Home / Promptuary / Sprouts / Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is the first sprouted leaves of the common wheat plant. It is not often expected to be in the same family as the other sprouts. But it is, in fact, a sprout. The only difference in terms of growing wheatgrass is that they’re sprouted in a shallow bed of soil rather than in warm water. Nevertheless, these sprouts are considered to be a superfood. They claim to provide cancer-fighting agents and immune-boosting enzymes. And, they contain high levels of vitamins A, C, and E, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, iron, and amino acids.

Wheatgrass is a perennial plant that is said to be native to North America. But, it’s history can be traced to ancient Egypt over 5000 years ago. Perhaps, even since the early Mesopotamian era. The young leafy blades of wheat are considered to be sacred by the ancient Egyptians, and they have prized them for their positive effects on vitality and health. In the 1930s, wheatgrass gained its popularity in the Western world, when the agricultural chemist Charles F. Schnabel made several attempts and experiments on the crop. In fact, his first experiments include the use of fresh-cut grass in an attempt to bring dying chickens back to health. As a result, the hens had fully recovered. And, they also produced eggs at a higher yield compared to those healthy ones. Enticed by these results, he started drying and pulverizing wheatgrass for his family and neighbors. Quaker Oats and American Diaries, Inc. soon invested millions of dollars. By the year 1940, cans of Schnabel’s powdered wheatgrass were on sale in major drug stores across Canada and the United States.

Classification Information:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Triticum L.
Species: Triticum aestivum L.
Binomial Name: Triticum aestivum L.

Wheatgrass Trivia

  • Although wheatgrass has the word “wheat” in it, it is technically gluten-free.
  • One serving of wheatgrass juice is equivalent to 1 ½ pounds of dark leafy greens. No wonder why it is nicknamed “liquid gold!”
  • Wheatgrass is known to improve digestion and it only takes a minute to fully digest.

Wheatgrass Buying Guide

Buying wheatgrass juice:

  • Make sure that the product is free of mold before consuming it. Fresh grass usually contains bacteria and mold from the soil since the crop thrives in moist conditions. 
  • If you have a mold allergy, avoid consuming this juice since there’s no way you can remove some of the hidden mold.
  • Make sure that the juice is made from plants that are thoroughly rinsed. 
  • Purchase the ones that are pasteurized. You should see a “pasteurized” label on the package. Consuming wheatgrass juice that isn’t bacteria-free can cause stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Plus, there’s a good chance that you can get foodborne illnesses like E.coli, salmonella, or shigella if it’s an unpasteurized product. 

Buying powder, tablet, or capsule supplements:

  • If you’re gluten-sensitive, intolerant, or have celiac disease, make sure to buy the ones that are pure and free from seeds and contamination. While you can see this information on the product label, double-check to make sure that they’re manufactured on an isolated facility free of gluten products.
  • Wheatgrass supplements are cheaper and you can also find them in health food stores and farmers’ markets.
  • Check the ingredients list and avoid the ones that contain artificial sweeteners or fillers.

Above all, buy from reputable and trusted sources.

Wheatgrass Production & Farming in Texas

Wheatgrass is indeed very easy to grow at home. The seeds are available almost anywhere in Texas, or you can simply buy them online. It is also drought-resistant, so you can definitely grow them even in the hottest summer days. To start, you’ll need to measure out enough seeds that’ll create a single layer on your seed tray. If you have a 16 by 16-inch, you’ll need about two cups. Rinse the seeds in a clean and cool water, drain, and transfer them into a bowl. Soak the seeds in filtered cold water, about three times as much as the seeds. Cover with plastic and leave on the counter overnight or as fast as 10 hours. Then, repeat the same process three times. By the 30th hour, you should have wheatgrass sprouts. You can harvest or you can further plant them on the seed tray lined with paper towels. If you choose to plant them further, use a pre-moistened compost or potting soil free of chemicals or pesticides. Keep the soil moist at all times by keeping the tray watered lightly and covering it with some moistened sheets of paper to protect the seedlings. On the 4th day, remove the paper to restrain the seeds from sprouting underneath. Continue watering the grass once a day. Transfer the wheatgrass in an area with partial sunlight. A shady place in your home is the perfect area! Then, wait for the grass to split. If you see a second blade growing out of the first shoot, your wheatgrass is now ready for harvesting. Wheatgrass is usually ready for harvest within 10 days of growing. And at this point, it should be about six inches tall.

Wheatgrass Varieties:
Wheatgrass also has many varieties. Thus, depending on your environment, you may consider these four-most popular varieties of wheatgrass if you’re planning to grow them.

  • Bluejoint Wheatgrass – This wheatgrass variety grows in colder environments. In the United States, it is widely grown in the state of Kansas. Nevertheless, this variety is popular among growers not only because it is highly drought-resistant, but it also adapts so well to different soil types, considering that most soils reject some grasses. 
  • Spike Wheatgrass – This wheatgrass variety resembles that of Western Wheatgrass, but it is much greener in color and appearance. Still, it thrives on light to medium soils.
  • Slender Wheatgrass – This wheatgrass variety is known to be a cool season and short-lived one. It grows very quickly, but it also dies off much faster than the other varieties. 
  • Prairie Sandreed – Contrary to slender wheatgrass, this wheatgrass variety is known to be a warm season and long-lived one. It grows slowly, but it makes up with its long life span.

Pesticides:

Fortunately, most wheatgrass contains close zero toxic pesticides. Malathion and Kilabot were once studied before, but they were proven to have no negative effects on the standard germination process.

Geography:

Wheatgrass is a perennial plant that can be grown in most countries. North America and Europe currently hold the largest share in the wheatgrass market, though the emerging economies of China and India are expanding at their revenue base. The crop is also widely cultivated across Latin America, Japan, Middle East, and Africa.

Packaging:

Wheatgrass is available in many forms. Wheatgrass powder and tablet supplements can be bought in plastic jars, containers, canisters, pouches, or individual packets, while cold-pressed juice can be bought in either plastic or glass bottles.

Eating Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is available fresh, frozen, juiced, powdered, or in tablet form. While you can drink wheatgrass clean, its strong grassy taste isn’t something you would look forward to drinking regularly. Thus, it is commonly blended with other fruits or vegetable juices to mellow down its concentrated taste. Another popular way to incorporate wheatgrass juice is to mix them with cocktails or mocktails. It provides a little kick that makes the perfect addition to beverages with tart or fruity flavors like margarita, martini, or mojito.

Meanwhile, you can add the powdered wheatgrass into your breakfast smoothies and puddings. It’s an excellent way to boost your nutrition first thing in the morning. In addition, you can also add it to dips like hummus, salsa, or guacamole, or incorporate it to chilled desserts like custards, ice creams, and chocolate confections.

Storage:

Just like any other fresh produce, wheatgrass starts to lose its nutrients, flavors, and enzymes right away, especially when it’s processed. Thus, juiced wheatgrass, stored in a sealed bottle, can only last for up to 3 days in the fridge. 

Raw wheatgrass, on another note, must be kept in an airtight container, sealed plastic bag, or food-grade container with a lid, and it must be stored in the refrigerator, where it would last for several days.

Meanwhile, as with the most powdered supplements, wheatgrass powder has a stable shelf life. However, it’s best to use it on or before the expiration date that was listed on the package. It also has to be properly stored to retain its freshness and nutrients. It’s important to keep it in a cool, dry, and dark area away from sunlight and humid places as sunlight can reduce the nutritional quality of the powder, and humid places such as the stove or oven can make the powder lumpy. 

Cooking:

Wheatgrass is very fibrous that even a regular electronic juicer would not be able to juice it successfully. Thus, it is difficult to digest fresh wheatgrass, and cooking it otherwise diminishes its nutritional value. But still, wheatgrass powder can be added onto soups, stirring it just right before serving. 

Nutrition:

Wheatgrass is composed of 70% chlorophyll which makes it one of the most alkaline green leafy vegetables. This attribute also provides numerous benefits for the human body. In fact, a serving of wheatgrass is an affordable, convenient, and potent way to get your recommended daily nutrients that you can otherwise achieve by consuming 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. And while pulverized wheatgrass can provide 14% of DV for fiber, the process of cold pressing removes most of this, if not all, unless you put back the fibrous elements to the juice and consume it, or just simply stick to the powdered form. Still, any form of wheatgrass can provide 70% of DV for vitamin K, 6% of DV for iron, along with high levels of vitamins A, B, C, and E, numerous amino acids like lysine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine. It also provides excellent levels of minerals, enzymes, carotenoid pigments, and phytonutrients to promote optimal health.

Thus, wheatgrass can improve the digestive system, treat constipation, cleanse the liver, prevent hair loss, and detoxify the body from heavy metals like lead. It is also believed to prevent some cancer as well but the American Cancer Society states that there’s no available scientific evidence to support this claim yet.

Meanwhile, those who are gluten-sensitive, intolerant, or those who have celiac disease can still enjoy wheatgrass because wheat kernel is the one that contains gluten – not wheatgrass. However, it is recommended to avoid this due to cross-contamination. Also, some may be allergic or sensitive to wheatgrass itself which leads to an unwanted allergic reaction.

When Are Wheatgrass in Season in Texas?

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 100ml
  • Calories: 30 0
  • Carbs: 6g 0
  • Sugar: 4g 0
  • Fiber: 0g 0
  • Protein: 2g 0
  • Fat: 0g 0
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0

Seasonality

When are apples in season in Texas?

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Buy farmfresh Milk from local family farms and ranches in texas

Check availability in your area

Free delivery available
Free pickup available