Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wheatgrass Juice - A superfood?

My aunt N has a green thumb. Gardening is her life. Sometime back, she read about wheatgrass and its benefits. Since then, she has been harvesting wheatgrass daily, extracting the fresh juice and drinking it every morning.

I was curious. I did my research on google and found some interesting information. Wheatgrass juice is considered one of the superfoods as just 1 oz of juice gives you nutrition worth of 2 lb of vegetables. It is also considered good for immune system, blood pressure, metabolism, digestion. It is also claimed that this juice cleanses human body, neutralizes toxins, slows the aging process, and prevents cancer. The claims are really mind boggling. Is it really an elixir? - probably more research, data points and results will confirm it in the future. But I surely wanted to grow it myself and taste it! :-)

You may have seen cut wheatgrass in plastic bags in the vegetable sections of health food stores like wild oats and whole foods. Here I am sharing my own gardening escapade of growing that superfood - wheatgrass & also sharing with you all, aunt N's tips to grow wheatgrass at home.

Aunt N's Wheatgrass growing principles -

As the name suggests, wheatgrass is the grass of wheat berries. 7 to 10 days old wheatgrass is considered ready to be harvested for making wheatgrass juice. My aunt takes 7 day old wheatgrass for making the juice. After cutting the wheatgrass on day 7, she reuses the same container but uses different soil for growing the next batch. This is a weekly activity which needs little time and patience. But once you get a hang of it, it's not a big deal - so says Aunt N.

What to do?

Take 7 small containers . Fill all of them with soil. Mark the containers 1 to 7. (Or days of the week). Keep all the containers in a sunny window.

Day 1
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 1. Sprinkle some water. (Just a few sprinkles, do not overwater!)
Day 2
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 2. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2

Day 3
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 3. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3

Day 4
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 4. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3,4

Day 5
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 5. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3,4,5

Day 6
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 6. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3,4,5,6

Day 7
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 7. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3,4,5,6,7

On this day, container #1 is ready to be harvested.

To harvest, cut the lush, green wheat grass from top, leaving 2-3" from the bottom. Rinse the wheatgrass. Add 1/2 cup water and grind in a blender. Pass the extracted juice through a fine sieve. Lush green wheat grass juice is ready to drink. After taking the wheat grass out, use a new soil and repeat from Day 1 steps for that container. Similarly harvest each container on 7th day since planting.

Taste -

My cousin feels that the wheatgrass juice tastes like sugarcane juice. But I do not agree. It does have a touch of sweetness but it certainly is no sugarcane juice. Of course, if it indeed has all the claimed benefits, then who cares for the taste?

Note -

1. It's always advisable to ask the Doctor before trying any new regimen including wheat grass juice therapy.

2. Do not exceed the dose of wheatgrass juice. Too much of good thing is not good. Generally 1 - 2 oz is recommended in the wheatgrass therapy. But probably that too varies from person to person.

3. I am neither a Doctor nor a nutritionist. To understand if this juice is really beneficial for you, please consult your doctor or nutritionist.

I did my own experiment of wheatgrass growing to have fun and understand how the wheatgrass juice is extracted from fresh wheatgrass.

For more information about the benefits of wheatgrass -http://www.energiseforlife.com/wheatgrass_juice.php

I would like to send this post as my contribution to the weekend herb blogging to Rinku of Cooking in Westchester.

Weekend herb blogging is started by Kalyn of Kalyn's kitchen.


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