If you are not familiar with wheatgrass you might think it odd that someone would suggest you actually eat grass. Truth be told, wheatgrass is actually a delicious and nutritious superfood that is beneficial to any healthy diet. What’s even better, you can grow your own wheatgrass with minimal effort.
What Is Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is the edible young grass from the wheat plant triticum aestivum. It is gluten-free and packed with therapeutic properties. Most of the time it is juiced or milled to a very fine and beautifully green powder or put into a capsule.
Wheatgrass, also known as “Liquid Sunshine,” can be found in warm regions throughout the United States and Europe. Many people choose to grow wheatgrass inside where plants not only survive but thrive.
Growing Guide To Sprouting Your Own Wheatgrass:
Once you realize just how easy and fun it is to sprout your own wheatgrass at home, you won’t be able to get enough. Imagine, an endless supply of a real super superfood. Just follow this sprouting guide for success.
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
- Organic wheatgrass seeds: Starting with the highest quality seeds will yield a better and more nutrient-dense harvest.
- Organic potting soil and fertilizer: Always use organic soil and fertilizer to avoid toxic exposure.
- Plastic gardening tray with holes: The nice thing about the plastic tray with holes is that it can be reused over and over again.
- Spray bottle: This is the perfect way to keep your sprouts moist but not overwatered.
Step Two: Pre-sprout
For a quicker and more substantial harvest, pre sprouting is absolutely necessary.
- Place enough seeds to cover the bottom of your plastic tray, without overcrowding.
- In a glass mixing bowl, rinse the seeds and place them in a container with 3x as much water as seeds.
- Cover the container with a tea towel and soak the seeds for 10 hours.
- After 10 hours, drain the water and repeat the same soaking process.
- After 10 hours, drain the water and repeat the same soaking process.
- Check to see that seeds have sprouted ? of an inch to ¼ of an inch.
Step Three: Tray Preparation
- Use unbleached paper towels to line the bottom of the plastic tray
- Fill the tray with a combination of ½ moistened organic oil and light compost to one and a half inch of the tray depth.
Step Four: Planting
- Arrange the seeds evenly and densely on the plastic tray.
- Press the seeds gently into the soil.
- Position the tray of seeds in indirect light and plenty of ventilation.
Step Five: Care
- Place a piece of slightly damp newspaper over the seeds until they reach about one inch
- Water new shoots twice daily using a spray bottle until shoots reach one inch. Decrease watering at this time to morning only.
- Your wheatgrass should reach six inches by about day 9 or 10. At this time it will be ready for harvesting.
- Avoid any mold that may have grown (see below for mold issues) by cutting above the spot where the mold starts.
- Use sharp and clean scissors to harvest your wheatgrass. A 21” x 11” tray will yield enough grass for 14-18 ounces of wheatgrass juice.
- You can begin watering again for a second and third harvest. Note: The shoots won’t be as tender as the first ones.
As mentioned above, it is possible that if you live in a humid climate, your sprouts may develop mold. Although the mold is harmless, it may turn you off. Here are some steps you can take to keep mold from becoming a problem in the first place.
- Allow the seeds to soak for a longer period of time, 12 hours works well. The seeds will expand more and have better germination and a much shorter sprouting time.
- When you lay your seeds out on the tray, pay particular attention to allowing space in between for good ventilation.
- Be very careful not to overwater your sprouts.
- Try watering your sprouts from the bottom by placing a collecting tray without holes under the wheatgrass tray. Be sure there is water in this collection tray and only lightly mist the top of the sprouts.
Health Benefits Of Wheatgrass
Once you get beyond eating something called “grass” and better understand the immeasurable health benefits.
Here is just one staggering statistic: Just two ounces of wheatgrass juice has the nutritional equivalency of five pounds of raw organic vegetables. Wow!!
What’s in Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass contains the following:
- Magnesium and Calcium
- Amino Acids
- Vitamins A, C, E
How Wheatgrass Can Help You Be Healthy
Here are just a few science supported ways that wheatgrass improves your health.
Alkalinization & Nutrient Absorption: Wheatgrass helps the body reach and maintain an alkaline state which promotes wellness and keeps diseases at bay. It is a known fact that cancer, along with other diseases thrive in an acid environment. Along with this, wheatgrass also helps the body absorb vital nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and electrolytes.
It is mostly the presence of chlorophyll that gives wheatgrass its ability to promote an alkaline environment. It balances the body’s pH and protects cells. This is why consuming chlorophyll is associated with a host of anti-aging effects such as great skin and weight management.
Reduces Free Radical Damage: The powerful antioxidants contained in wheatgrass reduce the risk of damage from free radicals/oxidation. According to research, wheatgrass has an ORAC score (antioxidant score) higher than many other natural extracts or vegetables.
Wheatgrass stops damage from oxidation in the liver and protects the mitochondria in cells. This results in a reduction in inflammation and a lowered risk of disease including cancer, heart disease, and liver disease.
Protects From Cancer: Scientists at the Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care Unit in Israel found that wheatgrass has a place in the holistic treatment of cancer and it can benefit overall immune function. Studies have even shown that wheatgrass can promote apoptosis (destruction of cancer cells). In addition, wheatgrass can also help mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy such a fatigue and malabsorption.
Additional Health Benefits Of Wheatgrass:
- Wheatgrass regulates blood sugar
- Wheatgrass can help you sleep
- Wheatgrass can help heal wounds
- Wheatgrass keeps unfriendly bacteria at bay
- Wheatgrass can renew and replenish tissue
- Wheatgrass washes toxins from the body
- Wheatgrass contains thirteen essential vitamins and minerals
- Wheatgrass oxygenates the body
- Wheatgrass rebuilds the blood
- Wheatgrass improves digestion
- Wheatgrass improves night vision
- Wheatgrass promotes healthy metabolism
How To Make Wheatgrass Juice
First and foremost it is important to use the right kind of juicer if you are going to make wheatgrass juice. Regular juicers that grind the wheatgrass and apply centrifugal force actually damage the grass. Instead, you need a manual wheatgrass juicer that will preserve all of the goodness in the grass.
To Make Wheatgrass Juice:
- Harvest and wash a ¼ cup of wheatgrass juice for a single juice shot.
- Chop the grass into smaller pieces.
- Pass the grass through the juicer and drink the juice immediately.
Interesting Ways to Use Wheatgrass Juice For Health
- If you have a sore throat, gargle some wheatgrass juice.
- Eliminate toothaches by holding some wheatgrass juice in your mouth for a few minutes.
- Soak a cotton sock in wheatgrass juice and apply to areas that are painful from arthritis. Cover the area with a bag and let the juice soak in for about an hour.
- Eliminate dandruff by rubbing your scalp with wheatgrass juice and covering with a shower cap. Let the juice sit on for about twenty minutes and rinse.
- Use wheatgrass juice as a natural deodorant.
- Help a minor wound heal by putting some wheatgrass juice on it.
Here are some really good ways to incorporate wheatgrass into your diet.
Banana, Berry Breakfast Blend
- 2 tablespoons pre-soaked chia seeds
- 1 Cup spinach
- 1 Cup full-fat coconut milk
- ½ frozen Banana
- ½ Cup frozen raspberries or mixed berries
- 1-ounce wheatgrass juice
To make: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well. Enjoy immediately.
Wheatgrass Salad Drizzle
This delicious dressing gives all my salads the perfect kick.
- 1 cup fresh cilantro (remove stems)
- ½ large avocado
- 1 ounce of wheatgrass juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
To make: Place all ingredients in a high-power blender and blend until smooth.
Delectable Chocolate Wheatgrass Muffins
I love to treat myself to one of these delicious muffins.
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup applesauce
- 2 Cups of plain muffin mix (gluten-free)
- 2 ounces of wheatgrass juice
- 2 tablespoons sweetener (or to your taste)
- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Cups of water
- 1/4 Cup ground flaxseed
To make: Combine all of the ingredients together and bake in lined muffin tins for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees F.