Drinking wheatgrass juice goes all the way back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia! Egyptians believed wheatgrass was a sacred plant and honored it for its many health benefits.
In the 1930s wheatgrass became a superfood when Dr. Charles Schnabel, the Father of Wheatgrass, compared it to other nutrient-dense vegetables like spinach and broccoli, though wheatgrass was superior. In the 1950s, raw-foods advocate Ann Wigmore began to make wheatgrass juice. Wigmore later started the Hippocrates Health Institute where she taught thousands about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Many people today attribute her long life to the many benefits of wheatgrass juice.
Wheatgrass Growing Basics
Wheatgrass juice is a popular superfood in many juice bars but it can be costly to buy an ounce or two at a time. Instead, you can easily grow it at home for just pennies a glass!
- First, soak hard winter wheat berries overnight (8 to 12 hours).
- Sprout the seeds in a jar for the next 16 to 24 hours, rinsing three times daily.
- When you can see a short “tail” then plant the seeds on top of the soil. You can use a potting mix with peat moss. Fill your 2″ deep growing trays with an inch of the soil. Water the trays and cover the seeds to keep them from drying for the first 3 days.
- During the first 3 days of growth water once a day in the mornings fully soaking the soil then just lightly mist your seed in the evenings.
- On day 4 uncover the grass and water heavily daily. Keep the grass in the shade with no direct sunlight.
- To prevent mold use a fan or air conditioner to keep temperature between 60-80°F.
- When you can see a little blade of grass start to split off its time to harvest. Typical growing times are from 7 to 12 days, depending on weather — using when the blades of grass splits as your guide. Don’t worry about how long it’s been or how tall it is.
- Harvest just once and store in the fridge for 7 to 10 days (longer in Green Bags).
You can build your own PVC growing stand to hold 7 trays at different stages of growth. Then as you harvest the one at the top you start another on the bottom and so on. Several kits are available if you prefer not to start from scratch. Use standard heavy duty 10″x20″ gardening trays you can find at your local garden center or online.
How to Make Wheatgrass Juice Part of Your Daily Routine
Wheatgrass juice is extremely potent. Drinking too much at one time can make you feel sick or nauseous, or even throw up. That called a “healing crisis.” You’ll be OK, but you can avoid all that just by taking it a bit slowly so you don’t detox too quickly.
- Ease into your wheatgrass juicing starting with one ounce per day and slowly increase up to two ounces per day over several days.
- Ideally, wheatgrass juice should be consumed on an empty stomach, but you can drink it with some other fruits and vegetables to mitigate the strong taste. But don’t drink wheatgrass juicer right after a meal or it may make you feel a bit nauseous.
Young children, pregnant women and the elderly should consult their doctors before adding wheatgrass juice to their diets.