- Food and Cooking
Wheatgrass Benefits - How to Grow - How to Juice
What is Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is an immature form of the wheat plant.
The benefits of wheatgrass are numerous. So numerous in fact that one could write a book on just this topic. And many have. Most of what is reported is anecdotal evidence. People swear by the health benefits that wheatgrass has given them.
The benefits are seen once the juice is extracted from the raw, freshly harvested wheatgrass.
Whether you are looking for a boost of vitamins and minerals, whether you are looking to get around eating a kilo of vegetables or whether you are seeking a way to detox, wheatgrass could just be your answer.
Great Juice Recipes
If you are looking for some fruit and vegetable juice recipes to add your wheatgrass to here are some of my favourites.
How to Grow Wheatgrass
Next time you pass a juice-bar, you will most likely see a tray of wheatgrass. So often it is requested to be added to popular juice mixes.
Some people do not know exactly why they drink it other than it is known to be healthy. For those in the know, this is a true super food.
Adding a shot of wheatgrass into your daily juice from a store can be a costly exercise so why not try growing it at home.
Wheatgrass growing kits are readily available. And remarkably cost effective. You can purchase kits which contain the trays, seeds and fertilisers needed to produce this miracle plant.
If you do choose to grow this at home, remember that good air flow is necessary to help prevent wheatgrass plants from being too moist. After about one week you will see a lovely lush green (grass-like) tray of wheatgrass. (see picture below). These can be harvested, or cut, and juiced.
Once harvested, the seeds will re-grow one further time.
After their second harvest, you will be required to sow more seeds and start the process again.
So for each tray of wheatgrass, you will see two harvests of this incredible plant. The second harvest will not be as nutrient dense.
Wheatgrass Juice Masticating Juicer
Once you have harvested your wheatgrass, the time comes to make wheatgrass juice; time to extract all of the incredible nutrients.
This is the important part. Not all juicers are the same.
Regular everyday juicers will not work. A masticating juicer is the preferred juicer to turn raw wheatgrass into wheatgrass juice.
A masticating juicer works differently to regular juicers. The term masticating refers to the process of breaking down the fibres in the plant by crushing it. Once the plant is crushed, the fibres are then squeezed to release the juice. This two step process is unique to a masticating juicer. This is the key to extracting the nutrients from wheatgrass.
There is no denying that a masticating juicer is pricey. If you are serious about growing and juicing wheatgrass this is your only option. Otherwise don't.
A masticating juicer will mean more nutrients for you no matter what fruit or vegetable you juice so overall it will ultimately provide greater health benefits if you are going to detox your body, enjoy juices more regularly or give your body a daily power boost of wheatgrass juice.
The other benefit of a masticating juicer is that it often comes with other attachments so that it can be used as a multi-purpose piece of equipment in your home - usually they are pasta makers or mincers.
Personally I recommend the Omega J8006 masticating juicer. It is quiet to run, sturdy and easy to clean. It is a powerful machine which fully extracts the vitamins, enzymes and minerals from the wheatgrass.
External uses for Wheatgrass
We all talk about the benefits of wheatgrass and the vitamins and minerals that are released when juiced, but did you know that once juiced it can also be used externally.
Wheatgrass juice has been known to be used for
- giving life to dull hair
- anti-bacterial treatments including bites and cuts
- a skin cleanser
Wheatgrass 20 Nutritional Facts
- Is an immature form of wheat
- Is Fat FREE
- Is Cholesterol FREE
- Contains high levels of chlorophyll, known to purify the liver
- Is high in oxygen which assists brain and body tissue function
- Can be used externally as well as ingested
- Is quick and easy to grow in your own home
- Must be juiced with a masticating juicer
- Can be consumed with other fruits and vegetables
- Helps flush toxins from our bodies
- Has an 'interesting' taste - just like grass
- Should be consumed within 30 minutes of being juiced
- Can be fresh or in the powdered form
- Is considered one of the most potent healing agents in the world
- Has anti-bacterial properties which help to reduce a sore throat if gargled once juiced
- Is full of vitamins and minerals
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Should only be consumed in small amounts - equivalent to one shot
- One Shot is equivalent to One Kilo of vegetables
- Provides health benefits such as eczema and psoriasis.
Can I store wheatgrass?
It is preferable to juice wheatgrass immediately, or at least within 30 minutes of harvesting. If you choose to grow it yourself, you will end up having a full tray of wheatgrass ready for harvesting at the same time.
Opinions differ however it is widely agreed that you can harvest the tray in one go, and place the wheatgrass in the fridge. No longer than one week.
If you choose to harvest only as you juice, you may find that your wheatgrass turns bitter as it will continue to mature whilst in the soil and then be unfit to eat.
What does wheatgrass taste like?
Wheatgrass tastes like grass. After all it is grass. Plain and simple. However its taste can vary depending on how it is grown, when it is cut and how it is prepared.
Some say it is bitter, others say sweet.
If you choose to grow wheatgrass yourself, make sure you do not harvest it too early. Then again, leaving it too long before cutting it will see your juice taste bitter.
After about 7 days, when the grass has reached approximately 7 inches, it is ready to be cut.
Make sure you harvest before the grass starts to turn yellow.
You can mix it with carrot orange or other juices to enhance its flavor and nutritional benefits. Maybe you can make yourself a 'greenaccino'!
Got a Wheatgrass question? Ask away.
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