FAQ About Dr. Cowan's Garden Vegetable Powders
Why Vegetable Powders?
Most people are aware that including a wide variety of vegetables into their diet will enhance overall health, yet few are able to get the minimum requirement of vegetables into their daily meals.
Getting an abundance of different kinds of vegetable parts and colours into one’s diet has proven to have tremendous health benefits that range from improving the immune system, to preventing various diseases.
Even when including lots of salads and smoothies into your daily menu, it is unlikely that you’re getting more than a handful of different kinds of vegetables per day and even less likely that you’re getting much in the way of wild herbs and greens which are packed with antioxidants. Studies show that potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn and lettuce are some of the most widely consumed vegetables in north America, and while these vegetables offer nutrients and vitamins, they don’t come close to what is required for optimal health and vitality. Vegetable diversity is the key to optimizing the healing power of plants.
Dr. Cowan, a holistic physician, believes we should strive to eat at least 10 to 12 different plants a day. This is not only impractical but likely improbable for most of us. Thus Dr. Cowan’s organic, nutrient dense vegetable powders were created to address this issue.
How do you use the powders?
In soups and stews; sprinkled on eggs, roasted vegetables, salads, baked potatoes, popcorn; blended in smoothies; folded into rice, pasta, baked goods or casseroles -- really, added to anything you like to eat. They're great for parents of picky vegetable eaters, people who travel or don't have much time to cook, and creative cooks who want to experiment with different flavor profiles.
From Dr. Cowan: As an example of how we use the powders, just this morning to make my morning soup with broth, I had only a small bunch of greens and a pepper from the garden. I also didn't feel like cutting up and sautéing a carrot and zucchini, so, instead, I added a teaspoon of Dr. Cowan's Garden Threefold Blend Powder (carrots, beets, kale, Swiss chard, winter squash and zucchini). Voila! A soup with now six vegetables instead of two. Similarly, when I make pancakes, instead of using all flour (spelt or emmer wheat), I replace a quarter of the flour with pumpkin powder. The taste is delicious, and I am diversifying my diet and adding more nutrients and healing phytochemicals to each bite.
What is unique about how these powders are processed and stored?
The vegetables are harvested at peak flavor and quality and dehydrated on low heat, around 120 degrees. Low-heat dehydration retains most of the vitamin and mineral content of the vegetables. The greens are steamed before drying to release anti-nutrients, and the beets, pumpkins and winter squash are cooked to maximize flavor and digestibility. Once dried, the vegetables are ground into powders and transferred to Miron violet-glass jars as soon as possible.
The unique properties of the Miron jars don't allow any visible light to pass through; only the invisible parts of light -- UV-A and infrared -- are allowed in. This is significant because the sensitive substances within are protected against the aging processes that are released by visible light, thus enhancing both their potency and durability. Stored in Miron jars, the vegetable powders will be nutritionally potent for months.
Are the powders as good as fresh vegetables?
A little nutrition is lost, but not much. (Mostly, vitamin C is lost in cooking and dehydration, which can easily be replaced by other foods.) According to the USDA, most of the nutrients (like B vitamins) are at around 90 percent levels in dehydrated vegetables. The only exceptions are vitamin C, which is at 60 percent, folic acid at 65 percent and thiamine at 85 percent. Let the taste and smell of the powders be your guide. These powders are very fresh foods!
Why not just take a vitamin pill or nutritional supplement?
From Dr. Cowan: On the first day of medical school, I heard one of my professors make a statement that has informed my approach to medicine ever since: "Always remember, the dumbest kidney is smarter than the smartest nephrologist." In other words, we have a lot to learn about the human body, and its inherent wisdom is the ultimate teacher.
I apply that same thinking to food: "The dumbest plant is smarter than the smartest chemist." In other words, the nutrients in, for example, kale, work together in a way too complex for us to isolate and put into a pill. If we want the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals from kale -- and other nutritious vegetables -- we should eat kale that has been grown without chemicals and picked when its color and flavor are at their peak.
Some supplement companies do use whole foods in their supplements, and they can be excellent adjuncts when dealing with a health challenge, but even the most conscientious whole-food supplement manufacturers use such additives as maltodextrin, soy flour, calcium stearate and other stabilizers, which many people seek to avoid. I maintain that our bodies want to be nourished by whole foods, not synthetics, and that means a diet of good fats and proteins and a large variety of vegetables.
To quote the Radiant Life catalog: "Synthetic or isolated forms of vitamins are poorly assimilated and stress cells, often unbalancing the body's enzyme substrates."
How long will the powders last for an average user?
Most pouches contain approximately 50 teaspoons of powder, and one teaspoon is the equivalent of an average portion of freshly cooked vegetables, such as kale or Swiss chard. Because we recommend using several powders at once to add as much vegetable diversity as possible to your meal, you could easily use just a half-teaspoon each of, say, three powders, which would make each pouch last a couple of months at least.
Are the vegetables organic?
From Dr. Cowan: Most of the vegetables we use are "beyond" organic: They're biodynamically grown or sourced from other certified organic farms. The Napa garden, where we grow ashitaba, perennial greens and summer savory, is small, and at this point there is no practical way for us to get certified, but the vegetables there are grown in hand-dug and hand-weeded beds. The vegetables are picked at optimal ripeness, usually very early in the morning, when they are most potent. We use non-GMO seeds and, often, heirloom seeds.
Are there any additives or preservatives in the powders?
No. The only exception is our salts, in which we grind the vegetable powders with fine Celtic sea salt. Nothing else.
Are the vegetables raw before dehydration?
Some yes, some no. The principle that guides us is, "how would we most like to eat the vegetable, and when does it look and taste the best?" For example, tomatoes are often eaten raw, so we slice and dehydrate them without any cooking. In contrast, kale has various anti-nutrients that are best "cooked out." In addition, it tastes best lightly cooked, looks the most green then and is probably the most nutritious when briefly cooked, so this is how we prepare kale (and most greens) before dehydrating. Leeks are raw, pumpkins and squash are baked, carrots are blanched, etc. — just as most of you would prepare these vegetables at home.
What is Dr. Cowan's Garden and Where do the powders come from?
Dr. Cowan's Garden is a line of nutritionally powerful vegetable powders: perennial greens, kale, Swiss chard, leek, squash, blends and salts. The powders' nutritional power derives from how they're grown, processed and stored. Dr. Cowan's Garden is a family-run business; his wife and two sons have significant roles within the company. The garden is on the eastern side of Napa Valley in an area largely protected from the intense heat and hubbub of the rest of the valley; it's fed by well water from the site.
What is your return policy?
If your order arrives damaged, please return it in its original packaging along with photos of the item within 30 days of receipt of your shipment. We will issue a refund as soon as possible.
Refunds (if applicable)
Once your return is received and inspected, we will send you an email to notify you that we have received your returned item. We will also notify you of the approval or rejection of your refund.
If you are approved, then your refund will be processed, and a credit will automatically be applied to your credit card or original method of payment, within a certain amount of days.
Late or missing refunds (if applicable)
If you haven’t received a refund yet, first check your bank account again.
Then contact your credit card company, it may take some time before your refund is officially posted.
Next contact your bank. There is often some processing time before a refund is posted.
If you’ve done all of this and you still have not received your refund yet, please contact us.
Exchanges (if applicable)
We replace items only if they are defective or damaged. If you need to exchange it for the same item, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with the shipping address upon receipt of your email.
If the item was marked as a gift when purchased and shipped directly to you, you’ll receive a gift credit for the value of your return. Once the returned item is received, a gift certificate will be mailed to you.
If the item wasn’t marked as a gift when purchased, or the gift giver had the order shipped to themselves to give to you later, we will send a refund to the gift giver and he will find out about your return.
To return your product, you should email us at email@example.com.
You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.
Depending on where you live, the time it may take for your exchanged product to reach you, may vary.
If you are shipping an item over $75, you should consider using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. We don’t guarantee that we will receive your returned item.