by Barb Moody

Dried, powdered vegetables add a new dimension to food preparation. They add color, flavor, and nutrition to soups, dips, breads, seasonings, and casseroles.

Powdering Vegetables: Dry vegetables until crisp or brittle. Grind to a fine powder using a food grinder or blender. If powder clumps, re-dry on a teflon sheet and then grind once more.

Storing Vegetable Powders: Vegetable powders absorb moisture quickly and so must be stored in small, airtight containers. Since powdered products lose flavor and nutrients more quickly it is best to powder only a small amount at a time, preferably only what you plan to use right away. Powders made from blanced vegetables can be stored up to one month.

Vegetable Bread: Add powdered vegetables to your favorite yeast bread for a colorful change. For every cup of flour called for in the recipe add 2 Tablespoons of vegetable powder and 1/4 cup extra water. One reader says she dries vegetable left-overs for use in bread.

Toppings & coatings: When topping your favorite casserole or when breading fish or poultry, substitute a portion of bread crumbs with a complimentary powdered vegetable.

Eggs & Soups: Add vegetable powders to scrambled eggs, omelets or souffles. Zucchini powder is especially good. Flavor creamed soups or sauce bases with reconstituted vegetable powders. Add to yogurt or sour cream for tasty dips.