Wheatgrass is a nutritional supplement that contains more than 90 percent of the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, in addition to chlorophyll and enzymes. The health benefits of wheatgrass include detoxification and cleansing of the body and antibacterial properties. Although it is sold as a powder and juice in health food stores, many people choose to grow and juice their own wheatgrass because it is more cost-effective. Homegrown wheatgrass can be stored both as fresh wheatgrass and as wheatgrass juice, although it is most beneficial to your health when it is harvested, juiced, and consumed in quick succession.
Storing Fresh Wheatgrass
Keep the wheatgrass dry during its last 12 hours of growth by watering carefully around the edges and the roots. Excess moisture on the surface of the grass will cause it to spoil sooner.
Harvest the wheatgrass by cutting the stalks off just above the soil, as many of the nutrients are concentrated near the soil and cutting the wheatgrass higher will cause you to lose these nutrients.
Do not rinse your wheatgrass. If there is dirt or water on it, you can gently pat it dry and brush off the dirt with a clean cloth.
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Put the fresh wheatgrass into an airtight container. Tightly sealed plastic bags will work, as well as glass or plastic food storage containers with lids.
Place the wheatgrass in a refrigerator, where, according to wheatgrass expert Ann Wigmore, it can be stored for up to seven days.
Juice your refrigerated wheatgrass in small batches, drinking it immediately after you are done juicing it.
Storing Wheatgrass Juice
Use a wheatgrass juicer to extract the juice from your wheatgrass crop, ideally right after it is harvested.
Drink wheatgrass juice immediately for optimum health benefits. It can also be refrigerated for an hour or less in a tightly closed container, although the flavor and composition of the juice will begin to change and it may not be as beneficial for your health.
Freeze excess wheatgrass juice in ice cube trays. This is as an alternative to throwing it away or keeping it refrigerated, where it will spoil quickly. Frozen wheatgrass juice retains many of its health benefits, although its enzymes don't stay active. Some experts, such as Ann Wigmore, claim that the chlorophyll's health benefits are also negated by freezing wheatgrass juice.
Store frozen wheatgrass juice cubes in an airtight plastic container to prevent them from picking up flavors from your freezer.
Thaw a wheatgrass cube quickly by putting it in a small glass and running hot water on the outside. Do not thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter, as this will cause the wheatgrass juice to spoil.
The best way to drink wheatgrass juice is when it is fresh. If possible, you should harvest only as much wheatgrass as you are going to consume immediately. When growing wheatgrass crops at home, this can be done by staggering the planting days so you always have a small crop ready to harvest when you need it.