By Stephanie Rayburn, Sales Trainee for High Quality Organics
Walk into a juice bar or café these days, and you may be surprised to hear the person in front of you order a round of shots for the group. Shortly, you see the fresh squeezed juice shots are delivered to their table- small cups of almost neon-green liquid, usually with a small wedge of orange for chasing. You may observe a variety of expressions on the faces of the juice-drinkers, as they either sip or bolt down the juice, possibly grabbing for their orange wedge chaser or cooly passing it up. From the pleased look on the experienced wheat-grass drinker’s face to the skeptical and possibly grossed-out look of the rookie juicer, your interest may be piqued enough for you to step up to the counter and have your own first wheat grass experience!
While some like the potent, fresh-squeezed taste of the young wheat plant Triticum aestivum, many prefer to glean the health benefits of the plant by adding the dehydrated powder to smoothies, soups and other treats. Wheat grass powder is a common ingredient in protein drink mixes, health bars, snacks and whole-food vitamins.
Although the supplement was introduced in the 1940’s, it is quickly gaining in popularity as a powerful super food. And it’s no wonder- the grass shoots contain an extremely high concentration of nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, amino acids and chlorophyll.
Charles Francis Schnabel, an agricultural chemist in the 1930’s, conducted a series of experiments with young wheat Ggrass and was the first to market the powdered dried in cans labeled “Schnabel’s Powdered Grass.” Among the many health benefits of wheatgrass touted by Schnabel and others are: the immunity boosting, detoxification, and aid in digestion by killing harmful bacteria. Others have used the green to fight cancer, anemia, diabetes, constipation, infections, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, joint pain and many other health problems.
While the grass can be grown slowly over winter in temperate climates, it is often grow in a greenhouse in just eight to 12 days. The grass is harvested when it is around seven inches high, immediately juiced and consumed or dehydrated into a powder.
High Quality Organics sources certified organic wheat grass powder from China. When we’re not selling it, we’re busy experimenting with it. Here are some of our favorite uses: smoothies, salad dressing, guacamole. Other ideas include adding it to hummus, pesto, vegetable dip, baked goods (you’ll have to add extra sweetener to compensate for the wheat grass flavor), soups and sauces.
Steph is passionate about organics and the sustainable agriculture practices the industry encourages. With experience from the Peace Corp and National Forest Service, she brings a diversified and resourceful skills set to HQO’s growing customer service and sales team. On the weekends you can find her hiking in the pines of Lake Tahoe and enjoying the music and craft beers of Reno.