Everyone knows wheat is a popular cereal grain. But wheatgrass, specifically the young blades of grass that are only about a week old, can also be found at juice bars and health food stores. Wheatgrass is taken for a variety of health benefits and can be found in a number of forms including fresh grass, juiced grass, tablets and powdered grass. Wheatgrass is comparable to even the most nutritious vegetables, providing significant amounts of protein, B12, vitamin E, enzymes, amino acids and chlorophyll as well as a number of other vitamins and minerals. Most of the nutrients found in fresh wheatgrass are at least double than they are in whole wheat flour. Wheatgrass is believed to help detoxify the body, fight infection and improve digestion. Try it as a hangover cure. By acting as an appetite suppressant, wheatgrass can also promote weight loss. It has been associated with a lower risk of cancer and the reduction of tumors. Wheatgrass also promotes healthy skin and is a possible remedy for baldness and gray hair. Additionally, it also contributes to muscle building and increased endurance. Not only that, but wheatgrass may have a beneficial effect on circulation and blood sugar. Wheatgrass can be grown outdoors, but it is also commonly grown inside where is can be readily harvested and prepared. By growing your own, you can easily avoid the chemicals found in most produce. Wheatgrass is easy to grow and will provide you with nutrition in just a few days after sowing. This short production period is not something you tend to find in most vegetables, making wheatgrass a very cheap and efficient form of nutrition.
Many vendors sell specialized wheat grass kits, but you can grow your grass without anything but some seed starting mix, an aluminum roasting pan and some water. It is best to sprout the seeds in advance so that you do not end up with ungerminated seeds that can develop mold. Start out by soaking your seeds in some water until they sprout. This will usually take about a day. You can add about 5% hydrogen peroxide to the water to help germination and reduce mold. Prepare your growing tray with dampened soil. You can mix in some compost or manure if you want to increase the nutrient content of the soil. Place the sprouted seeds closely together in your tray so that you’ll end up with a nice thick lawn of wheat grass. Cover the sprouts with about 1/8″ of soil and cover the container with clear plastic. Once the blades of grass begin poking up through the 1/8″ layer, you can remove the plastic. Be sure to provide good sunlight. When the blades reach about 7-8″ in height, the grass is ready to harvest. This will usually take about a week. Leave about an inch of grass above the soil to remain growing. Once cut, the grass will resume growing, and it can be harvested again. You can help rejuvenate the soil with an organic liquid fertilizer or by making compost tea. Fresh blades can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Juiced blades will not store though.