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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Vegetable Powders

rhubarb-vanilla-beet smoothie

Last summer, when I was trying to stock an emergency pantry, I stumbled upon vegetable powders at a couple of websites. At one particular website, I was trying to meet a minimum order to get free shipping on powdered milk. I added some beet, carrot, and spinach powder to that order and have been experimenting with adding these powders to a variety of foods to boost nutritional value.

I have since discovered that I can make my own vegetable powders at a savings, using my dehydrator and food processor with fresh vegetables. I'll be processing some of our garden surplus as powders later this growing season.

You may wonder -- why bother with vegetable powders when fresh or frozen veggies are so easy to use in cooking? I'm aiming for 6 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. To reach that volume, I try for 2 servings at breakfast each day. My standard breakfast is a small cup of homemade yogurt. To add vegetables, I add some carrot powder, along with honey and vanilla for flavor. For my birthday, my son gave me some blueberry powder. So, I've been adding some blueberry powder along with the carrot powder. There's almost 2 servings done for the day. And it's delicious. Carrot powder has a mild taste and a small amount of texture. 

Later in the day, I make myself a smoothie with the handy Ninja smoothie blender that my husband picked up off the "free" table at work. Beet powder has more flavor than the carrot. However, when mixed in a smoothie, such as the above rhubarb-vanilla-beet smoothie, I don't taste it at all, yet I'm getting the benefits from beet root. (I used leftover cooked vanilla rhubarb with beet powder and a small amount of water.)

When I make pizza sauce, unbeknownst to my family, I add a spoonful of spinach powder to the tomato paste and seasonings. A little dark leafy greens slipped into a pizza dinner without anyone noticing.

I also make myself juice drinks, using apple juice as a base then adding carrot, beet, and spinach powder and shaking well. This is my "recharge" beverage when I'm working out or a quick, last-minute vegetable with lunch on a particularly busy day.

Yes, I could cook, puree and add vegetables to the same foods, but I like the powders for a couple of reasons. They're super easy to use, no on-the-spot cooking and pureeing. They don't add water content to foods that I don't want thinned, such as my yogurt breakfast. Alternatively, sometimes I want to actually thicken a soup or sauce. Vegetable powders have a slight thickening effect, as well as add flavor and nutrients.

I still consume most of my fruits and veggies un-dehydrated. Powders are just one more way to boost the nutrients in my foods.

Have you ever tried vegetable or fruit powders?


  1. Would that work for some dried bell peppers I purchased once. The problem is that when they are rehydrated the skin on them become very sharp (texture not taste) and nearly unedible. I hate to throw them away so they sit in my cupboard. Maybe I should grind them up and use the powder. I might just try that! I learn something new from you everyday!

    1. Hi Alice,
      Yes. If you grind them into a powder or even just finer than they are now, you could add them to soups, chili, or taco meat.
      Good luck!

  2. I was not familiar with vegetable powders and this idea intrigued me. I can see how they can be a good way to add vegetables and fruits to other foods. How much powder equals a serving?

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      It varies some, but I know that 1 tablespoon of carrot powder is equal to a whole carrot, 1 to 2 teaspoons of beet powder is equal to one beet, and 1 tablespoon of spinach powder equals 1 cup of raw spinach. For myself, I use a tablespoon of carrot powder in my yogurt every morning. Later in the day, if I have a smoothie or a glass of juice, I add 1 teaspoon of beet powder to about 5 ounces of juice. Beet powder has a lot of flavor, so I go easy on it in juices. When I make a 16 ounce bottle of juice, I use about 12 ounces of apple juice, 2 teaspoons of beet, 3 teaspoons of carrot, and 1 teaspoon of spinach powder, shake well, then I fill the rest with water. This concoction would have about 4 servings of fruits and veg, including the apple juice. I divide this into 3 servings, getting a larger variety of nutrients in each glass than just the juice alone. I also like to add 1 teaspoon of beet powder to a glass of orange juice, as a way to incorporate more veg. And as I mentioned, whenever I make a pizza or pasta sauce, I add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of spinach powder and no one notices. Last summer I was stirring 1 teaspoon of beet powder into a scoop of cottage cheese for my lunches.

    2. That gives me a feel for how to use them. Thanks.

    3. You're welcome, Live and Learn!

  3. This was completely new to me. I suppose it really shouldn't be--years ago I took powdered vegetable capsules daily to boost my health. The brand was Juice Plus and it was recommended to me by my family physician after I spent the better part of a year being ill from mononucleosis and hoping for recovery. It's hard to quantify how much health benefit I gained--I know it didn't hurt and it probably was helpful. After awhile I found it to be cost prohibitive and stopped purchasing it.

    Thanks for keeping us educated on food options available!

    1. Hi Kris,
      I've seen fruit and vegetable powder capsules advertised. I don't pay too much attention to the ads, so I don't know how expensive they are. But I'm sure they're not cheap by my spending standards.
      I don't know how many extra servings of vegetables someone would get from those capsule, but they would offer more variety than what a person might eat in one day and would be helpful for someone who just didn't have the energy to eat very much, like when you had mono. Mono is a tough one to recover from. I'm sorry you had to go through that.


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