Wheatgrass is the young grass shoots of the wheat plant, Triticum aestivum. It contains high concentrations of chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. Many health food stores sell fresh wheatgrass juice, but you can also grow and juice wheatgrass at home. Blending fresh wheatgrass into juice is easy with a proper blender.
Benefits of Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass provides many health benefits when consumed as a fresh juice. Here are some of the top nutrients and benefits of wheatgrass:
- Chlorophyll – Wheatgrass contains high levels of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their green color. Chlorophyll has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties.
- Amino Acids – Wheatgrass contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. The body uses amino acids to repair muscles, build cells, and synthesize hormones.
- Vitamins – Wheatgrass is a great source of vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins act as antioxidants and are vital for immune health.
- Minerals – Wheatgrass contains iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, and other important minerals. Minerals help support enzymatic reactions and metabolic function.
- Enzymes – Enzymes in wheatgrass aid in digestion and help the body efficiently use nutrients. They also protect cells from oxidative damage.
- Detoxification – Some research indicates wheatgrass can help remove heavy metals and toxins from the body by acting as a detoxifier and improving liver function.
- Immunity – The nutrients in wheatgrass support the immune system and may help prevent common colds and flu.
- Digestion – Enzymes and amino acids in wheatgrass help promote better digestion and regulate metabolism.
The living nutrients in fresh wheatgrass juice provide a quick energy boost as well. Drinking just 2 ounces of wheatgrass juice may have noticeable health effects over time.
Choosing High Quality Wheatgrass
To get the most nutrition and flavor from your wheatgrass juice, start with fresh, high quality wheatgrass. Look for wheatgrass with these qualities:
- Bright green color – This indicates high chlorophyll content.
- Clean, earthy smell – Avoid wheatgrass that smells fermented or rotten.
- Crisp, tender blades – The shoots should be 7-9 inches tall and feel juicy when squeezed.
- Grown in soil – Soil-grown wheatgrass has higher mineral levels than hydroponically-grown grass.
- Harvested right before juicing – For peak nutrition, juice wheatgrass within an hour of harvest.
- Grown organically – Organic wheatgrass is ideal to avoid pesticide exposure.
You can find good quality wheatgrass at many health food stores, farmers markets, or juice bars. Look for locally-grown wheatgrass that was recently harvested. Or consider growing your own wheatgrass at home.
How to Grow Wheatgrass
Growing wheatgrass takes 10-14 days from seed to harvest. Here is an overview of how to grow your own wheatgrass:
- Soak wheatgrass seeds in water for 8 hours to begin germination.
- Drain the seeds and spread them in a shallow tray filled with natural potting mix. Cover seeds lightly with more soil.
- Water the seeds daily to keep the soil moist. Place tray in a sunny spot or under grow lights.
- Once sprouts are 2-3 inches tall, cut back to 1 inch with scissors to promote further growth.
- Wheatgrass shoots will be ready to harvest in 7-10 days when they reach 6-9 inches tall.
- Use scissors to clip the tops of wheatgrass right above the soil line. Rinse and drain wheatgrass.
- Juice the wheatgrass immediately for the freshest taste and greatest nutrition.
Growing wheatgrass at home ensures you have a fresh supply for juicing. And it’s a fun gardening project!
Choosing a Wheatgrass Juicer
You’ll need a good wheatgrass juicer to get the most out of your wheatgrass. Here are some things to look for when selecting a wheatgrass juicer:
|Wheatgrass Juicer Features||Benefits|
|Cold press or masticating design||Preserves nutrients better than high-speed centrifugal juicers|
|Stainless steel or cast iron grinding mechanism||Durable materials that won’t oxidize|
|Slow 80-120 RPM motor speed||Retains enzymes and prevents heat buildup|
|Single auger or gear system||Applies maximal pressure to extract juice|
|Compact size||Fits easily on a counter for daily use|
Manual hand-crank wheatgrass juicers are also effective. Look for a juicer with quality engineering that feels sturdy. Pay close attention to the auger and screen, as those parts need to withstand constant wheatgrass juicing.
How to Juice Wheatgrass
Follow these steps for making fresh wheatgrass juice:
- Wash wheatgrass – Rinse harvested wheatgrass under cool water. Gently swish the blades around.
- Chop wheatgrass – Using kitchen shears, cut the wheatgrass into 1-2 inch lengths to fit your juicer feed chute.
- Feed wheatgrass into juicer – Turn on the juicer and begin feeding in the wheatgrass. Do not overstuff the chute.
- Juice in batches – Juice the wheatgrass in small handfuls. Allow the juicer to fully extract the juice from each batch.
- Store juice – Pour the wheatgrass juice into a glass. Drink immediately or store in the fridge up to 3 days.
- Compost pulp – The leftover pulp can be composted or added to smoothies for extra fiber.
- Clean juicer – Disassemble and wash all juicer parts thoroughly after each use.
Wheatgrass is potent, so start with 1-2 ounces of juice at a time. Drink on an empty stomach and allow 30 minutes before eating to aid digestion. Fresh wheatgrass juice is best consumed immediately for maximum nutrition.
Tips for Making Wheatgrass Juice
Here are some additional tips for making smooth, nutritious wheatgrass juice:
- Use organic wheatgrass whenever possible.
- Drink the juice right after blending for optimal freshness.
- Chew the wheatgrass pulp to get additional benefits.
- Store leftover juice in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.
- Mix wheatgrass juice with fruit or vegetable juices to improve the flavor.
- Dilute strong-tasting wheatgrass juice with filtered water or ice.
- Rinse wheatgrass before juicing to remove any grit or dirt.
- Let the juicer fully extract juice from each handful before adding more.
- Juice on low speed if your machine has adjustable RPMs.
- Clean the juicer immediately after use for easier cleanup.
Troubleshooting Wheatgrass Juicing Problems
Here are some common wheatgrass juicing problems and how to fix them:
|Low juice yield||Ensure wheatgrass is fresh and crispy. Let juicer fully extract each batch.|
|Juice is pink or brown||Discard old wheatgrass. Juice newer, greener wheatgrass.|
|Bitter, unpalatable juice||Dilute with water or juice. Drink immediately before oxidizing.|
|Foamy juice||Juice in small batches. Don’t overstuff the feed chute.|
|Pulp getting stuck||Chop wheatgrass into smaller pieces before juicing.|
|Juicer overheating||Avoid overstuffing feed chute. Let juicer rest between batches.|
Taking care to juice fresh, quality wheatgrass will yield the best flavor and nutrition. Make sure your juicer is operating optimally and clean all parts thoroughly.
Wheatgrass Juice Recipes
Try these delicious juice recipes using wheatgrass:
- 1 cup wheatgrass juice
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 apple
- 1-inch ginger root
- Squeeze of lemon
Juice all ingredients together for a light, hydrating juice full of vitamins and minerals.
Tropical Wheatgrass Splash
- 1/2 cup wheatgrass juice
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1/2 lemon, peeled
- 1-inch knob of ginger
- 1 cup coconut water
Mix all ingredients in a blender. Serve over ice for a refreshing tropical treat.
Super Green Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup kale or spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 date or dash of honey
- 1 ounce wheatgrass juice
- 1 cup ice
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy for a nutrient-dense meal replacement smoothie.
Juicing fresh wheatgrass is an easy and healthy habit with many benefits. Look for locally-grown, organic wheatgrass for juicing. Cold press wheatgrass juicers efficiently extract the nutrients and enzymes. Start with 1-2 ounces of fresh wheatgrass juice daily. Combine it with fruits and vegetables to enhance the flavor. Drinking wheatgrass juice regularly can add valuable antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes to your diet and support your overall health.