Eat your greens! We’ve all heard the advice. Leafy green plants in particular are some of the nutrient-densest foods around. That means that in very few calories they pack a huge punch of nutrients that are easily absorbed by our cells.
Green plants are high in vitamins and minerals and a source of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents which protect our cells and boost our immunity.
Green plants that grow in our locality are even better. According to Ayurveda when we eat the plants that appear in our environment the distance and time between soil and plate is greatly reduced so we consume the freshest food possible. The plants that grow locally are also perfectly adapted to our particular environment. They lend us their immunity which can help stave off allergies. Plus they connect us with the rhythm of nature, grounding us in our place on earth. We become stronger, healthier and more grounded. Not bad.
With all this in mind, I’ve been foraging local wild weeds like a mad person recently in an attempt to make the most of all these wonderful health benefits, which are free to boot!
I’ve mostly been picking dandelions and nettles and making some simple juices and soups with these, but given the abundance of these two uber-nutritious greens I tried my hand at making my own green powder this week. This means I have the power-of-the-plant to hand to easily sprinkle in and on many dishes, or to make teas.
Herewith my recipe for DIY green powder.
Step 1: Go to your local park or woodland unashamedly armed with gloves, a bag and some scissors to gather your fresh local greens. Nettles are particularly abundant and fresh at the moment so I’ve been focusing on these. Do make sure you’re picking from within a park or woodland and not from the side of the road. Plants growing near the road have likely picked up pollution from the cars. We don’t want pollution in our health powder!
Use scissors to cut off the freshest leaves at the top of the plant. I like to cut the leaves off right at the plant to save me faffing about pulling these off in the kitchen later. Plus, you leave much of the plant intact this way which makes it easier for it to grow back and replenish the supply.
Step 2: Wash all the leaves in cold water. You’ll need to use gloves for this too as they’ll still be stinging at this stage!
Step 3: Place everything laid out on some oven trays or dehydrator trays. If you’re using an over you’ll need to set it to the lowest setting and maybe even leave the door open. With a dehydrator just pop them on. They’ll need about 12 hours on the dehydrator, less in the oven!
Nettles will lose most of their sting when they’re fully dry and all of it once blended into a fine powder
Step 4: Blend up your dry nettles (and any other leaves you might have used, I used dandelions also) either in a blender for speed and efficiency or if you’re partial to a bit of pestle and mortar action then that can work also.
Some people suggest that using a pestle and mortar preserves the energy of the plant and can be quite a meditative and spiritual practice. I’m a blendtec blender kinda gal
Step 5: Hurrah, do a happy dance, you’ve got your homemade green powder. Make sure it’s nice and fine. If you’ve got a strong blender this shouldn’t be a problem but if not you might want to run it through a sieve.
Step 7: Put it proudly on display where you’ll see it and use it!