Healthy Eating Tips

Making Your Own Vitamin- and Mineral-Rich Greens Powder in an Oven or Air Fryer Is Almost *Too* Easy

Photo: Getty Images/ Kilito Chan
Drinking enough water, let alone packing all of the necessary nutrients and a sufficient amount of fresh fruits and veggies into your diet on a daily basis, can feel harder to do than sitting through an entire episode of Friends without repeating every memorized line. “Joey doesn’t share food!”

This is especially true when reminding yourself that the USDA recommends that the average adult eat about two to three cups of vegetables plus one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half cups of fruit daily.

As a result, many folks have turned to scooping functional green powders into smoothies, soups, and other functional beverages. These powdered veggie supplements offer a medley of vitamins, minerals, and other important plant compounds, plus they help you meet your daily produce quota. One main downside to this solution, however, is that they tend to come with a high price tag.

To avoid turning green with rage like the Hulk when you see your expensive bill from Instacart posted on your bank statement yet again, we’ve discovered a super easy way to save tons of money by making your own DIY greens powder using an air fryer or dehydrator. See it in action in this recent TikTok video by @veganrecipes, in which Mario transforms a batch of kale into green powdery dust in just a few simple steps.

@veganrecipes Easy way to eat better! 🌱#veganrecipes #plantbased #foody #vegan #learnfromme #chef #greens #exercise #dehydrator #govegan #dairyfree #nowlookatthis ♬ Day 'N' Nite (nightmare) - Kid Cudi

How to make a DIY dried greens powder using an air fryer

According to Jaclyn Huff, a Los Angeles-based certified health coach and personal chef, making your own DIY green powder at home is super easy to execute with an air fryer. When doing so, she has a few tips that will help ensure you preserve as many nutrients as possible when making your own product.

First and foremost, it’s critical to wash all ingredients thoroughly beforehand; this will help eliminate any unwanted bacteria, dirt, or critters that may have made their way into your produce. According to the CDC, washing fruits and veggies under cool, running water is enough to do the trick. Next, Huff says that you should dry all of your ingredients before you toss them into the air fryer. She also points out that there’s no need to cook or blanch the greens before dehydrating, as this may destroy essential nutrients that would otherwise survive the drying process.

To prep the greens for powder, you’ll want to remove tough stems from veggies like kale and chop them into smaller pieces (more tender greens, such as spinach, are fine leaving as-is).

The next step is the drying process, which requires a bit of patience. "You really need to take things low and slow, and working in smaller batches may also benefit your final product," says Huff. In an air fryer or dehydrator set to 125°F, you’ll want to slowly draw out all of the moisture in the greens for about six to eight hours. For the most dried and crisp results, be sure to lay the greens flat inside the fryer basket to allow air circulation. Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, simply blend the dried greens until powdery. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Don't forget that you can dry other veggies, too

According to Huff, one of her other all-time favorite veggies to dehydrate are magnesium-and-iron-packed beets. Aside from their gorgeous magenta hue, beets will add tons of vitamins and minerals (including magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium) to your greens powder. Like the steps for prepping leafy greens, beets should also be washed and dried before using, as well as peeled and completely dried before blending into a powder. Huff recommends using beetroot powder in smoothies or as a natural food coloring for baking red velvet cake, coloring Easter eggs, or even tie-dying.

Tips for making the perfect greens powder every time

Although making greens powder at home is virtually foolproof, there are a few ways to make it even easier on you. If you don’t already own a dehydrator or air fryer, there’s absolutely no need to run to the store to pick one up. Instead, Huff explains that you can set your oven to the lowest temperature, “warm” setting, or between 120°F and 140°F, and bake the veggies until crisp.

Keep in mind that this will also take a few hours to complete, and you should flip and rotate the greens every few hours to ensure the moisture is drawn out from all angles. To reduce the amount of humidity in the oven, Huff says to open the door every so often to release any trapped moisture. Make sure to check if your oven has a dehydrate or convection cooking setting already built in, as this will quickly transform your appliance into the dehydrating machine of your dreams.

Once your product is all dried out, Huff emphasizes that you should double and triple-check that all of it is entirely void of moisture. This will help preserve the powder for about six months if kept in an airtight container in a cool spot. And if you want to make cleanup a breeze (who doesn't?), she says to line the pan with parchment paper or an oven-safe silicone mat to make your life even easier.

To make a sufficient amount of greens for the week, keep in mind that leafy greens are primarily made of water and will significantly reduce in size when cooked. You’ll want to ensure you start with a significant amount of the plant to yield as much as you anticipated. Bonus points for those using this trick as a brilliant way to avoid wasting any leafy greens before they turn.

DIY greens powder recipe

Yields 4 tablespoons

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups of greens (kale, spinach, or greens of your choice)

1. Wash and dry greens thoroughly. Remove stems from kale leaves and rough chop or rip leaves to a similar size. You can leave spinach as-is.

2. Lay flat on the rack (with or without parchment paper) and place into the dehydrator or air fryer.

3. Dehydrate for six to eight hours at 125°F or until completely dried and crispy.

4. Put greens into a blender or spice grinder and blend until it reaches a powder consistency. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Beetroot powder recipe

Yield 4-5 tablespoons

Ingredients
2 pounds beets (6-8 medium-sized beets)

1. Wash and dry the beets thoroughly. Peel beets, if desired.

2. Grate the beets or cut them into one-quarter-inch slices. Lay flat on a dehydrator rack (with or without parchment).

3. Dehydrate for six to eight hours at 135°F or until completely dried and crispy.

4. Transfer the beets into a blender or spice grinder and blend until it reaches a powder consistency. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

One more way to eat all of your greens:

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