Wheatgrass, that mad looking stuff you see in trays in farmers markets and health food shops — what is it and why should we be chowing down on its grassy goodness?
Wheatgrass is the one thing that makes all the other ‘superfoods’ look like sissys.
To grow it and juice it yourself takes effort but taking responsibility for your own health takes effort anyway, so it might be something that you find fun and enjoy.
If you like growing your own herbs anyway, this will be something that you might take to.
The Wheatgrass Fairy is a grower of this miraculous elixir and has customers coming back to her stall every week at the Limerick Milkmarket for a shot of the green stuff.
Sometimes she takes photos of ‘wheatgrass face’ as it has quite a unique taste, it’s sweet and, well, grassy.
Before I go into the details of how to grow your own grass, I’ll run down through the claims of its health benefits.
If you don’t think you will ever grow your own, then find a supplier of wheatgrass frozen shots in your area like the Wheatgrass Fairy.
One 20ml shot of wheatgrass is the equivalent of eating 1kg of green veggies and is said to contain every single vitamin and mineral known to man.
It aids weight loss and as it promotes a full feeling so will stop you eating for some hours after you drink it.
It is also quite sweet, but not in the way that you are used to things being sweet, it has a naturally fresh, grassy sweetness, of course.
Wheatgrass lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and is said to improve eyesight. A bizarre effect is that it restores hair and hair colour, something I have witnessed with my own eyes.
This green food is a powerful anti-inflammatory — inflammation is the number one cause of disease and it’s hard to open any article online about disease and autoimmune conditions without reading about inflammation.
It also relieves the symptoms of arthritis and many local pains; it gives you energy.
Other uses include treatment of respiratory tract complaints, bronchitis, sore throat, fever, gout, liver problems, ulcerative colitis, joint pain and skin problems and more.
How to grow wheatgrass
You can grow this superfood yourself but it’s something you will only do if you are a person who maybe already grows things and are inclined to keep going on something once you start.
You will need:
Wheatgrass seed germination trays
A masticating juicer
A watering can and sprayer
1. Soak the wheatgrass seeds or berries as they are called overnight.
2. Fill a compost tray with compost to the top, tapping it down, water this well.
3. Spread the seeds out over the compost, water the tray and put a clear lid on the tray.
4. Water the tray very well once a day, until the water drips from the tray. Remove the lid after about the fourth day to promote air circulation.
If you see mould don’t panic, just increase the air circulation using a fan or opening a door. The ideal temperature for growing is 21-25 Celsius.
5. The grass should be ready to harvest after about seven days. To harvest simply snip off enough to make a ‘shot of juice’.
One typical germination tray should give you seven days of grass so just cut off about one seventh. If you are lucky you may get a second crop from your tray.
6. Juice the grass in a special wheatgrass, hand operated juicer or a special masticating juicer.
Soak your next batch of wheatgrass seeds to have ready for planting so that you always have a crop in rotation.
If the thoughts of growing wheatgrass is too much for you, and bearing in mind that most people get into superfoods when they are diagnosed with an illness, you can always go to the experts who will do the hard work for you.
The clever people at Sweetgrass are producing organic frozen wheatgrass that they grow in fields on their organic farm in Camp on the Dingle Peninsula where it’s quickly harvested, blast frozen and delivered to the door.
Put in your freezer and use at your convenience. This wheatgrass is grown using pure spring water and treated with biodynamic pesticides.
www.sweetgrass.ie The Wheatgrass Fairy is at Limerick Milk Market and can be found on Facebook.
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