Make Versatile Vegetable Powders From Freeze-Dried Vegetables
I recently loved the various freeze-dried vegetables that you can buy from Trader Joe’s. In terms of texture, this is a lot of fun, especially if you are in an altered state that allows you to appreciate different textures even more than usual.
I especially love the crunchy onion chips – whole petals of puffed crispy onions that taste like what Funyun wants to be when it grows up. I dipped them in sour cream and sprinkled them on top with a few fried chunks of garlic (and a little monosodium glutamate) and wow – what a snack. These chips are a paradigm shift for sour cream and onions as a genre, a genre that I thought was pretty much supplanted.
But aside from snacks, any dried vegetables you can buy at TJ’s (and other health food stores or their adjoining stores) can be used to make flavorful vegetable powders. We’ve already talked about fruit powders and their ability to impart vibrant color and fruity flavor to sauces , drinks, and cake icings , and vegetarian powders work in a similar, if not exactly the same, way.
For example, I wouldn’t add the mushroom powder you see above to the butter cream, but I would (and already!) Add it to the mashed potatoes, and it was great. I’ve also seen adding it to meatloaf and meatballs. Last night I sprinkled a mixture of all three powders – onions, mushrooms and green peas – on a cucumber and tomato salad and I’ll do it again!
Each powder brings its own unique flavor to the plate. The mushroom is earthy, the onion is bright onion, and the green peas are bright and garden-like. Anything goes for sauces, but onions are best; and green peas make a fun Bloody Mary rimmer, especially when mixed with a lot of salt.
The manufacturing procedure for these powders is extremely simple. Buy freeze-dried vegetables (from Merchant Joe or elsewhere), toss a handful into a food processor, and grind them into a powder. Mix the powder with the sauce, sprinkle on salads (like bread crumbs), or add some potatoes to the puree. The combination of mushrooms and onions can be a great topper for pasta, especially if it’s pasta is this .