Working with Fruit & Vegetable Powders Is Easy, but How Much Is Enough?
When working with powders, you do not need an arsenal of flavors at your fingertips already ground up. As you use your powders, you will learn what you need to have on-hand all the time. My main go-tos are tomato, lemon, mushroom, pineapple (for tenderizer), onion, and garlic powders. Your list may differ depending on what you use the most. As the shaker/jar is emptied I grind enough to replace and fill the empty jar again.
But say, for instance, I want a nice pot of chocolate-raspberry coffee for an afternoon treat. I throw a handful of dried raspberries, roasted cacao nibs, and coffee beans into my Cuisinart Grind Central and whizz it all into a yummy blend to brew.
Another example: I am making banana bread. I grab my jar of banana chips, throw in a heaping 1-cup measure because I know that will grind down to the 1/4 cup that I need for my recipe, and I am done! The banana chips stay fresher than the powder and I have no waste.
Of course you will have those “seasonal items” like pumpkin powder or sweet potato powder. Or if you are on a mad muffin baking spree, grind away! But for the most part you will soon recognize what you use the most.
Why powder this way instead of grinding everything up as you dehydrate it?
Powdering radically increases the surface area, which is why powders have so much flavor. But that larger surface area also allows for more oxidation and more surface area for pathogens to attack and thrive on if not properly stored. Choose whichever method will fit best for you, keeping in mind that your powdered goods will keep up their best flavor and nutritional value when stored properly. I usually only powder what I can use in a 2-3 month period. Your dehydrated slices or chunks or leather sheets of food are always there for you to pull from your shelves. Left whole, they will stay fresher for a longer period.
I often use my Cuisinart DCG-12BC Grind Central Coffee Grinder for these smaller batches. It has been going strong for 2 years now, the longest reign a grinder has ever lasted for me in grinding my dehydrated foods. Again, I find, as a general rule of thumb, a heaping 1-cup dry-measure (packed) will yield about a 1/4-cup measure of powdered product which is enough to fill a spice shaker.
I already ground up my dehydrated foods. What now?
If you have a storage problem and decided to powder a lot of your dehydrated goods only to find you just don’t use them that much, don’t panic. Take those you have powdered and use them up in things like oatmeal pantry packs, instant fruit-flavored rice pudding, or instant cup-of-soup packs that you will eat on a regular basis because they are quick and easy for you to grab on-the-go.
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