How different drying methods affect the quality of Kale Powder.
If you’re thinking about using kale powder as a convenient way to add more leafy green vegetables into you diet there are a few important things to consider. Typically, kale will be dried in one of two ways: Air-dried or Freeze-dried, and each method has pros and cons.
- The biggest pro of using an air-dried powder is the cost. Air-drying is a very low-cost way of drying kale and therefore the powder is much cheaper for you to purchase.
- The major con of air-dried powder is many of the nutrients are degraded. Put a leaf of kale on your counter for a few hours at room temperature and it will go limp and wilt. Put it in a dehydrator at a much higher temperature for a few hours and it will shrivel up like a raisin (in fact raisins are simply air-dried grapes which is why they look totally different). Shriveling happens when cell walls are degraded and break down. Water, and many soluble nutrients also leech out during the air-drying process.
- Air-drying typically makes the taste of the powder more pungent. So if you use it in something like a green smoothie, it may be more difficult to mask over the taste.
- Most air-dried vegetable powders are grown and dried in China where heavy metals are typically much higher in the soil than in the US.
- The biggest pro of using a freeze-dried powder is the nutrient level. A Freeze-dried kale leaf looks just like a fresh kale leaf and nutritionally is as close as you can get.
- Taste is very close to the taste of fresh kale, so if you are using it in something like a green smoothie, it is just as easy to flavor over as fresh kale.
- Freeze-drying is much more expensive than air-drying. Freeze-drying is a slow process that typically takes 2-3 days per batch.
While Freeze-dried powder is much higher in quality, the cost is also much higher. If your looking for a low-cost option to add leafy greens into your diet, air-dried powder would be a great choice for you and there are many options on Amazon to choose from. On the other hand, if you are less price sensitive and looking for the highest quality kale powder, we’d recommend a product like our Organic Freeze-dried Kale Powder which is grown and freeze-dried in the USA. Whichever you choose, we hope you’re able to eat more leafy greens!