Wheatgrass has a beautiful vibrant green colour adding life to any home, and luckily it is super easy to grow in apartments. Cats and dogs love it, and even us humans can benefit from the green superfood.
Wheatgrass juice has many benefits, being able to grow your own and knowing exactly where it comes from is one of them. One of the issues in U.A.E. is that there is a very small amount of locally grown fruits and vegetables available on the market, whenever you buy them from the supermarket they have already lost lots of minerals and vitamins from traveling for days to reach us, this is why I try to balance my diet with wheatgrass shots and sprouts.
I could go on and on about the nutritional benefits of wheatgrass juice but I will keep it short, it contains all minerals known to mankind, strengthens the immune system and is an easy way to add more greens to your diet.
I have bought wheat berries in the U.A.E. before, but most of them never started sprouting and my friends had similar experiences. If the seeds are not stored properly or they are stored for very long amount of times they expire. However I have recently found Bob’s red mill wheat berries being sold at the Organics food and cafe. I always order mine online form iHerb.com. They have white and red wheat berries. I personally prefer the grain kamut. For 10% off your purchase, make sure to use code: RDD731.
One pack of wheat berries (almost 800 grams) last me about 2 months. I grow wheatgrass for myself, my friends and my animals. For this post I grew 50 grams of seeds, which made approximately 80 ml of wheatgrass juice.
To grow a tray of wheatgrass you need:
First I soak the wheat berries for 12-16 hours while making sure that the water fully covers them. This is important so the outer shell softens and the seed is able to absorb all the nutrients. I soak them in my sprouting jar but you can use any colander with small holes and a bowl.
After soaking them I put them in a soil filled container without covering them with any soil. The more soil the faster and taller the wheatgrass will grow. The soil quality also makes a huge difference, I use organic soil/compost. I keep them out of the direct sunlight and within 48 hours there are little sprouts coming out of the seeds.
I grow my wheatgrass in normal stainless steel trays that are sold in the kitchen section of hypermarkets. A cheaper option would be to use aluminium/plastic trays found in the packaging section.
I also spray them regularly with a mix of baking powder and water making sure they never dry out. The baking soda prevents the grass from moulding.
The wheatgrass will be ready to be juiced within 7-10 days. If they do not get a lot of sun they tend to grow slower and taste less juicy.
I collect all my wheat grass in the freezer and when I have enough I use my Omega juicer to make wheat grass juice, which I also freeze. If you do not have a juicer you can buy a manual wheatgrass juicer, available at the Organics food and cafe and a lot cheaper at the vegan online shop Raw bites. I love supporting small, local businesses.
You can also make wheatgrass juice in a blender, simply blend the wheatgrass and then use a nut milk bag to squeeze out the juice by hand. If you would like a cheaper alternative you can buy a cheesecloth (available for 7 dirhams at Ace hardware), use a clean stocking or get a fine muslin from a baby shop. They will all work very well. You can find a nutmylk bag at Raw bites for 50 dirhams or the cheesecloth at Ace for 7 dirhams.