Powdered vegetables are a nutritious alternative to raw vegetables. Powdered vegetables take longer to prepare, but are easier to digest. Reconstitute powdered vegetables by cooking them into soups, stews and casseroles. Cooking softens food so you digest it more easily. Raw vegetables have a richer flavor, texture and appearance. Purchase raw vegetables for a convenient snack or flavorful meal.
Dehydrated foods keep for years while retaining nutrients. According to USA Emergency Supply, the Benson Institute at Brigham Young University tested powdered vegetables stored for 28 years. The aged vegetables maintained satisfactory to good quality. Powdered vegetables do not need to be refrigerated — they just need a cool, dry environment. Raw vegetables only keep for a couple of days, and need to be refrigerated.
Both powdered and raw vegetables have plenty of nutrients. Raw-food diets suggest that raw vegetables have more vitamins and nutrients. However, in 2002, a study published by "The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry" showed cooked vegetables have more of the antioxidant lycopene. A 2008 study by the same journal demonstrated that cooked carrots provided more of the antioxidant carotenoid. Reconstituting powdered vegetables involves cooking, so may be more nutritious.
Powdered vegetables take longer to prepare because they have to soak or boil in water. For example, to rehydrate tomato powder, you must mix it with water or cook it into soup. You can consume raw vegetables straight out of a ready-to-eat package. Otherwise, you only need to rinse and chop raw vegetables.
Consider flavor and texture when purchasing vegetables. Powdered vegetables have a mild flavor and lack crispness. Use powdered vegetables in soups, stews and milder cooked foods. Purchase raw vegetables when you want to eat a fresh, crisp salad or prepare an attractive vegetable dish. When you want to cook a heavily spiced dish, pick raw vegetables for their stronger taste.
- USA Emergency Supply: All About Dehydrated Vegetables
- USA Emergency Supply: Dehydrated Vegetables Results
- Scientific American; Fact or Fiction: Raw Veggies are Healthier than Cooked Ones; Sushma Subramanian; March 2009
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Produce Safety
- Colorado State University Extension: Drying Vegetables