DIY Wheatgrass Powder
Have you ever grown more wheatgrass that you can get round to using, or maybe you just want the freshest wheatgrass powder that you can for your smoothies or to add to your creams? Either way, there is a simple answer… make your own wheatgrass powder! Here is why you should be adding more wheatgrass into your life and how to make an easily usable version.
What Are The Benefits Of Adding Wheatgrass To Your Diet Or Using Topically In Creams?
Wheatgrass is abundant with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, several types of B vitamins, E and K. It is also full of protein, containing 17 different amino acids. If this wasn’t enough, 70% of this little plant is made up of chlorophyll. This green pigment that is responsible for photosynthesis has also been linked to multiple health benefits. This includes being able to block carcinogenic activity by binding with potential carcinogens and reducing their ability to be absorbed through the gastrointestinal system, as well as protecting DNA from some toxic moulds and fungal infections.
Chlorophyll helps to increase the number of enzymes which assist the liver in getting rid of potentially harmful toxins. Some early studies have also demonstrated a protective link to the liver with high consumption of chlorophyll when consumed alongside liver damaging foods as well as improvements in liver function with those suffering from hepatitis B.
Components of chlorophyll have been added to wound and burn healing creams since the 1940s because of their ability to reduce inflammation and reduce the rate of harmful bacteria growth and so reduce the chance of infections and speed up healing. There is some evidence to suggest that it can help stop the development and speed the recovery of cold sores, herpes and shingles sores when applied to the skin. Research has also found that applying chlorophyll to the skin reduces the risk of reoccurrence of cancerous cells in those who have previously had the skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma.
Haemoglobin production (the portion of blood that carries the oxygen) has been found to increase with chlorophyll intake, which helps to reduce anaemia and increase energy. This is especially the case when iron and chlorophyll are consumed together, which as wheatgrass contains both, makes it a perfect combination.
Chlorophyll can help reduce constipation as it is able to help balance fluid levels and speed up waste elimination. It has also shown in studies to reduce feelings of hunger while increasing the release of hormones that make you feel full as well as reducing hypoglycemia in high-risk groups. These factors may make it a beneficial aid to weight loss.
Chlorophyll also has a calming effect on the nerves which may help with nerve pains as well as insomnia.
How To Make Your Own Wheatgrass Powder
So now you are sure you want to add more wheatgrass to your diet, let’s talk about how to make a powdered form to add to your recipes. First off, you need to grow your wheatgrass exactly as you would normally if you are used to juicing it. You can grow wheatgrass by soaking your wheat grains overnight, to begin with. After this point, you can choose to grow it in soil or without. I prefer to use soil for a couple of reasons – firstly because I think that if the plant has access to more nutrients, it is bound to end up with more nutrients in, and secondly because you’ll get a few harvests from it, although the first harvest is usually the sweetest. If you are growing your wheatgrass without soil, you will need to rinse through your grain a few times a day. If you plant them, you just need to keep your soil damp and in a warm sunny spot.
Once the grass is around 4-6 inches tall and has split into at least a couple of strands you can harvest it – this normally takes around 8-10 days. I prefer to cut a little way above as I find this best for encouraging new growth as well as avoiding any mould or similar problems that may be occurring near the soil or wheat grain. In case you are wondering – I grow mine in guttering fixed to the wall so I have a beautiful green wall with minimal space taken up.
Give it a quick rinse then lay it out evenly on a dehydrator tray. The thinner you make your layers, the quicker your wheatgrass will dry.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could try using an oven on the lowest heat with the door open – If you have a strong fan oven though you may need to be careful that it won’t just blow your wheatgrass off so you may need to contain it between 2 tins or use something to weigh it down. I prefer to dehydrate mine at 110F until it is dry and brittle. This normally takes 6-12 hours and will vary depending on how much water you shook off after washing, or when the wheatgrass was last watered, or how thick you’ve layered your grass and what your ambient temperature and humidity are.
Next, add your wheatgrass either to a coffee grinder or high-speed blender. I use a blender for mine. Sometimes it takes a moment for it to catch and blow into a tornado so just give it a few prods until it does. If it isn’t completely dry and brittle, it isn’t going to happily turn into powder in a blender, so if it isn’t working, you may just need to give it longer to dry. Then it’s finished and ready to go in your smoothies or other recipes.