Greens are such a beneficial food. They are simultaneously nourishing and cleansing, and contain a vast array of balanced nutrients. Look pretty much anywhere in the nutrition world and you will see recommendations from health experts to include plenty of salads, green smoothies and green juices in your diet.
The natural world is bursting with greens throughout the summer months. Currently I have much more greens than I can personally eat on my urban land. I like to gather them when they are at their peak, dry them and then grind them into a powder to enjoy in smoothies in the colder months.
The fact that this green powder is free food is only the beginning of my appreciation for it. The plants that you take care of know you and want to take care of you. They respond to your nutritional and health needs directly through the substances that they produce within themselves as they grow. In other words, the kale that I grow will be different from the kale that you grow, and certainly different from plants that are mass produced. Also, if you let part of your land go wild, you will find that certain plants will show up that may be asking you to admire them, eat them, or make them into health enhancing products like tinctures and tea infusions. Overall, wild foods tend to have extraordinary nutrition and properties.
I planted fall kale, which survived the winter (covered by row cover, and then snow… lots of snow), and have been enjoying it in my salads since April. It’s currently going to seed so I’m picking it and adding the leaves to my green powder. I’ve also added dandelion, sow thistle, and wood sorrel to this batch. I will add some dried nettles harvested earlier this spring as well. Later this summer I hope to bump into a big patch of wild spinach (also know as lambsquarters) on one of my walks and will add that too.
Here is what to do to make your own green powder:
- Pick wild or excess garden greens at their peak.
- To dry them you have several options: one, a dehydrator at 118 degrees F (takes 3 to 5 hours), two, on a mesh screen (takes 3 to 6 days), or three, gather several plants, tie them together and hang upside down in a room with no direct sun and good air circulations(takes 3 to 6 days). See below for pictures…
- Then grind into a powder in a blender and store in a glass jar.
- Add 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon to your smoothies. I use this powder when fresh greens aren’t available. Smoothies can tend to be cooling so make sure to add ginger, cinnamon and other warming spices to your cold weather smoothies and blend until it reaches room temperature.