Dehydration of vegetables

Asked July 3, 2014, 1:22 AM EDT

Dear ones, Extension was the best thing that our government ever did for this country. I can no longer take food supplement pills since it was causing havoc with the bladder and colon. I have turned to my garden and what it can provide for me at this time. I have been drying leafy green vegetable high in calcium, magnesium and the vitamin B family. I have an extensive library of food content sheets for many vegetables and fruits that the USDA put out on their web site. Having consulted Extension in the Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa group, they suggested that I look at your work being done in food preservation. Here are my questions: Having to come up with 1200 mg of Calcium every day, how much is retained in say Collards, Bok Choy and/or Turnip Greens after dehydration? The USDA site says 95%. Do you find that to be consistent with your findings? Does grinding dehydrated greens into powder affect the nutrients in the leaves? How best to store greens: 1) Dried leaves vacuum packed in glass jars or 2)Vacuum packed dried leaf powder in glass jars? Do I dry the leaves whole or cut out the stem and veins? Where are most of the nutrients located? If one is to mix the leaf powder into say mayonnaise or consumed before or after consuming cranberry juice, will that affect the utilization of the nutrients in the vegetable powder? Thank you for your support and contributions to this country. With warm regards, Nancy L. Walter

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

Yes dehydration actually concentrates all the nutrients + sugar content. Either method that is vaccuumed sealed would work fine -- your choice. Grinding dried leaves will expose more surface to air and heat and destroys more nutrients, so leaving the leaves whole is healthiest. Nutrients are in leaf, not so much stems. Feel free to combine leaves into any medium you are interested.