The Crowe Walk or Growing Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass in GlassToday I was going to post another shortbread recipe, but since I already sort of posted this one…sigh…it seemed like a better idea to make this one official.  One of these days I will stop accidentally publishing my drafts.  Shortbread recipe tomorrow – unless I click the Publish button today my mistake.

Do you remember the scene in The Gladiator where Russell Crowe is walking through a  field of tall, golden wheat, his fingers almost lovingly brushing against the heavy seeds?  Kel calls it The Crowe Walk.  It’s a mesmerizing and beautiful scene (I won’t mention the other scenes into which it cuts).  The soft, surreal serenity of the walk through the wheat – so peaceful.  Kel and I jokingly replay it in our fields when the grass is especially high.  What does that have to do with this post?  Not much, except that I’m growing wheat – wheatgrass, specifically – but mine will never get high enough to go to seed, let alone for me to stroll through.

I recently acquired a Vitamix, something that has been on my Wish List for a long, long time.  My old, cheap-o blender has been crying in the corner ever since.  I’ve used that Vitamix every day since it arrived, determined that Kel and I will have at least one green smoothie each day.

Wheatgrass Seeds

Along with my Vitamix, I ordered up a 5 lb. bag of wheatgrass seeds from from Todd’s Seeds via Amazon.  I planted my first batch not too long ago and watching them sprout and soar upwards – I can almost see them grow – has been a lot of fun.  At the time I decided we would be consuming at least one smoothie per day I also decided we needed to be drinking wheatgrass each day.  Wheatgrass, when harvested in its peak nutritional state (at about 7-11″ high) is loaded with chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll provides energy, helps normalize blood pressure and also helps alkalize the body.  According to some research, if the body is high in acidity (i.e., from eating meat for example), it is more susceptible to cancer.  Here’s a quick rundown on how I got started and what the process looks like.

Soak the wheatgrass seeds.
Rinse a handful of seeds and put them in a bowl or container and cover with water to about 2″ above seeds.  Soak them for 8-10 hours and then change the water and soak again.  I did a total of three overnight soaks.  At that point, tiny little roots began to appear on the ends of the seeds.

Container with Dirt

Day One.

Prepare your container. 
I used a window box because that’s what I had – but a larger, flat tray would be ideal.  You want something with drainage holes on the bottom.  (Todd’s Seeds provides instructions on their website.)  I filled my tray with a mixture of compost soil, peat and hummus.  Avoid soils with added chemicals.   I “mudded it in” real good (watered it) and sprinkled the wheatgrass over the top of the soil and then covered the seeds very lightly with additional peat and hummus.  Then I gently watered again.  It’s important to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Day 3

Day Three.

Day 5

Day Five.

Watch them grow – and water.
These suckers germinate and grow fast!  Be sure and keep the soil moist, but again, not soaked.  I kept my container out of direct sunlight; these guys are delicate.  Water 2-3 times per day using a spray bottle rather than a watering can.

Day 7

Day Seven.

Ready to cut and juice.
By the seventh day, my wheatgrass was ready to harvest.   Using sharp scissors, I cut a thick handful of the grass and put it in my Vitamix along with about 3/4 cups of filtered water.  There are wheatgrass juicers out there, but after shelling out for a Vitamix there was no way I was going to spend another $50 on a wheatgrass juicer.  YouTube is loaded with videos demonstrating how to juice wheatgrass.

Keep in mind this stuff is very fibrous – and you don’t want to drink/eat the fibers.  Good for cows, not so good for humans.  Once I processed the wheatgrass I poured the mess through a fine-meshed strainer.  Compost the fiber and either drink the juice straight-up, or combine it with fruit and make a delicious, tangy, super-healthy smoothie as in the recipe below.

I plan on getting 2-3 “harvests” from my wheatgrass before planting a new batch.

Wheatgrass in Hand

Green Fruit Smoothie with Wheatgrass Juice
Serves 2

1/2 cup wheatgrass juice
1/2 cup filtered water
1 bunch romaine lettuce, chopped
2 bananas, thickly sliced and frozen
1 cup strawberries, cut in half (frozen or fresh)
1-2 pitted dates, chopped, if desired

Place ingredients in Vitamix in the order shown.  Start on Variable speed 1 and slowly dial to 10, then flip to High.  Process for about 30 seconds.  Pour into glasses and serve.  (This can also be done in a regular blender.  Just make sure to stop the blender to move the fruit around if necessary.)

Smoothie Ingredients

45 thoughts on “The Crowe Walk or Growing Wheatgrass

  1. The Vegan Kat

    I acquired a planter of wheatgrass a while ago, which my cat enjoyed chewing on and decided he liked to lie top of it. I guess he thought it was his own little lawn. Anyway the wheatgrass all turned brown and died. I am not so good at keeping plants alive. But I may try growing some more based on your directions. 🙂

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Haha – catnip, wheatgrass – it’s all the same! I’m normally death to plants, but this worked out really well. Maybe because I don’t have to keep it alive for too long ;-)!

    2. The Good Luck Duck

      Cats love wheatgrass! If you buy “kitty grass,” that’s what you’ll be getting.

      1. Veggie V! @ Veggie V's Vegan Adventure

        I didn’t know it should be in a shady place. That’s perfect! I was worried it had to be in a sunny place. Apparently our house is like a dungeon. LOL I lived in a basement apartment for 12 years before moving in w/ the hubs, so anything is brighter than where I was before 😉

  2. Shira

    I’ve been around the block with wheatgrass and alwaus have had a terrible time growing it – yours looks amazing! It’s a wonder green for sure, and I always say we should get back into it….it’s got to be worked up to! Great post Annie!

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Haha – oh, I’m sorry about your wheatgrass woes! Honestly, I have the blackest thumb. I was 95% sure it would fail, but those little boogers grew like champs. Next batch? Who knows!

  3. tearoomdelights

    What a satisfying thing to grow – all that green in only a week! It looks very healthy and I bet it’s doing you a lot of good. It’s exciting to be finding different things to mix it with to make delicious smoothies too, I can see why you love your Vitamix!

  4. Brittany

    I bought a wheatgrass kit and a juicer for a friend a few years ago. It was so much fun to watch this grow and to have wheatgrass anytime I wanted. I do miss this indeed.

  5. Richgail Enriquez

    This would be perfect for starting my day right. I couldn’t wait to get a blender so I can give this recipe a try.

  6. veganmonologue

    Wheatgrass! Super easy to grow. For those who have not had any luck, make sure you buy the soft wheat berries. The other kind doesn’t work as well. The seeds are so “sprouty” I have grown them in a plastic tray with a wet paper towel. No soil needed!

  7. Jenn Jennings

    As soon as I buy that Omega juicer, I plan on doing exactly this (The Vitamix is also on the list). The color is strikingly fabulous, too. Thanks so much for posting this, Annie!

  8. Somer

    I had my first shot of wheat grass last night at a juice bar. I thought I was going to be disgusted and had a chaser of carrot juice waiting. I was pleasantly surprised and didn’t need the chaser. Woot Woot! So gotta start growing my own. I have the champion juicer and it does wheat grass. Thanks for the inspiration. Gotta keep those cancer cells from sprouting!!!

    1. Somer

      Holy crap, I thought I needed special wheat grass seeds. I have been doing a little research and it turns out I have over a hundred pounds of wheat and kamut that I can use from my food storage!?! I’m totally freaking out! So awesome, talk about being prepared for a health or food crisis! Yeah for crazy religion! Ha ha!

      1. Somer

        K. So I have sprouty bits after ONE night of soaking, can I plant them now or do I need to do more soaks? Black thumb of death here…

      2. Somer

        Awesome! I’m using some organic Kamut. It’s my freshest so I thought it would be the best to experiment with. Planting now!

      1. Somer

        I really needed that this week, all the stress I had been through made my gut a mess. It reminded me that I still have an autoimmune disease and that no matter how good my diet is I still need enough sleep and probably some yoga too. BALANCE, Somer, Balance!

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