Grow Wheatgrass for Pennies Plus Recipes!
Wheatgrass Is Considered One of the Most Nutritious Foods
Wheatgrass is becoming more and more popular as a key ingredient in fresh home-made juices and smoothies. It is incredibly rich in nutrients – vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and many other phytonutrients. It is gluten-free. You should seriously consider adding a little wheatgrass to all of your juice recipes.
A Little History
Wheatgrass can be traced back in history over 5000 years to ancient Egypt and early Mesopotamian civilizations. There is some evidence that ancient Egyptians used wheatgrass for medicinal purposes.
Fast forward to 1900. Edmund Bordeaux Szekely claimed to have discovered an ancient biblical manuscript which upon translation revealed that Christ taught the Essenes that wheatgrass is the perfect food. He founded a society devoted to a new way of eating which included wheatgrass.
In the 1930’s Dr. Charles F. Schnabel studied the amazing nutrition in wheatgrass and produced a powdered wheatgrass pill which became the most popular nutritional supplement of his time. Schnabel was not alone. Other scientists, medical doctors, hospitals, and health practitioners produced a significant volume of research on wheatgrass and other cereal grasses during the two decades between 1930 and 1950. Schnabel is considered the ‘father of wheatgrass.’
In the 1960’s Ann Wigmore was a major contributor to the popularization of wheatgrass by curing her own ‘untreatable’ colitis by consuming wheatgrass, raw greens, seeds, and grains. She shared wheatgrass with several sick friends and claimed that each recovered from their sickness. She co-founded the Hippocrates Health Institute which is the leading advocate for more raw foods in our diet.
Studies show that wheatgrass juice has a multitude of health benefits. According to the Hippocrates Institute, wheatgrass is the most nutritious food with these benefits:
- cleanses the blood
- improves skin and hair
- builds muscle and endurance
- fights infection
- lowers blood pressure
- fights tumors
- lessens the effects of radiation
- increases energy
- neutralizes toxins including nicotine, cadmium, strontium, mercury and polyvinyl chloride.
- acts as an appetite suppressant by stimulating the thyroid and metabolism
Wheatgrass contains as much as 70% chlorophyll, which is higher than most vegetable greens. Some researchers have even recommended that a diet high in chlorophyll can significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer.
With its high content of chlorophyll, wheatgrass juice is more like the composition of our blood than any other plant substance. Chlorophyll is considered the “blood” of the plant world due to its similarity to our blood in molecular framework. Once you consume wheatgrass, you can feel it almost immediately. Many say that drinking wheatgrass first thing in the morning is as energy boosting as a cup of coffee.
Where To Get It
You can find fresh wheatgrass plants sold at your local health food store and farmers market, and now in many supermarkets. You can find bottled, frozen, powdered, and pill forms of wheatgrass, but these do not have all the nutrients – especially enzymes – of fresh wheatgrass juice or a smoothie.
How To Grow It
Anyone can grow wheatgrass at home. It’s as easy as growing grass. Don’t be fooled by anyone who makes it sound complicated and expensive, and don’t be tempted by special trays and kits. None of that is necessary. All you need is seed, soil, and a pot or cut-off plastic container.
Try growing 2 or 3 pots in intervals so when you’ve harvested one, the next pot is ready and you never run out.
Purchase wheatgrass seed at your local garden store or online. I purchase seed in bulk on Amazon. A pound will last a year. Don’t make my mistake of buying more than a pound because even though extra seed will keep well in your refrigerator, seeds have a lifespan of about a year. A seed packet from your local garden store will give you about three small pots of wheatgrass. Look for “certified organic” seed and soil to avoid harmful chemicals.
Fill a pot or small plastic flat with soil and spread the seed liberally on the surface. Then cover the seed with about 1/8” of soil. Water and place anywhere near sunlight. Be sure that your pot or other container allows water to drain.
Here’s a little trick for watering the dry soil the first couple times to avoid uncovering the seeds. I cover my dry soil with a napkin. Then I just discard this cover after watering. This covering is not necessary, just convenient.
Seeds will sprout in about 3 days and grow 5-7 inches for harvest within another 2-3 days.
The best time to harvest is when the nutrient content is at its peak. This is any time after the grass is about 4” tall but BEFORE the “jointing stage” which is when the initial stalks of grass divide and start to brown at the base. This occurs in about 10 days, so you have a comfortable amount of time to harvest.
When it’s ready to harvest, I gather together a mass of grass about the thickness and length of my thumb and snip it off with scissors. This is just enough to get all the wonderful benefits without upsetting my stomach or creating a bitter taste.
After about 3 of these ‘harvests,’ compost the remaining crop and soil and start over. By 3 cuts you’ve pretty much depleted the nutrients in the soil.
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Add Wheatgrass to Fresh Juice and Smoothies
You can simply add wheatgrass to your smoothie blender. Juicing is another matter. You need a special juicer for wheatgrass or any leafy greens.
“Slow” juice machines are currently the most popular that start at about $300. There are very inexpensive hand operated wheatgrass juicers available on Amazon.
I use a slow juicer made by Hurom though last I looked, an equally fine one made by Omega now has a better warranty.
How To Drink It
You can drink juiced wheatgrass by itself or as an ingredient combined with other fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Few people enjoy the flavor of wheatgrass by itself. But it’s easy to make it very tasty by combining it with carrot, cucumber or apple. Add a little honey as a sweetener. You can also add other greens like kale, parsley, dandelion, alfalfa sprouts or celery. Try adding some ginger or garlic for a delicious surprise!
Wheatgrass Juice and Smoothie Recipes
For a smoothie add to each recipe a 1/2 cup of your favorite liquid such as rice, almond, soy, or dairy milk.
1 Papaya peeled, sliced
1/4 cup of Pineapple
½ cup of Coconut, fresh or dried
½ cup peeled Mango
1 thumb of Wheatgrass
2 Oranges without the peel
1 Banana – juice the other ingredients then blend it with place the banana
½ cup fresh Brries of any kind
1 thumb of Wheatgrass
More great wheatgrass recipes based on exciting new research can be found in Juice and Smoothie Recipes That Heal.
Drinking wheatgrass must be done with care. The juice from most greens is powerful on the stomach. Too much can cause nausea. Drink only about 4 ounces of wheatgrass each day, preferably in 1 ounce portions throughout the day. This is due to its powerful cleansing effects. If you have a sensitive stomach, simply reduce your intake as I do to 1 ounce a day, and I never drink it on an empty stomach.