Wheatgrass, available as a living plant, fresh or frozen juice, or in powdered form, is simply the young shoots of the wheat plant. The grass itself is difficult to digest and cooking diminishes its nutritional value, so wheat grass is most commonly consumed as a juice. You can drink wheatgrass juice neat, but its powerful grassy taste is not to many people’s liking. Blending it with other juices and using it in recipes makes wheatgrass considerably more palatable.

Fresh wheatgrass is so fibrous that — unless the instruction manual specifically says otherwise — a regular electronic juicer will not successfully juice it. You can buy special manual or electronic wheatgrass juicers, but a high-powered blender will also work. To make wheatgrass juice in a blender:

Cut wheatgrass when it’s about 4 to 6 inches tall. Snip it off above the soil level with scissors, and then cut it into small pieces approximately 1 inch long.

Put the chopped wheatgrass in the blender with 1 to 3 cups of water. Use more water for a diluted, weaker-tasting juice, or less for a more concentrated, strong-tasting juice.

Process the grass and water for at least 1 minute, or until the grass is completely pulverized. You should see the solids rise to the top of the liquid.

Line a fine mesh strainer with several layers of cheesecloth, and set the lined strainer over a container to collect the juice. Pour the contents of the blender through the strainer.

Gather the sides of the cheesecloth together and squeeze the wheatgrass pulp to get as much juice out of it as you can.

Consume the wheatgrass juice immediately, or freeze it in ice cube trays for later use.

Wheatgrass juice and powder are most commonly consumed as part of a juice blend or smoothie. Its strong, grassy taste can dominate milder fruit and vegetable flavors, so balance it with some other powerful, more pleasant flavors such as ginger, lemon and mint. Other greens, such as kale, cucumber and spinach, complement the flavor of wheatgrass. Bold fruits such as blackberries and bananas can somewhat mask the flavor.

If you enjoy or have become accustomed to the taste of wheatgrass, try adding a shot of it to a glass of cold lemonade, coconut water or club soda. Sweeten the drink with a little honey, if you wish.

Tips

If you are using powdered wheatgrass in a juice or smoothie, follow the instructions and measurements on the jar for the best way to reconstitute the powder.

Wheatgrass powder and juice can be used in raw food preparations, including raw versions of traditionally baked foods such as energy bars and brownies. Add wheatgrass powder to guacamole, pesto and hummus, and stir a little into a bowl of cereal or yogurt with fruit. Wheatgrass juice can be added to salad dressings, and blended into vegetable soups and sauces.