegetables include:
This is just a short list. Basically, if it’s a vegetable, it can be turned into a powder.
Powdered vegetables can be used to enhance the flavors of soups, smoothies, or any meal. It can also help to add additional nutrients to your daily diet.
MEAT AND POULTRY
For meat and poultry, I am going to focus on using the oven, rather than a dehydrator. You can use both. However, I have actually used the oven before for meat powder.
When meat and poultry is turned into a powder, it can be used as a protein addition to any meal such as soups, stews, or casseroles, or just to enhance flavor. This includes:
Related: How To Make Bacon Powder
Preheat the oven to 200F.
Place the meat or poultry into a food processor and process it until it’s finely minced. It will resemble ground beef or poultry.
Heat some oil in a skillet, and put the minced meat in to cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until there’s no moisture anymore.
Spread the minced mixture onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake this for about 2-6 hours (stirring about every 30 minutes), or until it has completely dried.
Keep an eye on it, because the time could be widely different, depending on the ingredients used, and your oven.
Once the minced mix is completely dried and cooled, place the mix into a blender and use quick pulsing steps until it’s a fine powder.
If using a dehydrator, cook the meat first, then slice it very thin. Place the slices in the dehydrator trays, then follow the time chart of your particular dehydrator. Once you dehydrate them, pulse the slices quickly in a blender until it becomes a powder.
It’s been said that mushrooms help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, boosts the immune system, and more. But, even if you don’t worry about any particular health concern, they also taste good.
If you are not familiar with the various types of mushrooms, you should do some research before venturing out to start collecting them. While the majority are healthy, some can be very harmful.
Anyway, after you find some healthy mushrooms, you can turn them into powder, by following these steps
- Wash the mushrooms thoroughly with water and a scrub brush or sponge.
- Slice each mushroom into thin slices, no thicker than ¼”.
- Place the slices in the dehydrator trays. Set the timer for the mushrooms, according to your dehydrator’s time chart.
Once the slices are dehydrated and cooled, place them in a blender and hit pulse a few times until they are in powder form. But again, make sure to not over pulse.
Storing Powdered Foods
Place your newly powdered food into an airtight container, and keep in a dry, cool, and dark area…such as a pantry or cupboard. Here is a breakdown of how long they should last, if stored properly.
- Greens – After about 6-9 months, you will notice the color fading. That is the point when you are losing nutrients. They won’t go bad, but the flavor and nutrition is diminishing as the color fades.
- Meats and Poultry – can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to 5 years if the seal has not been broken.
- Vegetables – if stored properly, can last up to a year for optimum freshness and maintain nutrients.
- Mushrooms – place in an airtight container, or seal with a food saver in individual packs. Powdered mushrooms should last in a cool and dry area for up to a year.
The more you open an airtight container, the more you allow air in, which will shorten the time it will keep fresh. If you break the product down into smaller batches for storage, the longer your product will last on the shelf.
Hopefully, this will give you a good idea on what you can do to turn some foods into powder, how to store it, as well as put it to good use.
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