Jennifer is posting lots of great and helpful blogs for us! Thanks:)
Ok, so I got bitten by the DIY bug again! This is getting to be quite the problem, LoL!
This coming season I plan to grow a lot of spinach in my backyard, mostly because I cannot seem to find any organic spinach in our local commissary and our local organic market is not as stocked as I would like it to be. Thing is, in my region you can only plant spinach outdoors during certain months, how will I store my harvest? *cue the light bulb* I could try dehydrating it! I was very proud of my idea since that method would allow me to use even more of it for everyday cooking!
My youngest child is quite the picky eater and I have to be sneaky when trying to feed her certain things. How do I get her to eat spinach? I turn it into something else, that’s how! For example, I always blend some blanched spinach in with flour when I make my homemade pasta. It turns the flour green and the kids have fun with their unusually colored pasta, in fact little one (now a whole 7 years old) has told me that she ONLY likes the green pasta!
Okay so time for me to experiment. I got roughly a pound of spinach but I only processed about half a pound here. (Why only half? Well because silly me tried to separate the leaves as much as possible to allow for easier drying…seemed like a major waste of space so the second half is now dehydrating, and not so neatly spread out) I ran it for about 14 hrs (might have been done in less though…it was the weekend and I slept in), half a pound didn’t amount to much at all! The water content of my foods never cease to amaze me!!!
Once I removed the spinach from the dehydrator I put it in my blender. Just a regular blender, nothing fancy…which as you can see did not grind it up like a fine powder BUT this was good enough for us. I am actually looking into getting a grain mill, seems my heart has settled on the WonderMill Jr and of course, using that I’d REALLY be able to turn this into a fine powder but until then this will definitely do!
Having spinach powder now opens a world of possibilities for me. I can now sneak this into pancakes, eggs, homemade flour tortillas, etc and the best part is that since these were processed so minimally, they have retained ALL their nutrients!(Spinach has a high nutritional value: rich in antioxidants and are a good source of vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E, K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium, potassium, folic acid, copper, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, and selenium)
I do believe I have found an awesome way to preserve spinach, however I am not so sure I want to keep using an electric dehydrator for this, especially if I plan on doing this a LOT. I think I finally have the motivation to go ahead and build myself a solar dehydrator! More on that at a later date. J
Dehydration of spinach definitely a success, now tomorrow I will try to sneak this in the pancake batter and see if I can successfully feed it to my oh-so-picky eater! Will update on the comments!
If you would like to ask questions you can post below:)