Friday, February 3, 2012

Vegetable Powder Noodles

 A star has been born. Yes, those vegetable powder noodles are here to stay. What I didn't tell you was that I made vegetable noodles years ago from a Martha Stewart magazine, only the recipes called for fresh beets blended, and fresh spinach blended. It didn't give the noodles this vivid color, nor hardly any detectable flavor difference. These flavorful noodles added a nice complexity to my Alfredo sauce.
  That failure has bugged me for sometime and so when into my head popped the idea of using vegetable powder, I thought voila, this would work. Not that my brain thought of anything new for there are probably lots of people who do this and I'm sure the noodles you buy at the store use powdered vegetables. That realization didn't steal my thunder for I don't feel any competition here. I'm just glad to join the band wagon.

As I've told you, this project has been a while in the making since I had to wait for the garden to produce before drying my vegetables, but I don't know why you couldn't take canned or frozen vegetables and dry them. After all it is winter, all except for those of you who are way down south of the equator. Then this post should be arriving just in time

Also, if you live in an area that has shopping, and a spice store is available, you might find some dried powdered vegetables like beets, carrots, and pumpkin. In fact, I bought a couple packs to take home last fall when I visited just such a store. It is what expounded my list of vegetables I wanted to dry. But enough of that, let me show you how my adventure turned out.
The spinach noodles turned out yummy. They wanted to stick just a slight bit so I dusted them in flour.
 The beet noodles were too dry as I suspected when I kneaded them and they fell apart rather than gliding through the noodle maker. Kind of like dried out Play Dough. My noodle maker is one of those hand crank ones that rolls out the dough in different thicknesses and then cuts it into strips. With crumbly beet dough I had to add two more tablespoons of water and re-kneaded. It would have been easier to have had just a bit too much water than too much flour for it is easier to add a bit more flour than a bit more moisture. So I'd suggest you fault on the too moist side.

The end mix for these beets ended up being  2 eggs, 1 cup semolina flour, 1/4 cup white flour, 1 Tablespoon beet powder, and a nice drizzle of olive oil. No salt because you are suppose to place that in the water you boil the noodles in. One thing about home made noodles is they only take two to three minutes to cook. What is it with the rubbery store noodles that takes them so long?

Another thing to keep in mind is beets are high in sugar and this adds a nice light sweetness to the noodles. It was yummy but something to keep in mind to what sauce to cover them with.
 I of course had to have a plain batch of semolina noodles for contrast.
The mixture ended up looking a bit like Christmas. Something to keep in mind for the holiday.

Next time I may use my zucchini powder or my carrot powder. I've got to look to see if I have any tomato powder. That would be yummy too. What about dried mushrooms, I've got some of those too. I could easily powder those, I think anyway since I've never done it. Yes, my noodles will never be the same.

As for the beet noodles bleeding into the water and causing the other noodles to turn pink, like in the laundry when your red clothes dye your white clothes pink, IT DIDN'T, yeah! Yes, the water had a hint of pink, but just barely and the yellow noodles stayed yellow.

Now I'm going to make wheat noodles. Yes, I have restless brain sydrome. Don't know what that is. Stick around me for a while and you'll soon figure it out. I've a Italian class I'm teaching on next Tuesday through the rec-center. Though I've been making noodles for years, I of course had to take them to a new level and the class coming up just spurred me on.

As a side note, the sprouted wheat is drying in the dehydrator. I'll tell you how that little project turns out. And of course with noodles on the brain, I'm wondering what kind of noodles sprouted wheat flour will create. May have to try that sometime.

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