Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wheat Grass and Green Smoothies

I am new to green smoothies.  In the summer, I have thrown a handful of spinach into the blender on occasion to mix with fruit and use it up before it goes off, but this is not routine for me.  Recently, I have been reading about the benefits of incorporating green drinks into your regular diet.  Food Babe, which is a great resource for healthy living tips, suggests a green smoothie everyday.  Every. Single. Day.  It is habit #4 on her suggested list of daily things to do.  One of the highlighted foods for a green drink option is wheat grass and I was amazed to see the lengthy list of benefits cited, including detoxification, mega doses of vitamins, cleansing of organs, clearer skin and keeps hair from graying. Did I just read that correctly? "Keeps the hair from graying."  Yes, I did read it correctly.  I am definitely interested!

I started searching for other sources about the benefits of wheat grass and they just kept coming.  Over at My Whole Food Life, wheat grass is listed as one of many super foods.  The Hippocrates Health Institute lists another lengthy roll call of benefits including increased energy, protection of the liver and blood and fighting tumors (It also takes the gray hair benefit even further and says that it can restore gray hair to its natural color- yahoo). One of the most notable benefits of wheat grass cited in multiple sources seems to be its accessible content of chlorophyll, which is linked to benefits including ability to rebuild the blood stream, antibacterial properties, purification, improving blood sugar issues and more.

In general, but especially due to the fact that I am expecting, I want to ensure I get many fruits and vegetables into my diet everyday.  Information supports that green smoothies or drinks are another way to ensure one's daily count of produce is up there. There seems to be three options for wheat grass smoothies or drinks:
  1. Local health food store that makes fresh wheat grass juice;
  2. Grow your own wheat grass (there are a lot of resources for "Grow Your Own Wheat Grass" kits);"
  3. Wheat grass powder.
I do not have access to the local health food store mentioned in option #1.  Although growing my own wheat grass on my window sill sounds lovely, I understand that I would need a special juicer to juice the plant and I do not have one.  So, I decided to give option #3 a try.  I took a trip to my nearest Whole Foods Market, which is not near at all unfortunately but I timed it with another trip I had to take. I reviewed many options that were there and settled on the following: 

Wheat grass powder & fruit smoothie
On the first morning, I tried it with only water.  Admittedly, this was tough.  I was not a fan.  On the second morning, I made a smoothie by combining frozen berries, approximately 1/2 cup of orange juice, another 1/2 to 1 cup of water and the scoop of wheat grass powder.  This went down much better!  On the third morning, I switched up again and tried another suggestion of mixing the powder with a small cup of fruit juice (I added some more water to mix it up better without drinking a giant glass of juice).  This went down well too and is a great option on a morning when time is tight and the full smoothie is pushing the clock a bit.
Wheat grass powder, fruit juice & water

It has only been one week and I am excited to be trying a new healthy routine.  I am still very new to the green smoothies & drinks so I would love to hear any ideas you may have!  Do you have any go-to recipes?  Have you noticed any health benefits from incorporating green drinks into your diet?  What type of blender do you recommend for your drinks?  I have been hearing a lot of great things about the Vitamix lately so that may be hitting my wish list soon!

Thank you for your input and ideas.  Have a great week!

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