Freeze-Dried Microgreens Powder: From Tray to Superfood

  • By: Heberney Florez
  • Date: November 28, 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.


Ever since I learned about microgreens, I’ve been utterly captivated by their nutrient-dense nature and the wealth of micro and phytonutrients they pack. They’re so beneficial and super-concentrated, and it got me thinking: if microgreens are already more nutrient-rich than their mature counterparts, imagine how nutritious a powder made from them could be.

The final product would be an even more concentrated form of an already super-concentrated food. Once this realization hit me, I started researching the best way to make this microgreen powder and discovered that freeze-drying is the method that best preserves these vital nutrients.

That’s precisely why I’m beyond excited to dive into the world of freeze-drying microgreens to create this nutrient-packed powder. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill kitchen experiment; it’s a deep dive into preserving the best of what nature offers, but in a form that’s not only convenient but also supercharged with more goodness.

Why Freeze-Dried Microgreens?

Microgreens, those tiny sprouts bursting with nutrients, are a gardener’s delight and a health enthusiast’s dream. But let’s face it, they have the shelf life of a mayfly. That’s where freeze-drying comes in—it’s like hitting the pause button on these delicate greens, locking in their nutrients and flavor, and extending their usefulness way beyond their natural lifespan in powder form.

It’s like having a concentrated burst of health right at your fingertips. Sprinkle it on anything, and boom – instant nutrient boost. The best part? You don’t have to worry about them wilting away in your fridge.

But, you might be wondering, “Why go through all the trouble of freeze-drying microgreens?” Well, let me tell you, the reasons are as plentiful as the leaves on a well-tended sprout.

  1. Nutrient Preservation: Microgreens are nutritional powerhouses – they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When you freeze-dry them, you’re essentially locking in these nutrients. Traditional drying methods use heat, which can degrade some of these vital compounds. Freeze-drying, on the other hand, maintains the integrity of these nutrients, almost as if you’re plucking them fresh.
  2. Extended Shelf Life: Microgreens are notoriously short-lived. You blink, and they’re wilting. Freeze-drying extends their shelf life by years, not days. This means you can store and use them whenever you want, without the pressure of a ticking clock. It’s especially handy for those who grow their own but can’t keep up with the rapid growth cycles.
  3. Convenience and Versatility: Having a jar of microgreen powder on your shelf is like having a secret ingredient at your fingertips. It’s easy to incorporate into your diet – a sprinkle here in a smoothie, a dash there in a soup. You get the nutritional benefits without the hassle of handling fresh greens every time.
  4. Flavor Retention: Freeze-drying preserves the unique flavors of each microgreen variety. Whether it’s the peppery punch of radish greens or the subtle sweetness of pea shoots, the freeze-drying process captures and retains these flavors. It’s a fantastic way to add a flavor boost to your dishes.
  5. Space-Saving: Let’s be honest, not everyone has the luxury of a large pantry or fridge space. Freeze-dried microgreens are compact. You’re essentially turning trays of greens into small, easily storable jars. It’s a great solution for small-space dwellers who still want to harness the power of home-grown produce.
  6. Reduction of Food Waste: In our journey towards sustainable living, reducing food waste is key. By freeze-drying microgreens, you’re ensuring that none of your hard-grown produce goes to waste. It’s a responsible, eco-friendly way to enjoy your harvest.
  7. Year-Round Availability: Depending on where you live, growing microgreens year-round might not be feasible. Freeze-drying allows you to enjoy your favorite greens regardless of the season. It’s like capturing a bit of spring and summer and holding onto it all year long.
  8. Healthful Addition for Special Diets: Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, or just trying to eat healthier, freeze-dried microgreen powder fits right in. It’s a simple, natural way to enhance your meals without adding preservatives, sugars, or unwanted additives.
  9. Fun Experimentation: Last but not least, freeze-drying microgreens is just plain fun. It’s a chance to experiment and play with your food in the most constructive way. Watching the process unfold is a bit like kitchen alchemy, turning something fresh and perishable into something long-lasting and versatile.
See also  Microgreen Powder vs Microgreens vs Mature Plant: A Comparison

In a nutshell, freeze-drying microgreens is about preserving the essence of what makes these tiny greens so special – their nutrients, flavor, and versatility – all while extending their usability and reducing waste. It’s a win-win for any homesteader or home cook looking to make the most out of their produce.

Making freeze dried microgreen powder

How to make Freeze Dried Microgreens Powder

Freeze-drying microgreens at home is like holding onto a piece of summer, ready to be unleashed any time of the year. It’s a testament to self-sufficiency, a nod to nutritional wellness, and, let’s not forget, a pretty darn cool way to impress your homesteading buddies. So, give it a go, and let the power of greens amp up your homestead pantry!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 1 hour

Equipment

  • 1 Pair of scissors
  • 1 Digital scale
  • 1 Harvest Right Freezer Dryer
  • 1 Spice Grinder

Instructions
 

Harvesting and Prepping Your Microgreens

  • The best part about microgreens is you don’t need a farm to grow them. A small tray on a windowsill works wonders. Harvest them when they’re young and tender, right after the first leaves appear. Give them a gentle wash and pat them dry. Remember, water is the enemy of freeze-drying, so the drier, the better.

The Set-Up: Gearing Up for Freeze-Drying

  • Freeze-drying might sound like something from a sci-fi novel, but it’s surprisingly doable at home. You’ll need a freeze dryer, which, admittedly, is an investment. Think of it as the ultimate tool in your self-sufficiency arsenal. Once you have your hands on one, the possibilities extend far beyond microgreens.

The Freeze-Drying Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Pre-Freezing: Start by spreading your microgreens out on a tray. Pop them into your freezer and let them freeze solid. This step is crucial for preserving cell structure and nutrients.
  • The Main Event – Freeze Drying: Transfer your frozen greens into the freeze dryer. The machine works its magic by lowering the temperature further and then slowly warming up, allowing all the moisture to sublimate (that’s a fancy way of saying it turns from ice to vapor without ever becoming liquid).
  • Post-Processing: After the cycle (which can be a bit long, but patience is a virtue in homesteading), you’ll find your microgreens have transformed into feather-light, crispy wonders. They should be completely dry; any moisture could spoil the batch.

Grinding into Powder

  • Now, take these dry-as-a-bone microgreens and grind them into a fine powder. A spice grinder, a blender, or even a mortar and pestle if you want to go old-school, will do the job. The result? A vibrant green powder that’s all flavor and nutrients, with no additives or preservatives.

Storing Your Microgreens Powder

  • Store this green gold in airtight containers, away from light and heat. I like to use glass jars with a good seal. Stored properly, your freeze-dried microgreens powder can last for years, believe it or not.

Using Your Homemade Microgreens Powder

  • This is the fun part. Sprinkle this powerhouse on virtually anything – smoothies, soups, salads, omelets. It’s a stealthy way to boost your meals, especially for those picky eaters in the family who might balk at the sight of greens.
Keyword broccoli microgreens powder, freeze dried microgreens powder, how to make microgreens powder

How to make Freeze Dried Microgreens Powder

1. Harvesting and Prepping Your Microgreens

The best part about microgreens is you don’t need a farm to grow them. A small tray on a windowsill works wonders. Harvest them when they’re young and tender, right after the first leaves appear. Give them a gentle wash and pat them dry. Remember, water is the enemy of freeze-drying, so the drier, the better.

See also  How to Make Microgreen Powder at Home

2. The Set-Up: Gearing Up for Freeze-Drying

Freeze-drying might sound like something from a sci-fi novel, but it’s surprisingly doable at home. You’ll need a freeze dryer, which, admittedly, is an investment. Think of it as the ultimate tool in your self-sufficiency arsenal. Once you have your hands on one, the possibilities extend far beyond microgreens.

3. The Freeze-Drying Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Pre-Freezing: Start by spreading your microgreens out on a tray. Pop them into your freezer and let them freeze solid. This step is crucial for preserving cell structure and nutrients.
  2. The Main Event – Freeze Drying: Transfer your frozen greens into the freeze dryer. The machine works its magic by lowering the temperature further and then slowly warming up, allowing all the moisture to sublimate (that’s a fancy way of saying it turns from ice to vapor without ever becoming liquid).
  3. Post-Processing: After the cycle (which can be a bit long, but patience is a virtue in homesteading), you’ll find your microgreens have transformed into feather-light, crispy wonders. They should be completely dry; any moisture could spoil the batch.

4. Grinding into Powder

Now, take these dry-as-a-bone microgreens and grind them into a fine powder. A spice grinder, a blender, or even a mortar and pestle if you want to go old-school, will do the job. The result? A vibrant green powder that’s all flavor and nutrients, with no additives or preservatives.

5. Storing Your Microgreens Powder

Store this green gold in airtight containers, away from light and heat. I like to use glass jars with a good seal. Stored properly, your freeze-dried microgreens powder can last for years, believe it or not.

See also  Discover More Nutritious Microgreens Powder Varieties Today!

6. Using Your Homemade Microgreens Powder

This is the fun part. Sprinkle this powerhouse on virtually anything – smoothies, soups, salads, omelets. It’s a stealthy way to boost your meals, especially for those picky eaters in the family who might balk at the sight of greens.

Closing Thoughts

Freeze-drying microgreens at home is like holding onto a piece of summer, ready to be unleashed any time of the year. It’s a testament to self-sufficiency, a nod to nutritional wellness, and, let’s not forget, a pretty darn cool way to impress your homesteading buddies. So, give it a go, and let the power of greens amp up your homestead pantry!

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