Dehydrated beet greens can be added to smoothies, soups, pasta sauces, or casseroles for an added punch of nutrition. This method of preserving can be used for any green including collard greens, kale, chard, and radish greens.
I LOVE beets. Love them. Seriously, I can’t resist a beet. I like ’em roasted, raw, pickled, in salads, as a side dish, and mixed with ginger in smoothies (try it!). In fact, when I was working in IT several years ago, I used to keep a can of beets in my desk for a midday snack. True story.
Naturally, when we built our raised garden beds, one of the first seed packets I ordered were Chiggoia beets. Beets grow very well in early spring and fall weather conditions making them ideal for growing in an area like Chicago.
As much as I love beets, I am not too fond of beet greens. I’ve tried sautéing them in absurd amounts of garlic, adding them to soup, and baking them into casseroles, but there is an underlying aftertaste that I just do not care for.
When you grow beets, you end up with a massive amount of beet greens and it seemed like such a shame to have them go to waste. Even though I am not the biggest fan of beet greens, I couldn’t ignore the fact that they are high in Vitamin K and fiber, and I was determined to find a way to preserve and use them.
My first instinct was to blanch and freeze them, but at the moment I am running low on freezer space, and I’d rather save the space I have for things I truly enjoy like fruit or kale. I decided to give dehydrating them a whirl with the hope that it would soften the flavor rather than intensify it. Guess what? It worked!
For the past few weeks, I’ve been adding a tablespoon of dehydrated beet greens to my strawberry and banana smoothies every morning and I cannot taste them at all! They melt right into the smoothie and I love knowing I am getting the health benefits without having to actually taste them.
The good news is that greens dehydrate rather quickly. I spread them in my dehydrator, turned it to 135˚, and they were finished in about 8-10 hours. The bad news (for me) is that I had SO. MANY. GREENS. it took forever to dry them all. My dehydrator was running 24/7 for nearly a week. Oye! I might have to invest in a second one if we are going to keep gardening at this pace.
When all was said and done, I ended up with about 3 cups of dehydrated beet greens. Using a tablespoon at a time, this will allow me to make about 48 smoothies. Delicious! It was definitely worth the week of dehydrating and I’m happy that I do not have to frantically give away my beet greens or send them to the compost pile.
- Beet greens
- Blender or Food Processor
- Remove thick stems and thoroughly wash beet greens making sure they are free of any dirt.
- When they are dry, layer greens evenly in your dehydrating trays. A little overlap is fine, but you want to minimize it as best you can to ensure even drying.
- Dry according to your dehydrator settings. I set mine to 135˚.
- When greens are totally dry and brittle, pulse them in a food processor or blender to make a powder.
- Store in an air-tight jar or bag.