Intense and grassy with a sweet pea flavour, wheatgrass juice, says Swheatgrass owner-operator Liane Kaltiainen, is a raw, living multivitamin. No wonder! This juice is alive with bioavailable antioxidant-rich vitamins and minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and essential fatty acids. It’s also one of the best sources of chlorophyll, which helps to strengthen liver function (the body’s detox centre), purify the blood, and eliminate heavy metals that build up in body tissue. And getting it isn’t that easy.
No Flash in the Pan
“Turning fibrous wheatgrass into juice at home can be a problem without specialized equipment,” Liane explained. “So we studied how we could make it convenient, and still provide a living green product, rather than going to powder.”
Swheatgrass’s blender-ready, flash-frozen cubes (or “pucks”) were the answer to give people an easy nutritional boost in at-home juices and smoothies, and for those who didn’t like the intense flavour of a shot of raw juice.
Today, their 100% organic, non-GMO Swheatgrass is grown in a “re-created outdoors” indoor environment with proper airflow to thoroughly dry out the finicky plants. Cropped when 10 days old, the plants are juiced, then flash-frozen within minutes into single-serving pucks, to lock in the living enzymes. Special 28-puck packaging was developed to ensure that a single serving can be popped out while the rest stay sealed to prevent oxidation, and retain the bright green, freshly-juiced vibrancy. Pucks keep for 12 months in the freezer, versus 5 days for live plants.
Their recently launched flash-frozen raw beet juice is also gaining popularity, and not just because it turns drinks a beautiful fuchsia-pink.
“We’re finding people—particularly women who struggle with low iron—love our beet juice. Athletes, too,” says Liane. “Studies show that raw beet juice dilates blood vessels and takes pressure off your heart, so athletes can train harder and longer by adding beet juice to their water bottles and smoothies. A little lemon juice offsets the earthy flavour.”
A Search for Supplement
Liane became a wheatgrass convert while studying nutrition. “We were looking for a way to supplement our plant-based diet with real food. Once we tried wheatgrass we couldn’t believe how great—how energetic—we felt! Soon after, we went on a three-week trip without it, and couldn’t believe how different—how lethargic—we felt. After that we were hooked.”
Originally from Ontario, and now based in Vernon, Liane and her partner-husband Troy started by cultivating a tray or two of organic wheatgrass for their own needs, added a few more for friends—and the requests kept coming. Before long, they had grown a business.
“Our business happened organically 15 years ago as we delivered trays to people’s homes. When we approached Nature’s Fare who wanted to source wheatgrass locally, they became one of our first retail customers.”
And they haven’t looked back. Today, Liane and Troy deliver frozen Swheatgrass and trays of fresh wheatgrass. Sweet!
Article was published in July/August 2017 issue of The Good Life magzine.