I'm not sure which heading this should go under, but as I just made myself a big bowl of cole corn, I thought this would be the perfect time to share a (sort-of) secret: cole powder.
A few years ago I was on a mission to recreate a homemade version of Veggie-flavor Pirate's Booty snack food and I stumbled onto cole powder. I dehydrated some leaves from my broccolini plants and ground them up in the herb grinder, hoping to get something green and kale-y. Turns out it's delicious! My favorite use for it is still the faux Pirate's Booty, or cole corn: you mix a couple of tablespoons each of cole powder and nutritional yeast, then add a pinch of salt and a pinch or two of sugar, and sprinkle it on fresh popcorn. Very, very good.
But I've found uses for it elsewhere too. It's a nice garnish for white dishes like chowder or mashed potatoes, for one thing. It's good in soup, if you have a lot of it. It also turns things green, which is a plus at Halloween.
I've branched out and started dehydrating the leaves off quite a few of my cole-family plants too, and they're all pretty good. Today was a fall clean-up day in the garden, and the compost pile had to fight me for the leftover summer broccoli leaves. Old kale is good too, or chard leaves. Anything in the cabbage family (most of which have technically edible leaves) that's too tough to eat or maybe gone a little too bitter to eat on its own, I now dehydrate and grind up.
This year I've tried powdering all sorts of other things too, like fermented sweet peppers and dehydrated kimchee. The jury's still out on that, but dehydrated and powdered mixed alliums (leek tops, onions that I couldn't use up, some leftover garlic greens) is a winner. It's good on practically everything.
I'm thinking this'll be one of those discoveries that turns out to only be novel to the current discoverer, but just in case...enjoy!
I can't wait to try this! How were you able to create such a fine powder? I'm experimenting with dried tomato peels (left from canning), and haven't been able to grind them any finer than a kind of rough chop, about the consistency of cornmeal. My original plan was to use this product as a substitute in recipes that call for tomato paste, but I'd love to have a seasoned sprinkle that looks as delicious as what you've shown in your photos! Thank You for a great idea!
"The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today."
(Elbert G. Hubbard, Roycroft Founder.)
I don't know what kind of herb grinder the OP uses, but I have great luck with those little countertop electric coffee grinders with a food-processor type blade that you're supposed to buzz up your coffee beans with right before you make a pot. They turn up in garage sales all the time for a buck or so, so I don't worry about abusing them. They aren't actually all that great for coffee (on coffee beans, they yield a mixed powder of different particle sizes, which is not what you want for coffee) but they are awesome for dried mushrooms, alliums, and greens. I just keep running them until the material in the hopper is the fine powder that I am looking for.
I've made kale powder and powdered allium tops for bulking up soups mostly. I hadn't considered it as an ingredient in condiment powder for shaking/sprinkling on food, but it's a nice idea!
Elva, I use exactly what Dan describes: a small, cheap electric coffee grinder. I think I got this thing for $5 at a garage sale, but it's regularly only $20 or so new. I use it only for herbs and spices.
You might be able to use a regular blender on your tomato skins. Blend them while they're fresh, make a kind of thick slurry (add water if you need to?) and then dehydrate them in a thin layer on parchment or one of those fruit leather screens. You might be able to get them dry enough that way; then you could put them in a bag and use a rolling pin to powder them. The trick will be getting them bone-dry.
I haven't tried the above method before, to be fair! It sounds like it might work, but I'm about half mad scientist...your mileage may vary. :-)