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Make Homemade Vegetable Flakes

September 2, 2014
dried onion flakesVegetable flakes are easy to do and useful in the kitchen on many fronts! When we have abundance this time of year either in the garden or at farmer’s markets we don’t think about the “other” ways we use food! We think of tomatoes as salsa, crushed or diced and canned, used fresh and maybe some even slice and dry them.Look again! Slice and quickly blanch or steam vegetables then dry them. You can use the slices as is or take it one further – use your food processor or blender to make flakes and powders. Look at how many we use – crushed red pepper flakes on pizza is just one.

Follow the ordinary processing and drying and separate some for further processing. Dried thoroughly you have homemade onion flakes, garlic flakes, even zucchini and tomato flakes. You can use some of those as flakes and powder some.

The processor should be dry and the vegetables dried thoroughly to the crisp stage, allowing them to then flake easily. Process small amounts at a time – ½ to 1 cup is ideal and those small one cup choppers work GREAT for this! With flakes you can both bottle them as straight onion flakes and so forth or you can also make combinations.

For example you might combine a salad flake mix of carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, onions and tomatoes then simply sprinkle over salads. Vegetable powders can be mixed in small amounts into macaroni and cheese, casseroles, soups or stews for picky eaters and, resorbed as a powder, there’s nothing to see or pick out.

You can also use them as seasonings over burgers or other meats or in creamed soups or sauces. Shred, blanch and dry potatoes and flake to add as a thickener to chili or other dishes.

A bonus to this – if the power goes out you can also use some of these flakes as “instant soups” – add boiling water. With advanced planning you can even plan for instant meals either for camping or emergency.

Some vegetables work better than others but this is a great way to use the “odds and ends” at the end of a harvest too. Perhaps they’re not quite as pretty as the earlier produce but still perfectly good. Using them as flakes or powders the appearance is much less a factor.

There is a wide range of things you can try once you get going on the idea – even lettuce and other greens can be dried into general “vegetable powder”. There are many online resources willing to help as you try this and give you ideas for other things to try that perhaps you haven’t thought of.

Consider the options – it stretches the food budget even further and allows the use of food that otherwise would go to waste. Once you start looking at vegetable flakes and powders you’ll wonder what ELSE you can try and why you didn’t think of it before!

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